Who Is Boruto’s Rival Kawaki?

Ever since the transition from Naruto: Shippuden to Boruto: the Next Generations, fans have been intrigued and apprehensive as to how the story could be expanded and made better.

There was a definitive end to Naruto: Shippuden, with the titular character saving the world and achieving his life-long dream of becoming the Hokage of the Village Hidden in the Leaves. 

Now fans are left with Boruto – the next chapter of Naruto’s story displayed through the eyes of his eldest child, Boruto. Through the course of this new manga/anime, fans follow Boruto as he grows up in a very different Hidden Leaf.

Rising through the ranks as a ninja and struggling with the difficulties of living under the shadow of his ultra-famous and ultra-powerful father. We are told that Boruto is sure to become a legendary ninja, like so many in the previous story.

However, with every great ninja comes a great rival! And that’s where Kawaki comes in. We are introduced to Kawaki in the very first scene of Boruto, in a flash-forward where the two ninjas face off over the smoldering wreckage of the Hidden Leaf Village.

This is the main story hook for Boruto – and fans have speculated ever since about how the story ends up there! Who is Kawaki? Why is he fighting Boruto? How has the Leaf Village once again been reduced to rubble?

If you find yourself wondering about this new, interesting character and rival of Boruto, then you’ve come to the right place. Below we are going to be outlining everything we know about Kawaki – including his powers, history, and how he may affect the story in the future. 

When Does Kawaki Appear In Boruto?

Kawaki first appears in the very first scene of Boruto (Manga Chapter 1, Anime Episode 1), where we see him and Boruto facing off before what is sure to be some kind of apocalyptic clash of elite ninjas.

How they have become enemies we do not know, only that it has something to do with the eventual fate of Naruto, and that their final recourse is to fight one another.

And that’s all we see of Kawaki for quite some time – that is until the Kawaki Arc which covers chapters 24 to 55 in the Manga, and 188 to 205 in the Anime. After the AO Arc, the reformed team 7 comes across the unconscious body of Kawaki.

Boruto is amazed to find that Kawaki has the same Karma mark as him – which leads to them eventually taking him back to the Hidden Leaf Village with them. 

What Is Kawaki’s History?

Kawaki was born in a small village and lived with his drunken Father. After the antagonist Jigen caught sight of him, he was knocked unconscious and sold into the organization, Kara.

At this point, Kara had been selecting vessels for experimentation – as Jigen tried to pass on Karma to them.

All of these other children picked as vessels passed away, aside from Kawaki who found himself branded with the Karma seal – just as Boruto would be in the future. 

When team 7 first comes into contact with Kawaki, he is on the run from Kara and extremely volatile, both in personality and in his abilities. After a battle, team 7 decides to take him back to the village where he is placed under the care of Naruto.

Although Kawaki is eager to leave, he eventually stays and becomes a Genin of the hidden leaf village. Naruto and the other ninjas in the Hidden Leaf make sure to protect him from the members of Kara that want him back as their vessel.

This eventually leads to his trust and belief in the Hidden Leaf as a force of good, and as his home.

Kawaki’s relationship with Boruto is contentious and constrained. At first, they seem to have an instant dislike for one another and act as rivals, but through time they form a brother-like bond. 

This should be a great hint for long-time fans of the Naturo Universe – the theme of bonds is central to the story, especially the idea of broken bonds.

Although we are likely a long time from knowing why Boruto and Kawaki end up fighting one another so seriously, we can perhaps begin to understand how they will end up there. 

What Powers Does Kawaki Have?

Despite his age, Kawaki already has a lot of powers. He is one of the only characters in the Naruto Universe to possess the Karma Seal. Karma Seals are given to ‘vessels’ as a way for members of the Otsutuski clan to revive themselves.

Even though this is dangerous for the person who gets marked, before this eventual revival the Karma seal can be used for extreme power.

Karma allows the user to absorb all kinds of chakra, and also gives the user access to space-time Jutsu. This automatically gives Kawaki to be one of the most powerful ninjas in all of the Naruto Universe. 

Final Thoughts 

There is still a lot for fans of the Naruto Universe to learn about Kawaki, but what we do know is that he is going to be one of the most powerful and important characters in the entirety of the series.

With his close bond to Boruto and his impressive Karma powers, he will be a force to be reckoned with. What we don’t yet understand is why he is motivated to do the things that he is doing, and how his bond with Boruto will eventually sever, forcing the two of them to become enemies.

We hope that this article has shed some light on this new, somewhat mysterious character and that you now have a better understanding of him!