The introduction of Baryon Mode in Boruto, the sequel to Naruto, is potentially the largest development of this first season of Boruto to the Naruto universe and lore at large. This new transformation takes Naruto’s powers into stratospheric levels and allows him to achieve power that is comparable only to the Otsutsuki tribe.
Yet, when Naruto invokes Baryon Mode there are unquestionable disadvantages that lead to the passing of a now fan favorite character, Kurama.
Much like Izanagi or Izanami, or Guy’s Eight Gate, the use of Baryon Mode has serious consequences, sometimes fatal, that make it an exceptional power only used when in dire circumstances.
One of these dire circumstances befalls the Hidden Leaf as Naruto has to protect it against Isshiki Otsutsuki himself. Read our guide to this power to learn of it’s might as well as it’s fatal consequences.
What is Baryon Mode?
The exact details of Baryon Mode haven’t been clarified in a data book like most of Naruto’s other abilities have been.
The only official information we can base the details of Baryon Mode from are the actual events of the manga and the anime, Kurama himself gives his own explanation of Baryon Mode which is what most fans chose to accept.
Baryon Mode is essentially a fatal jutsu of the Nine Tails and his jinchuuriki. It seems that only Kurama/Nine Tails is capable of actually using Baryon Mode and it requires him to be fully connected with his jinchuriki to do so. Baryon Mode has only ever been used once as it is fatal to the Nine Tails when used, this will be explained.
Essentially, what Kurama explains is that Baryon Mode is like nuclear fusion, these are the exact words he uses in the manga.
He explains that Baryon Mode takes a seriously large amount of chakra in order to uphold the transformation. This means that Baryon Mode is only active for a very short period of time as a result.
In essence, Baryon Mode takes all the chakra that is used to power Baryon Mode and converts it into a new form of energy that is ‘other worldly’ in power. Much like nuclear fusion, it takes one form of energy and converts it into a form of energy that is far more powerful than the energy it was sourced from.
One important caveat that Kurama explains, is that it will completely exhaust all of Kurama’s chakra to use and can only be used once and for as long as Kurama’s chakra lasts.
As the Nine Tails seems to be the only one who can use the mode, there is perhaps only one use of this power ever, unless Kurama can be revived.
How Powerful is Baryon Mode?
Well, Nine Tails, the most powerful chakra beast and one of the most powerful chakra users ever, described it as ‘other worldly’ in power, so it’s pretty strong. Moreover, Naruto and Sasuke both fight Jigen (Isshiki’s human host) previously in another battle.
In their battle against Jigen, both Sasuke and Naruto are arguably overpowered by Jigen who ultimately is stronger. When Jigen turns into Isshiki, there is a clear change in power. Namely, when Naruto in Baryon Mode fights Isshiki, he is clearly stronger than Isshiki. So, the power of Baryon is pretty outstanding.
One way to clearly see how powerful Baryon Mode is to read Sasuke’s comments in the manga. While Naruto is fighting Isshiki in Baryon Mode, Sasuke comment shows he can barely keep up with their movements.
This is a testament to how fast they are going, as Sasuke’s Sharingan can essentially track nearly any movement, even the movement of extremely fast shinobi such as Raikage A and Killer B.
Yet in this case Sasuke describes how he can barely even see the rods that Isshiki is throwing at Naruto, yet in Baryon Mode Naruto can catch them and throw them back.
In both the depictions in the manga and in the anime, Naruto is evidently more powerful that Isshiki and could have beaten him had Baryon Mode not been so short lived.
It’s important to remember that lore suggests Isshiki, like Kaguya, was one of the first beings ever to gain chakra. Isshiki is definitely one of the more powerful beings in the Naruto universe, and in Baryon Mode Naruto managed to overpower him with ease.
So, Is Kurama Dead?
It certainly seems that Kurama has died. Kurama tells Naruto that Baryon Mode will shave off a good chunk of the user’s lifespan, however Naruto seems to interpret this as meaning himself rather than Kurama. But once they defeat Isshiki Kurama has one last conversation with Naruto where he explains that Baryon Mode would result in his own death, not Naruto’s.
Once Naruto realises Kurama is going to die they resolve their previous hatred and Naruto forgives Kurama for all his actions, even for killing Naruto’s parents. Kurama informs Naruto that all of Kurama’s abilities will be lost and Naruto will no longer be the Nine Tails jinchuriki anymore, meaning he has to be more careful.
Will Kurama Be Revived?
