Boruto Episode 196

Boruto Episode 196

A Binding Force

Although next week’s episode is supposed to be the next “big” episode, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Episode 196 was quite good. It had a bit of everything: Action, character development, plot, backstory, etc. I can’t really ask for more.

To me, the best thing about this episode was Kawaki’s character development. Over the past few episodes, we’ve seen Kawaki’s character develop significantly. And it’s in this episode that I feel he’s finally reached a turning point.

Sure, he’s still wary of those around him, such as when he refuses to shake Mitsuki’s hand. But at the same time, he’s no longer trying to distance himself from everyone completely or getting into fights. He actually sat next to Himawari and observed Boruto’s training without physically interfering — that was a surprise.

Sarada and Mitsuki outside of Boruto's house from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Sarada and Mitsuki outside of Boruto’s house

And, not only is Kawaki behaving himself more now, but he’s also engaging more as well. After watching Boruto and Naruto training together, Kawaki goes to Naruto and asks him about his relationship with Boruto and how they train together.

Obviously, this was brought on by Kawaki noticing a distinct difference in how Jigen trained him and how Naruto trains Boruto. But the important part here isn’t really that Kawaki noticed that difference. The important part is that Kawaki actually went to Naruto and asked him about it.

Also, when Kawaki does ask Naruto about his training with Boruto, we find out that Kawaki might not be able to use jutsu. He doesn’t think he can use chakra, but as Naruto explains, everyone can use chakra. However, I do want to point out that being able to use chakra and being able to use jutsu are different.

Rock and Metal Lee can use chakra. But, they can’t shape that chakra to use it to perform jutsu.

Karma Training

I get the feeling that it’s going to be a long time before we fully understand what Karma is. But, I also think that we’ll see Boruto able to use Karma on-demand significantly sooner than that. After all, of the three current Karma users we know about, he’s the only one who can’t.

Jigen can activate his Karma on-demand, as can Kawaki. So with a bit of training, I think Boruto will be able to as well. I should point out that Momoshiki also appeared to use Karma after ingesting Kinshiki’s chakra (in the TV series, not the movie).

Anyway, for now, the only way Boruto’s Karma can be activated is if Kawaki activates his own and it resonates with Boruto’s. It’s unclear if Kawaki chooses to force Boruto’s Karma to resonate or if that’s something that happens automatically.

Boruto with Karma activated from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Boruto with Karma activated

Now, I do want to point out that there’s a possibility that Boruto will never learn how to activate his Karma on his own. I think this is unlikely, but I also think it would be a simple way of balancing Boruto’s power with the power of his opponents.

In this situation, Boruto would have access to the increased power of Karma only when his opponent is also boosting their power via Karma. This means that Boruto won’t be overwhelmed by opposing Karma, but at the same time won’t be able to overwhelm opponents who don’t have Karma with his own.

Honestly, I think both options have their downsides. I don’t like the idea of Boruto being able to just boost his power on-demand with Karma. But at the same time, only having his Karma activate in resonance basically just cancels out all Karma in play.

Coming for Kawaki

It’s still a bit unclear what exactly Koji’s goal is. He allowed Kawaki to be taken to the Leaf Village originally. And now he’s gone there seemingly to retrieve him. Does this mean that Kawaki’s spent enough time there for Koji to want to see how the experience has affected him?

Or, is Koji’s infiltration of the Leaf Village not signifying that he’s going to retrieve Kawaki right now? Perhaps he’s only there to observe as we’ve seen so far. I think this second option is very possible, which would explain why in the preview for the next episode we see Delta get impatient with him.

I do like how Koji uses one of his small toad summons to spy on Kawaki, though. If you didn’t understand what was happening, Koji was able to see everything the toad saw. We’ve seen this type of ability many times in the past, but I think this was the first time we’ve seen it done with a toad summon.

One of Koji's spy toads from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
One of Koji’s spy toads

Anyway, according to the preview, next week Delta is going to storm into the Leaf Village and cause a commotion. But, how is that going to end? My guess is that it’s going to result in Kawaki being captured and taken back to Jigen.

Kawaki has to lose faith in Naruto somehow — otherwise, he wouldn’t destroy the Leaf Village and make Naruto “disappear” later on. But, I don’t think Naruto is going to be defeated by even the combination of Delta and Koji. If he was, then Kawaki wouldn’t have to defeat him later.

My guess is that either Delta or Koji is going to distract Naruto (and maybe Sasuke) while the other one fights against Boruto, Sarada, Mitsuki, and Kawaki. I think Koji would stand a better chance against Naruto. But I also think Delta overestimates her own strength and is more likely to fight Naruto while Koji uses a toad to kidnap Kawaki.


What do you think of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Episode 196? Has Kawaki’s development over the past few weeks made you like him more? Do you think Boruto will master using Karma? And how do you think Delta’s and Koji’s raid on the Leaf Village will pan out? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of Episode 197 is available.

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