Kawaki is a fictional character from the anime Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, which was created by Ukyō Kodachi and Mikio Ikemoto. It first aired on April 5th, 2017, and is still ongoing. The series is a Japanese anime based on the manga of the same name and is also a spinoff and sequel of the Naruto series.
Since Kawaki’s initial appearance in the series, fans have been speculating about the character and the entire movie plot as a whole. Who is Kawaki? Why is he Boruto’s rival? In this article, we will break down all there is to know about Kawaki, including his background, abilities, and role in the series.
Who Is Kawaki?
Kawaki appears in the first scene of the series and makes us believe he killed the Seventh Hokage, or village leader, Naruto.
His character was not well received by the public at first because he was thought to be the enemy. However, as the series progressed, his character arc and development (from episodes 188-205 and 206-220 in the anime and chapters 24-55 in the manga) made people warm up to him.
In his early years, Kawaki was raised by a drunken father who would constantly abuse him both physically and emotionally. This continued until his father sold him to Jigen, the leader of the secretive Kara organization, for a large sum of money.
Jigen bought Kawaki in the hopes of using him as the new vessel for the rebirth of Isshiki Ōtsutsuk, the powerful main antagonist.
When Jigen brought Kawaki to meet the other potential vessels, he promised to take care of him and treat him like a son. This primed Kawaki and made him susceptible to being brainwashed.
After a short period, he was taken to a laboratory where Amado, Jigen’s assistant, performed an awful experiment on him under the guise of bestowing him with a gift. Kawaki was among fifteen children who went through this process. The actual aim of the experiment was to force the Kāma seal, containing Isshiki Ōtsutsuk’s biological data, onto the children to see if they could become the vessel.
Thirteen out of the fifteen children that went through the process died, but Kawaki survived, making him a perfect vessel for Isshiki. However, it later became clear that Jigen had no interest in being the boy’s parent. He only wanted him to have the Kāma and join the Kara organization as his soldier.
Thus began Kawaki’s brutal training into being a perfect villain, until he eventually escapes the Kara and meets Naruto and his family.
Kawaki’s age is not specified, but some fans have speculated that he is at least sixteen years old. He has a black bushy undercut with a blonde shaved side. His eyes are gray and he has a pierced right eyebrow and stud earrings. A tattoo of the Roman numeral IX sits under his left eye.
He is usually dressed in black pants with a studded belt, a green top, a blue sleeveless long jacket over it, and black sandals. He later wears a black vest trench coat and white overalls that leave his chest exposed, a violet infinity scarf, and a belt.
Due to his rough upbringing, Kawaki has a hostile attitude and mistrust for whoever he meets for the first time. He is honest, blunt, and speaks in a rude tone. His words are always laced with expletives, and most people find him annoying to deal with due to his hostility.
Most of these behaviors come as a result of how he views himself. He sees himself as incapable of feeling certain emotions, specifically the positive kind. This changes gradually when he meets Naruto, and you can see it in how warmly he treats Himawari, Naruto’s daughter.
Usually, he is ruthless toward anyone who opposes him and toward people he doesn’t like. Kawaki doesn’t hesitate to kill his enemies, especially those from the Kara organization whom he has grown to despise. He knows how to hold a grudge against those who have wronged him.
On the other hand, he has a certain level of protectiveness towards Naruto, who takes him in as his own. Later, he also grows to dislike ninja in general and makes it his mission to end their era at once.
Although he is portrayed as hot-headed and aggressive, Kawaki can be calm and collected when the need arises, even to strangers. Due to what he faced in the Kara organization, he is constantly alert and on his guard. Simple normal occurrences can trigger a part of his life that traumatizes him, showing symptoms of PTSD.
Kawaki can be funny, but he has a sense of humor some people would be easily offended by. Even with all this attitude, Kawaki is known to go out of his way to fix his mistakes and apologize for his wrongdoings.
Kawaki is, for the most part, human. However, because of the experiments he underwent at the hands of Amado using Shinobi-Ware, he became something different. The Shinobi-Ware is a microscopic, inorganic technology implanted all over his entire body that can change his nervous and circulatory systems in a way that turns him into a ninja tool.
His body tissue can go through rapid cellular division that can expand, restore lost parts, and heal his injuries in a short amount of time. He can even change parts of his body into weapons. When he receives a prosthetic hand after losing his right hand, he marvels at the advancement of this modification.
How Did Kawaki Escape Kara?
Kawaki sought to escape the Kara organization and its harsh treatment, and to get rid of the Kāma seal. He saw his opportunity to escape when an airship carrying him and other members of the Kara crashed near the border of the Land of Fire, the main country depicted in the series.
Other devoted Kara members started pursuing him. He outran them for a while but soon fell unconscious. His body was then discovered by members of Team 7, a junior ninja group that Boruto Uzumaki belongs to.
When the members of the team spotted a seal very similar to one Boruto has, they became very interested in him. Upon regaining consciousness, Kawaki became very suspicious of those around him.
Boruto tried to keep him calm by telling him he also had a Kāma, but that only aroused his suspicion further. He believed they were sent by Kara to get him. He tried to escape, but he was weak and tired. Kawaki was restrained and taken away by the team to the Hidden Leaf Village. When he woke up, he was introduced to Naruto Uzumaki.
Despite Kawaki being suspicious of them, Naruto takes him in. Kawaki’s relationship with Boruto, who is Naruto’s son, is, at best, strained, and the two would often butt heads. However, with time, the two later form a bond over their Kāma.
What Are Kawaki’s Abilities?
The Kāma is a seal that allows members of the Ōtsutsuki clan to imprint their DNA on a compatible vessel. It is very rare to find a vessel that is compatible with the seal. The process involved is also very painful and dangerous — as can be witnessed by the number of failures Jigen had before Kawaki. The only other person that has one is Boruto Uzumaki.
Kawaki’s Kāma is a black diamond seal on his left palm that, once activated, burns bright red and spreads different patterns across the left half of his face, arm, and chest. Once activated, the Kāma enhances Kawaki’s physical abilities.
With the Kāma, Kawaki is able to use Isshiki’s abilities, including the Dōjutsu and other techniques. He can use the Dōjutsu Sukuna Hikona to reduce his size and then return to normal. He can also manipulate the size of other objects. With this technique and others, he is able to store objects in a pocket dimension and then summon them to himself at any time.
This includes chakra manipulation and shurikenjutsu, the ability to throw small, star-shaped weapons. He began learning these techniques from Naruto. He also has the ability to perform fire release and shadow clone techniques, both of which are advanced skills.
Kawaki is very specialized in hand-to-hand combat. He is very coordinated and has a keen awareness of his environment, a skill he uses to his advantage when facing an opponent. He is able to use his environment to evade attacks and sneak up on enemies. He is also a fair swordsman and is able to keep up with Boruto. During fights, he is known to be tough and shows strong stamina.
Conclusion: Whose Side Is Kawaki Really On?
Although it is clear that Kawaki was introduced as a villain in the flash-forward to create more impact, we still don’t know if he is truly one of the good guys or the bad ones. However, everyone can agree when we say that he is quite the interesting character in this series.
To explain this mystery, fans have come up with many different theories, some of which are logical while others are more of a stretch. Either way, you should now have a good answer to the question “who is Kawaki” and what his role is in the Boruto series.