(Spoilers for the Boruto Manga Ahead)
The newest chapter of the Boruto manga released today and the fight against Kara, the evil organization that wants to use little kids as vessels, wages on. These Kara folks must be the most powerful people in the Naruto universe right now because they keep on winning.
As a little recap, Naruto and Sasuke got their butts kicked by the leader of Kara, Jigen, a few chapters ago. They went all out, and Sasuke used his impenetrable Susanoo; at least it used to be impenetrable. Jigen flying sidekicks Sasuke right out of his protective armor, much to the surprise of readers and Naruto himself. The fight ends with Naruto captured in an unknown dimension and Sasuke in critical condition.
Naruto and Sasuke weren’t all helpless because they did cause Jigen to retreat due to over-exhaustion. Still, the two heroes lost. The most recent chapter sees Boruto, Sarada, Mitsuki, and Kawaki (the new and updated team seven) trying to rescue Naruto. When they get to the dimension, with the help of Boruto and Kawaki’s karma mark, they face off with another Kara member, who has not been properly introduced yet.
The kids are quickly beaten and are forced to retreat. Their enemy utilized a mysterious Jutsu that caused the kids to freeze in the middle of combat. The chapter ends with the kids trying to brainstorm a new strategy to save Naruto. A strategy that involves teamwork, a classic lesson in Naruto. The good guys have to win at some point, right? It’s going to take a lot of story build-up to get to that point, especially after Naruto and Sasuke’s loss. The slimmest bit of hope comes from Kashin Koji, another member of Kara.
Kashin was introduced as an inner member of Kara, but one who is not entirely in league with the organization. After the intense battle between Naruto, Sasuke, and Jigen, Kashin wants to take advantage of Jigen’s weakened state and kill him. He clearly has his own motives and has always seemed distrusted by the other Kara members. This makes Kashin one of the most interesting characters because he will surely play a pivotal role in the Kara storyline, though that role is still unknown.
On top of all of that, this character has got fans squirming because there is a lot of speculation surrounding his true identity. Many people think he is or is related to Jiraiya, the legendary Sannin who trained Naruto. One Google search will reveal an avalanche of theories connecting the two characters. Jiraiya was introduced as a pervy old man, who got the nickname pervy sage by Naruto, which led to many uncomfortable scenes in the original show. He was also the author of makeout tactics, the book that Kakashi loves to read. Jiraiya was introduced as a goofy man, but fans quickly learned that he was extremely powerful and wise.
He dedicated his life to teaching Naruto with the goal of Naruto saving the world from all the violence and fighting that has engulfed it. He was ultimately successful because Naruto was an integral part in ending the war and he brought an era of peace as Hokage.
In the end, Jiraiya died after an intense fight with Pain, one of the main villains in Naruto Shippudden. Jiraiya became a fan favorite and people are jumping at an idea of him returning.
First of all, Kashin wears a mask – his identity must be hidden for a reason. He has white hair and red paint lines running down from his eyes, which can barely be seen under his mask. Jiraiya shares these details in appearance. Their abilities are the same as well. Jiraiya was known as the toad sage and was commonly associated with his toad summonings. In one of Kashin’s first major appearances, he summons a toad. Not only that, but Kashin is talented with the Rasengan, another favorited ability by Jiraiya.
Lastly, some dialogue suggests a connection between the two characters. In chapter 15 of Boruto, Kashin says “The Land of Fire…Konoha Village…It seems I truly am linked by fate… to that village.”. In other words, Kashin has some history with the Village Hidden in the Leaves
There is even more evidence if you look at the anime. The current anime arc has adult Sasuke and Boruto time traveling to the original Naruto period. Jiraiya is heavily featured in this storyline, and he just figured out that Sasuke is from the future. Could they concoct a plan where Jiraiya travels to the Boruto’s time period? Everything in the anime is canon, apparently.
Kashin does not have to be Jiraiya, but the characters may be linked in some way. If Jiraiya does live, somehow, it will be a drastic change to the manga and majorly affect all the characters, especially Naruto. It’s a tricky line though because it would subvert the poignancy of his death in Shippudden. The evidence does line up and it will be interesting to see if the anime does anything to support this going forward. If Jiraiya does come back, then time travel seems like a reasonable bet.
The foreshadowed fight between Jigen and Kashin would be fun to see and may reveal more about his character. Whoever Kashin is, he may be the only hope for our heroes. An inside man may be just what they need to beat Kara. Or he could kill Jigen and become the new big bad, subverting all of these theories. Only time will tell as this crazy story unfolds.
The next chapter releases on December 20 and a new episode of the anime releases every almost every Sunday. In the meantime: Do you think Kashin is an entirely new character or related to Jiraiya in some way? Will he end up helping Boruto or will he be hostile? What predictions do you have for the next chapter?
Sound off about your theories in the comments below and be sure to follow us here at The Nerd Stash for the latest in gaming, movies, TV, comics, and more.
Devin is a recent graduate of the University of North Texas where he studied journalism. He enjoys story-driven adventure games, which makes Naughty Dog his favorite developer(Sic Parvis Magna). Devin will avidly say that Avatar: The Last Airbender is the best show with Breaking Bad following close behind.