Boruto Episode 186

Boruto Episode 186

How You Use It

Considering Boruto: Naruto Next Generations episode 186 was outsourced to Jiwoo Animation, I’m really looking forward to next week’s episode. Jiwoo Animation isn’t a bad studio by any means and this episode showed that. But usually, when an episode is outsourced and the next episode is an important one, it means the latter episode is getting extra attention.

Well, we’ll get to next week’s episode next week. For now, there’s a fight between Ao and Team 7 to go over. I thought this was a pretty good fight. But I would also call it a very predictable fight. Every twist that turned the tide (or failed to turn the tide) of the battle was extremely obvious because I’ve seen it all before.

Okay, I’ll admit that I didn’t expect Ao to have a fleet of mini UFOs at his disposal. But everything else was easy to spot from a mile away.

Ao stabbing Boruto with chakra blade from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Ao stabbing Boruto with chakra blade

When we saw Mitsuki, Sarada, and Konohamaru teaming up to fight Ao, it was clear that Boruto would do a surprise attack from the air long before Ao mentioned it. Also, Boruto’s plan to make Ao pick up the chakra blade has been hinted at for episodes now.

Did you notice that the chakra blade was blue when Boruto used it and red when Ao used it?

Further, Boruto disguising one of his shadow clones by putting the scientific ninja tool on it was obvious. As was the fact that he would be hiding underground. I was a bit disappointed that he didn’t hit Ao with an uppercut coming out of the ground, though. That would have been a great reference.

Boruto’s Ninja Way

I know there are a lot of people who don’t like Boruto’s character. But I also don’t know anyone who’s actually watched the Boruto series to this point and doesn’t like Boruto’s character. I’ll admit that there are quite a few bad characters in this series. However, I don’t think Boruto himself is one of them.

If you hated Boruto’s character at the start of the series, that’s completely understandable. By this point, though, I think he’s grown out of the majority of his undesirable personality traits. He doesn’t try to do things the easy way, he actually thinks before he acts, and he’s developed his own sense of justice.

Now, to be fair, Boruto’s brand of justice is very similar to his father’s, and that of just about any shounen battle series protagonist. But the important part is that we got to see the path Boruto took to reach that point.

Boruto summoning shadow clones while free-falling from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Boruto summoning shadow clones while free-falling

In this episode, we learned that Ao’s reason for joining Kara is actually that he wants a world in which everyone can be strong. He doesn’t think it’s fair that Naruto can be so overpowered, while other people can be so powerless. He believes that scientific ninja tools will level the playing field so that everyone has a chance at survival.

In response to this, Boruto gives us his outlook on life, tools, and being a shinobi. To Boruto, it doesn’t matter how weak or strong a person is. What matters is how they use the strength they have. Just as a tool can be used for good or evil, so too can a person’s strength.

It would have been pretty easy for Boruto to simply tell Ao that his fallen comrades wouldn’t approve of his current choices. But rather than trying to guilt Ao into seeing the error of his ways, Boruto tries to lift him up by explaining that there are still things he can do.

The Koji Kashin Mystery Deepens

Previously, I explained how there was a theory that Koji Kashin is actually Jiraiya and why I didn’t believe it was correct. He doesn’t look all that much like Jiraiya, he doesn’t have the same voice actor as Jiraiya, and the only possible connections were his face paint and reference to the Leaf Village.

However, despite only making a very brief appearance at the end of this week’s episode, I’m now a bit more convinced the two are connected. I still don’t believe that Koji Kashin is Jiraiya. But as I’ll explain, there’s some interesting evidence.

Obviously, the big thing from this episode was Koji Kashin using the Steam Toad summoning. While there’s not a limit on the number of people who can make a summoning pact with any given animal, there were previously only four known shinobi to have pacts with the Toads of Mount Myōboku. These are Jiraiya, Minato, Naruto, and Konohamaru.

Koji Kashin of Kara from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Koji Kashin of Kara

With the reveal that Koji Kashin has a pact with Mount Myōboku, I decided to take a closer look at his name. After all, he’s the only member of Kara whose full name we know. All the other members are known simply by their given names or apparent code names.

Unfortunately, I don’t think we were ever given the kanji spelling of Koji Kashin in the anime. I went back and looked for it, but couldn’t find it shown in any episodes. So, that means I’ll have to make some guesses about the kanji used.

I could look it up, but I’m sure that would result in me seeing spoilers.

The Kashin part seems pretty straightforward, probably being 家臣 which translates to vassal or retainer — AKA, he’s the vassal of Jigen, whom he refers to as Lord Jigen. The Koji part is where things get more interesting, and also more difficult to translate.

Koji could be 孤児, which would refer to an orphan. If this is the case, it might imply he’s Jiraiya’s child. It could also be 故事, which means legend. This one would be a reference to Jiraiya being a legendary shinobi. Or it could be 古字, which is an ancient character, again possibly referencing Jiraiya.

There are additional ways to write Koji that have different meanings, but those are the three I felt made the most sense. And, if we consider Jiraiya’s body never being recovered and Kara’s interest in homunculi, it’s possible that Koji Kashin is an artificially created Jiraiya. Especially when you consider one of Kara’s known hideouts was located near where Jiraiya died in the Rain Village.

Conclusion

What do you think of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations episode 186? Did you like the fight between Team 7 and Ao? Has Boruto’s character become more bearable over the course of the series? And what do you think about Koji Kashin? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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