Boruto Episode 188

Boruto Episode 188

Awakening

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations episode 188 is the first time Kawaki’s name has been mentioned since episode 1. And it seems like we still have a long way to go until we get to the point that was foreshadowed way back in that first episode. I could be wrong since I don’t read the manga, but I don’t think the manga is even there yet.

Now that Kawaki is a real character in the series, I think it’s safe to say that we’ve finally reached the main portion of Boruto. Everything’s coming together. We know all of the Kara members, Kawaki has awakened, and we’re starting to unravel the mystery of Karma.

One of these mysteries of Karma is how those who wield it are connected to each other. In this episode, we saw that when Boruto got close to Kawaki, both of them started to feel pain. And, when the airship originally went down, Jigen was able to tell the status of Kawaki via his Karma — implying those two are connected as well.

Delta from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Delta

What’s most interesting about this Karma connection to me is the implication that Jigen already knows Boruto has Karma as well. If we’re assuming that Jigen has had his Karma for some time, and his Karma can resonate with Kawaki’s over long distances, it seems reasonable that Jigen has already sensed Boruto’s Karma.

He might not know that it’s Boruto specifically who has Karma. But he likely knows that someone else has it and that they’ve now come into contact with Kawaki. This is likely the reason why Jigen didn’t seem to be all that concerned about the state of the vessel when Delta was pressuring him.

Perhaps Karma alone isn’t enough for Jigen’s plan. Considering Kara were investigating multiple Karma patterns, it’s possible they need to collect them all.

Kara Trials

How Kawaki came to be a “member” of Kara is pretty familiar if you remember how Orochimaru used to recruit people to join his group. It’s possible that Jigen even got the idea from reading or hearing about Orochimaru’s past.

Basically, the recruitment has two parts. First, and seemingly most important in both cases, is the acquisition of children with the potential to be a good vessel. Jigen seems to have bought Kawaki from his father, and Orochimaru used similar practices.

Second, is the classic battle-royale to determine which of the potential recruits is worthy of sticking around. We didn’t actually see this happen with Kawaki, but it seems to have been implied. You could also argue he simply underwent a different sort of trial, though.

Jigen from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Jigen

Now, something I’m still not quite sure about is how Kawaki came to wield his Karma. We don’t know when he acquired it, but we know he had it upon completing the trial. Did he obtain it during the trial? Or did he already have it? Did he have it back when Jigen originally purchased him?

And if Kawaki didn’t already have his Karma when Jigen purchased him, then was there a specific reason Jigen wanted Kawaki? Could he tell that Kawaki was someone with the potential to awaken Karma? Or was Jigen simply looking for any child he could get his hands on?

Unfortunately, I think a lot of these questions are going to go unanswered. I could see us getting a bit more background on Kawaki once he’s around for a bit longer. But I get the feeling we’ll never actually see what the trial he underwent was. We’ll probably see him training under Jigen and being experimented on by Amado instead.

Capturing the Vessel

We know that the most important thing to Kara right now is the capture of the vessel, Kawaki. However, as I mentioned previously, Jigen doesn’t currently seem to be concerned. And when Delta shows up to see why Koji Kashin has been taking so long, she finds him nonchalantly watching Kawaki and the Leaf shinobi interacting.

Now, at this point, you would probably think that Koji simply isn’t getting involved because he wants to see what will happen when Boruto and Kawaki, two people with Karma, interact for the first time. However, I think there might actually be more to his inaction.

We’ve seen Inners get involved before. Both Deepa and Victor fought against the Leaf shinobi. However, it does appear that Kara Inners tend to prefer sending Outers into battle in their place. I’m not sure why this is yet, but the brief back and forth between Koji and Delta seemed to have confirmed this.

Koji Kashin and Delta from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Koji Kashin and Delta

First, Delta asks about Ao and Koji responds that he’s dead. She then says that if Koji isn’t going to get involved, she will. Normally, you would expect that to mean that Delta herself is going to get involved. But it doesn’t appear she meant it that way and Koji didn’t take it that way.

In response to this, Koji asks if she brought an Outer with her, which she did. So basically, when Delta says that she’s going to get involved, they both understand this to mean that she’s going to have an Outer get involved on her behalf.

Why would Inners like Koji and Delta resort to using Outers in a situation such as this? I get that it’s a classic trope for villains to view fighting with the heroes of the story to be beneath them, and so they throw their underlings at the heroes first. But this doesn’t seem like that kind of situation. Here, you would think Delta would want to jump in and recover the vessel as quickly as possible.

Conclusion

What do you think of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations episode 188? Do you think Jigen already knows about the existence of Boruto’s Karma? Will we ever get to see the trial Kawaki had to undergo to become an Inner of Kara? And, why do you think Delta (and to a lesser extent Koji) didn’t get involved and retrieve Kawaki? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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