Last episode, the new Team 7 found themselves crushed (literally) by the overwhelming power of a rampaging Boro. At the end of that episode, anime fans received a reveal that manga fans have been patiently waiting for. Momoshiki Ōtsutsuki, the godlike villain taken down by Boruto, Naruto, and Sasuke, manifested in Boruto’s body. Episode 208 follows the events immediately after Momoshiki appears.
Obviously, this article has heavy spoilers for episode 208 of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. But I won’t be going over events from the manga not yet covered in the anime. Read with that in mind!
As expected, Momoshiki in Boruto’s body, dubbed “Borushiki” by fans, is an absolute monster. He mercilessly beats down Boro, drains Naruto’s chakra, and saves Team 7 from certain death. Following that, Team 7 and Naruto return to the Hidden Leaf village to receive desperately needed medical treatment and regroup. It’s there that we learn where everyone stands: Kawaki’s body reacts strangely to the virus Boro used against team 7, and Naruto and Sasuke have awakened alongside the kids.
This episode followed a “debrief” format after the big battle. Content like that is fairly common after key battles in anime; characters need to regroup and plan their next attacks. In this case, we’re treated to a variety of piecemeal conversations in which everyone is slowly informed about the new power Boruto displayed, and what happened to Naruto and Sasuke.
Finally, Kawaki and the other Hidden Leaf kids eat taiyaki, play card games, and deepen the familial bond he has toward the village. He recalls Sarada’s advice about taiyaki flavors and even lets Sumire administer painkillers to him. This is directly contrasted to his behavior just episodes prior. Kawaki has quickly progressed from distant and distrustful to warm and friendly. Like the vase he painstakingly repaired, the village is starting to fill in his cracks.
One unique detail about this episode is what didn’t happen. Without spoiling anything, this arc made two key changes to the manga. One, the timeline for Jigen’s recovery is longer. Two, the events immediately following the Boro battle are different. For the story, this means there are extra few days in the anime story that did not exist in the manga. More than likely, this means the anime is about to add original content to the storyline.
Boruto’s karma has obviously developed at an impressive rate. Unlike Kawaki, who merely grew Ōtsutsuki horns, Boruto lost his body to Momoshiki’s control. In this form, we don’t know the full extent of his power. But we do know he is much stronger than all of Team 7 working together.
Boruto, Sarada, Mitsuki, and Kawaki all fought with everything they had, and barely incapacitated Boro. Once he began rampaging, Boro easily one-shotted all of the ninja. Borushiki then effortlessly beat Boro like a side character. Notably, the rasengan Momoshiki used was almost exactly like the one Naruto and Boruto killed him with. If Boruto in this state has power similar to Momoshiki before his death, that would easily put him in the same combative tier as his father and Sasuke.
Boruto’s right eye has been a confusing subject for years. In the manga, we don’t get to see any of the time before Boruto is a genin. In the Boruto anime, we see this eye used to perceive the flow of chakra, see through invisible barriers, and have some effect on dimensional techniques.
After fan confusion, an animator officially called Boruto’s special eye the Jōgan, or “pure eye.” But, in his transformed state, Boruto has a Byakugan just like Momoshiki did.
So far, nothing we’ve seen in the anime gives conclusive evidence about what this all means. Because Boruto is a descendant of the Hyuga clan, it’s always been possible for him to manifest the Byakugan naturally. His sister, Himawari, has used hers several times in the anime. The only question is whether Boruto’s eye is tied to Ōtsutsuki’s ocular abilities, or if the two eyes are capable of manifesting separately.
This episode sets up several things the Hidden Leaf village needs to address. Now that they’re aware of Boro using his virus ability to proselytize people, they’re likely to try to confront the spread of his cult. Seeing as much of the cult narrative is exclusive to the anime, this might be the extra content not present during this arc in the manga.
Even more, the Leaf’s leadership have learned about two more members of Kara, Amado and Code, as well as established that Jigen might appear in the village at any time via Kawaki’s karma seal.
Ultimately, the episode is a mix of hopeful optimism and massive foreboding. On the one hand, Boruto might have access to godly power. Without it, Team 7 would certainly have died and Naruto would still be sealed. But, Momoshiki is an Ōtsutsuki and, like Isshiki manifesting in Jigen, an adversary.
Given Kawaki is also a vessel, it is likely both he and Boruto will quickly need to contend with the changes happening within them. In either case, the episodes to come will surely be packed with even deeper dives into all the discord wrought by Kara!
Images courtesy of VRV
BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS © 2002 MASASHI KISHIMOTO / 2017 BORUTO. All Rights Reserved.