So, Kurama is definitely dead. Yet, what ‘dead’ means for a chakra beast isn’t clear. Isobu, the Two Tails, apparently died when Rin Nohara died as its jinchuriki, yet Isobu was eventually revived perhaps even twice after this. So, it is possible that Kurama could potentially be revived, but the details aren’t clear.
The bottom line is that Isobu and Kurama are the only two chakra beast that ever “died,” and it’s not clear what death really means for such an entity. Chakra exhaustion kills a human, but for chakra beasts? Who knows.
We do certainly wonder about if Kurama would be revived, Kurama is a pretty major character. Moreover, Naruto without his jinchuriki abilities is just a normal shinobi.
Even though Naruto has immense chakra reserves of his own, it is still true that being a jinchuriki and fully assimilating with Kurama is what enabled him to become Hokage and achieve victory in the Fourth Shinobi World War.
So, it would make sense for Kurama to be revived once more to remain within Naruto, especially as their relationship is so good during Boruto, even if only to keep Naruto’s powers strong.
It certainly wouldn’t be the first time that characters in Naruto have been revived.
Can Naruto Still Be Alive If Kurama Is Dead?
It seems so, even though their chakra is connected, Nine Tails seemed sure that Naruto would remain alive even though he was dead himself. It seems that Kurama’s chakra simply disappeared from Naruto’s body, taking the powers with them but not Naruto’s life.
Kurama clarifies this to Naruto, telling him that even though when a chakra beast is extracted from the jinchuriki it leads to death, that Naruto will wake up and remain alive, all that will happen is that Naruto will no longer have the power that Kurama endows him with.
How Powerful Are Sasuke And Naruto Now?
Both characters have been significantly nerfed from the original state they were in when they started the Boruto series. Sasuke had gained a Rinnegan in addition to already owning a fully formed Sharingan which made him extremely powerful, nearly to the levels Madara was.
Yet, Sasuke lost this Rinnegan when Momoshiki Otsutsuki took control of Boruto and removed hit from his head with a surprise kunai attack.
Moreover, with Sage of Six Paths Mode, Naruto could arguably match this power. We know Naruto was powerful enough to beat a Rinnegan with his own KCM powers anyway through his defeat of Pain.
Now that Naruto has lost his kyuubi powers he only has Sage Mode and Sage of Six Paths mode.
What was clear is that in Baryon Mode Naruto was much more powerful than Sasuke even with his Rinnegan.
Yet, after Chapter 52 when Baryon Mode is used, Sasuke is back to only owning the full form of Sharingan, and Naruto has returned to only having Sage powers.
Some could argue that Sasuke’s full Sharingan could potentially beat Sage Mode, but Sage of Six Paths Mode is certainly powerful enough to beat a Sharingan even when fully formed.
It perhaps should have been obvious to fans that once Sasuke lost his Rinnegan that Naruto would be nerfed somehow also.
It’s clear that the writers want people to constantly remain ambiguous as to if Sasuke could defeat Naruto, they clearly want them to remain the same power, but have nerfed both characters equally.
This could potentially be so that Boruto can eventually become more powerful than them both and take the place as the Eighth Hokage. This remains clear as Boruto is solely responsible for bringing both Sasuke and Naruto back into the village after fighting with the Otsutsuki.
In the anime Naruto seems to recognize the loss of the powers that Kurama had granted him.
He vows to train harder in the absence of Kurama in order to achieve the previous combat level he was at. Sasuke also recognises his Rinnegan is gone forever and unless time travel is involved he cannot gain another Rinnegan again.
This is interesting as it means that there is currently no one who has a Rinnegan.
Our Final Thoughts
Losing Kurama was a very emotive moment for classic Naruto fans, as well as Naruto himself. While it remains unsure where Kurama could have gone, or if he is actually just dead, it seems clear that Naruto is moving on without his chakra beast abilities.
This is a serious development as it means that Naruto’s character has lost one of the largest assets available to him.
While Sasuke lost his Rinnegan, he sort of knew he wasn’t supposed to have one, and even without it he has his trusty Sharingan. In Naruto’s case, he has lost the power on which he based most of his shinobi combat style. Now Naruto only has Sage Mode and Six Path Sage Mode, which in themselves are very powerful assets, but nowhere near the level of hosting Kurama.
This is the first and largest development in Boruto that has a serious implication for the lore in Naruto. It’s not clear where the series will go now: is Boruto being groomed by the writers for an early emergence?
Will Sasuke take advantage of the possibility that he is stronger than Naruto? Will Naruto remain the Hokage without his powers?
There is much to talk about and many potential avenues the writers could take when continuing this interesting sequel. What is clear is that Kurama is dead and, for now, he doesn’t seem to be coming back any time soon. How will Naruto cope?