Boruto starts to set itself apart
I have had many issues with the Boruto manga series. The anime is another matter. However, over the last few months, I decided to give the series another chance. The Kawaki Arc (chapters 24 to current) focuses on the character and the Kara. I had issues with Boruto abandoning the core ninjutsu lore from the Naruto series, introducing Ninja Tools. However, the series seems to embraced modernity more directly. The explanation of the Ohtsutsuki Clan as “aliens” yes the out of space kind. At first, I rolled my eyes, but after reading the series further I started to enjoy this arc. If Boruto is going to stand on its own it must separate itself from Naruto. The character Amado explains the clan in such a way that it feels new and organic. Boruto has decided to move from a chakra focused fighting style to one that includes nature and technology.
The Alien Ohtsutsuki Clan
If you don’t read the series, Amado is a scientist that was the head of Kara’s R&D division. Amado is responsible for the “cyborg” bodies of the Kara members. He along with Koji Kashin betray Kara and defect to Konohagakure. While being interrogated by Naruto and Shikamaru, he goes into detail on the origins of the Ohtsutsuki Clan. Ancient celestial beings, the Ohtsutsuki, travel through dimensions planting Ten-Tails. The Ten-Tails then becomes a God Tree attempting to absorb the chakra from the planet. Once accomplished the Ohtsutsuki abandon the planet. Kaguya and Isshiki were sent to Earth to harvest it. For reasons unknown, Kaguya attacked Isshiki, leaving him near death. Isshiki possessed the ability called Sukunahikona, which allowed him to reduce the size of the body. Using this technique, he invaded Jigen’s body, becoming a parasite.
The return of Jiraiya
I have been hearing rumors and speculation from Boruto fans that Jiraiya was going to return. This seemed to be largely based on the character Koji’s use of toads. I initially thought this was ridiculous and only based on small evidence. However, the rumors persisted particularly due to Naruto occasionally mentioning that he finds something familiar about Koji. Boruto teased out this reveal with Koji using jutsu like Toad Oil Bombs and Doton Dark Swamp. The visual of the fight between Koji and Isshiki cuts out after the toad sharing the feed is killed. However, we get confirmation from Isshiki that Koji is a clone of Jiraiya. I’m not sure how I feel about this reveal. Jiraiya was my favorite Naruto character but his cloning feels like a crutch or fanservice. Other than that I can’t see how this helps the story, especially considering it seems that Koji is expected to die. The outcome of the next chapter will explain my question of course. If Koji dies, then it was just fanservice, if he lives then it could be much more. Regardless, Boruto is more interesting than I thought.