Boruto: Kawaki Levels Up in the Biggest Way Possible

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Boruto #34 from Ukyō Kodachi and Mikio Ikemotoon, on sale now.

One of the defining aspects of the Naruto franchise is how certain shinobi level-up, and the journey they take to do so. Sasuke accomplished this thanks to Orochimaru's curse mark, and Naruto became all-powerful by harnessing the power of the Nine Tails beast that Kurama stored within him as a baby.

The stories unfolding in the Boruto series (both the manga and anime) follow this trend, with Boruto upgrading via his "Karma" mark in the wake of the battle with Momoshiki. However, his rival and new addition to the Konoha squad, Kawaki, has now followed suit, and it's in a way that may have ramifications for the entire franchise.

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Chapter 34 details the aftermath of the fight with Delta, the assassin sent by the terrorist organization Kara to take Kawaki back. Naruto stopped the young girl, but it proved to be one of his most taxing fights ever. In the fracas, Kawaki -- a mysterious genetic experiment engineered by Kara -- lost his arm protecting Naruto's daughter, Himawari, and so, after Delta self-destructs, the Hokage takes the younglings back to the village to recover.

There, Konoha's science team explains, due to Kawaki's intricate makeup, they can't customize a hand for him. However, Naruto comes up with a solution, using one of the hands the scientists made for him years ago. When he and Sasuke had their big battle to close the Naruto: Shippuden era, both lost an arm. Sasuke didn't use a prosthetic in the wake of, but Naruto did, and he asks if one of the spares could be used for Kawaki. This hand is specifically designed for Naruto's chakra, however, and the team rules out the option -- until Naruto shows a moment of genius and retrofits the boy using his own chakra.

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Because of this, the hand can now be attached, and Naruto's so strong and has such unlimited chakra, he won't even feel the loss. When he naps, though, and his flow's cut off, Kawaki won't have access to it, so it'll have to be a daily dosage, so to speak. Naruto did lend chakra to upgrade ninjas decades ago, so this loan makes perfect sense, even if it is a surprise in this context.

What's so intriguing is the aftereffect, as we see Kawaki's energy levels boosted, making him more powerful. It's something Boruto notices as well, which is also expected as Kawaki was created with a lot of power -- enough for him to match anyone from Naruto's bloodline. Couple this with Kawaki's own unique Karma seal, and he may well be on the path to becoming even stronger than Naruto.

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The series has already hinted at Kawaki's potential, having started with a time-jump into the future that showed him and Boruto feuding. There, Kawaki said he killed Naruto, indicating that this might be the origin point for how he gained that strength before his eventual descent.

The crowning moment comes at the end of the issue, when Kawaki is stopped from leaving the village by Kurama himself. The demon only makes contact with its Jinchūriki or host, so this speaks volumes of the connection that has been established with Kawaki. Only a true avatar of the Nine Tails could do this, and with Kurama and Naruto's chakra now interwoven, the Kara runaway is officially a way bigger a player than we first assumed.

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