Boruto Episode 181

Boruto Episode 181

Numbering the Inners

To start off this review of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations episode 181, I want to correct some misunderstandings I had in previous episode reviews. First, it would seem that Jigen really is the leader of Kara despite not having the lowest Roman numeral tattooed on his face.

Second, everyone who has a direct connection to Jigen is considered an Inner. Originally I thought that Victor and Amado may simply be scientists working for Kara, but it turns out they’re fully-fledged Inners. And going along with that, I’m pretty sure the triangle tattoo that Victor has is actually the Roman numeral V (5).

The question that then brings up is, what number is Delta? She has a triangle aesthetic, but if Victor is already V (5), then what’s Delta’s numeral? Since her whole thing is triangles, you might think that she’s III (3). But, I think the actual III (3) is the larger man with the beard and mustache — he has three vertical lines on his face.

Jigen is obviously IV (4), Deepa was VII (7), and the man referred to as Code is VI (6). That means we have the numbers 3-7 confirmed. What about the rest?

Well, my guess is actually that Delta is I (1), Koji is II (2), and Amado is VIII (8) or IX (9). Delta does have a single line down her forehead, which is why I think she’s I (1). We can’t see all of Koji’s face, but he has a line coming down from each eye, so I think he’s II (2). And that leaves VIII (8) or IX (9) for Amado.

Now, why am I saying that Amado could be IX (9) instead of just VIII (8)? Well, if you paid attention to the new OP, you’d see that Kawaki is X (10). So if Amado is VIII (8), there still must be — or must have been — a IX (9) before Kawaki. So I think for now we can assume Amado is one of those two numbers, but we can’t say which one.

Who is Koji Kashin?

I don’t read the Boruto manga and I generally try to avoid spoilers of any kind. But occasionally, I do see pieces of discussion happening about it on Twitter. And one of these pieces I saw a while back was about the identity of Koji Kashin when he was introduced in the manga.

There won’t be any spoilers in this review, so you don’t have to worry about that. I actually don’t even know anything more about Koji than you do at this point. All I know is that when his design was revealed, people were speculating that he might be Jiraiya because they look somewhat similar.

Koji Kashin using a fire style jutsu from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generation
Koji Kashin using a fire style jutsu

So what evidence do we have so far for Koji being Jiraiya? Well, he has the lines coming down from his eyes and he has white hair. Those are the two things it seemed that manga readers latched onto. He also claims to have some connection with the Hidden Leaf Village. And he’s proficient in fire style jutsu, which is the Hidden Leaf’s specialty.

Now, why do I think that Koji isn’t Jiraiya? The biggest thing is that Jiraiya died. Sure, it could be retconned so that he survived somehow, but I don’t see that happening. The next thing is that his hair isn’t spiky like Jiraiya’s. And the lines coming down from his eyes are black, not red — something manga readers didn’t know at the time.

And as one, final nail in the coffin, Koji doesn’t have the same voice actor as Jiraiya. Jiraiya was voiced by Hōchū Ōtsuka and Koji is voiced by Yuichi Nakamura.

But, it is clear that Koji’s identity is going to be important considering his connection to the Hidden Leaf and proficiency at fire style jutsu. It’s possible related to Jiraiya in some way. We don’t know Jiraiya’s family name, after all. But, I think even that’s unlikely.

Naruto vs. Boruto

Although the exhibition match between Naruto and Boruto was set up to be the climax of the episode, I actually thought it was the least interesting part. There wasn’t any crazy choreography in this fight. And for the most part, it was just Naruto and Boruto standing on opposite sides of the arena.

The first of two big reveals in this fight is that Boruto can use water style jutsu. I know that he used the scientific ninja tool to use water style during the chunin exams. But I’m pretty sure that we’ve seen Boruto use water style since then. Maybe I’m wrong, but I felt like this had already been revealed.

Either way, the water style jutsu Boruto uses here is on a pretty large scale. He doesn’t just create a jet of water as would normally be expected. He’s able to create large waves of water that don’t just dissipate once he’s done with the jutsu.

Naruto facing Boruto's water style jutsu from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Naruto facing Boruto’s water style jutsu

We also saw him combine his lightning style with the water style just as he did during the chunin exam. I liked this because it showed his growth. What he could only do before with the help of a tool, he can now do through his own strength and abilities. Well, except for Kakashi’s Purple Lightning jutsu.

The other big reveal is Naruto’s new prosthetic arm. As was explained, Katasuke designed it to function like the Rinnegan Momoshiki had in his palms. Both Momoshiki and this new prosthetic are able to absorb jutsu. However, Momoshiki is then able to expel those jutsu back at their users with enhanced power.

I’m interested to see how this new prosthetic comes into play. Has Katasuke equipped one of the Kara with a similar tool? Will Naruto end up relying on it too heavily and lose a fight because of that? Or will it actually turn out to be helpful in a future battle?

The Vessel

At this point, I don’t think there should be any doubt about Kawaki being the “vessel” referred to by Kara. He was prominently featured in the new OP, even showing off his X (10) facial tattoo. What’s uncertain is how he’s going to fit into the existing story.

From what we saw of him in episode 1, it’s clear that he’s an antagonist of some sort. He seems to have helped destroy the Hidden Leaf Village and even claims to have done something to Naruto. Then, in the previous OP, he was depicted as a sort of foil to Boruto’s character.

However, in the new OP, we see a different side of Kawaki. Rather than being an antagonist or even a foil/rival to Boruto, he’s shown as an ally. Keep in mind that the events that take place within the OPs aren’t necessarily canon. But even so, we’re shown Boruto and Kawaki teaming up to fight Jigen.

Konohamaru and Mugino from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Konohamaru and Mugino

If I had to guess, I’d say that the fight depicted in this OP is supposed to take place after the confrontation between Boruto and Kawaki shown in episode 1. I think it will be kind of like how Sasuke was an “antagonist” for most of Naruto: Shippuden, but then swapped sides for the final battle during the war.

Boruto doesn’t yet have his own version of Sasuke. He, Sarada, and Mitsuki all get along well and work together. Perhaps Kawaki is the rival that Boruto needs in order to get stronger. I think it would also be interesting if Kawaki is Jigen’s son. That could give him and Boruto something in common if they both want to prove their strength to their fathers.

I really thought Kawaki was going to be shown in this episode, but it seems that we’ll have to wait. I’m guessing that he won’t even make an appearance next week either.

Ao’s Kara Connection

For this last section, I just want to briefly touch on the next episode preview. It appears that Ao is indeed an Outer of Kara. We were shown a scene of him meeting up with Koji, so I’m assuming Ao is the Outer Koji said he would enlist for this mission.

What I still don’t understand is why Ao would join up with Kara. Ao is a hero of the Fourth Great Shinobi War. He’s respected and recognized as a great shinobi. So why would he join a terrorist organization like Kara?

Unfortunately, since we still know absolutely nothing about Kara’s end goal, I can’t even begin to speculate. I doubt Ao is being threatened in any way. One reason for him to join them is if he believes their goal to be a noble one. But maybe he simply joined because Victor saved his life after the war. With Victor dead, Ao might swap sides once again.

Conclusion

What do you think of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations episode 181? Do you think I’m right about the remaining unconfirmed Kara Inner numbers? Do you think Koji is connected to Jiraiya in any way? And what do you think about the new OP and ED? I like them, but they’re not my favorites of the series.

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