The Boruto Saga Finally Gets Its Very Own Sasuke

WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Boruto #29 from Ukyō Kodachi and illustrated by Mikio Ikemoto, on sale now.

Something which makes Naruto's journey such a loved story is the rivalries he encountered as the series unfolded. As an adolescent ninja learning his trade, he developed these with the likes of Gaara of the Sand Village, and as he became a teenager in the Shippuden era, Naruto began to view the likes of Neji, Rock Lee and Sai as fierce competitors.

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Of course, as they all grew older, these characters became friends as the Five Villages united, with Naruto's home of Konoha at the center of this alliance. But one rivalry stands out the most and that's the one he shared with Sasuke of the Uchiha clan. He wasn't just Naruto's competition, though; he was like a brother to the young man, and now we're seeing a repeat of this in the next generation. Naruto's son, Boruto, just got his very own Sasuke to contend with in the form of the runaway known as Kawaki.

In Boruto #29, the manga's latest chapter, the older Naruto has taken Kawaki into his home and is trying to teach him not to use his powers for evil. He shows him warmth, love and family, and begins to train the powerful shinobi, similar to how Kakashi groomed Sasuke. What's noticeable is Boruto is pushed aside by his father a bit, just like Kakashi pushed Naruto aside to deal with a young Sasuke. It's not for a lack of love, though; it's clear that both needed to be coddled a bit due to their seedy nature and the slippery slope they're standing on. And, similar to Sasuke, Kawaki is one step away from falling into darkness with the shady Koji trying to convert him.

Naruto wants to ensure he doesn't lose the boy and then have to fight for his redemption like he did with Sasuke, who eventually became a rogue every village wanted dead. Kawaki is another at-risk youth with immense abilities, so as the Hokage leading Konoha, Naruto has to do what's right for the misunderstood ninja.

Kawaki and Boruto both have a cursed mark, which connects their powers to each other, comparable to Sasuke and Naruto. Kawaki got his from training with the mysterious terrorist group known as Kara, before running away, while Boruto got his after his first big fight against the godlike Momoshiki (who was related to Kaguya, the woman who seeded out chakra to the planet).

As for Sasuke, he got his curse mark from the villain known as Orichimaru, but eventually we found out he and Naruto were vessels for Indra and Asura respectively. They were Kaguya's grandsons and their souls kept reincarnating, generation after generation, forever locked in battle before landing in the bodies of these two shinobi, thus making them spiritual brothers. While Boruto and Kawaki are anything but blood or friends, there's still a spiritual connection there yet to be explored.

Their personalities are also highly reminiscent of the past, with Boruto as exuberant and hyper as his dad, while Kawaki's always brooding and sulking in a corner like Sasuke. Kawaki also has no family, was imbued with power by a villain, and is being hunted to become a weapon, further mirroring the relationship Sasuke had with Orochimaru.

RELATED: The Boruto Manga May Have Brought Back Naruto's Deadliest Enemy

Perhaps the most telling point about them being the new iteration of this feud is how the manga/anime introduced Kawaki. There, we saw him for the first time, older, rugged and very much a proficient ninja, facing off against Boruto in his late teenage years. Boruto was also clearly a way better ninja, and looking back, it's no apparent we were seeing their evolved forms. It reminds us of when we first saw Naruto and Sasuke as full-fledged teenage ninjas starting their rivalry in Shippuden. We didn't know how they got to that point but we knew they had levelled up. Now, it seems Boruto and Kawaki are destined for the same dance, but hopefully, it's one which allows Kawaki to redeem himself too.

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