What’s going on with the possession of Naruto’s son in Boruto: Naruto Next Generations? One of Boruto‘s major storylines thus far has been the new power of Karma. After delivering the final blow against Momoshiki Otsutsuki, the young ninja was given a strange seal on his palm, and this has since evolved into full body markings whenever Boruto loses control, increasing his power and allowing him to absorb the jutsu of others. Since gaining this ability, Boruto has come into contact with Kawaki, who shares the technique of Karma, and the two boys can harmonize their markings to achieve even greater power if they work together.
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The nature of Karma remains a mystery in Boruto, and the title character still can’t properly control the ability, but the markings took a further twist in the latest chapter of Boruto’s story. Along with Kawaki, the team of Boruto, Mitsuki and Sarada were valiantly doing battle against Boro of the villainous Kara organization and struggling desperately until Sasuke and Sakura’s daughter aimed an expert Chidori at her opponent’s core, sending him out of control. While Boro could no longer fight intelligently, his power remained problematic and the young ninja quartet began to fall victim to his giant, wild swings.
Unexpectedly, Boruto suddenly seemed to exude a strange aura, levitating above the battlefield and unleashing his white Jōgan right eye, with Karma markings stretching all the way up into some kind of horn. Boruto relentlessly beat down Boro with incredible power, effortlessly forming a giant Rasengan to finish the job. However, this clearly wasn’t just a case of Naruto’s son powering-up. In this strange new form, Boruto’s personality completely changed; the usually bright and optimistic child became cold and clinical, and most tellingly of all, began to refer to himself in the third person. This strongly suggested Boruto was actually being possessed by another life form during the fight, confirmed when he was unable to remember defeating Boro after calming down and regaining control. The figure responsible for possessing Boruto wasn’t definitively confirmed, but the culprit seems fairly conclusive.
The one possessing Boruto is almost certainly Momoshiki Otsutsuki. After his defeat, Momoshiki appeared to Boruto in a trace-like world and bestowed the Karma power upon him. Since the ninja’s recent power-up saw the Karma markings run freely across his body, the two are undoubtedly connected, and if Momoshiki was the one to give Boruto that power, it naturally follows that he might have some control over it, even after death. There is a precedent for this – both of Naruto’s parents wove their own chakra into their son’s body so they might one day talk to him from the afterlife – perhaps Momoshiki uses Karma for a similar purpose. Adding further weight to the theory, whoever is possessing Boruto knows that the Rasengan is his signature technique, so must’ve fought against their new host at some point in the past, and the rampaging Boro looks at Boruto and barely manages to utter “Oh…tsu…ki.”
Momoshiki seems to yield control of Boruto’s body after realizing it wasn’t the “right time,” and this echoes the behavior of another Otsutsuki character in the series. A few chapters previously, Jigen, the leader of Kara, was confirmed to be another member of the Otsutsuki clan, and it later transpired that his outer form was merely a vessel, with Kawaki being primed as a future upgrade. This set of circumstances suggests that Momoshiki might be hoping to one day utilize Boruto as a vessel in the same vein, but is lying in wait until his host becomes stronger.
These recent revelations place Boruto‘s opening flashforward scene in an entirely new light. During the future fight between an older Boruto and Kawaki (shown in the very first chapter), Boruto is seen with facial Karma markings and his Jōgan under control, similar to his transformation in this month’s chapter, albeit without the horn. Could it be that Momoshiki is actually possessing Boruto in this vital scene? That seems unlikely; after all, why would Momoshiki dramatically put on a Konoha headband? Perhaps, then, Boruto learns to somehow prevent Momoshiki’s control between the present and future timelines, or similar to his father and Kurama, he might tame and befriend the beast within.