Boruto: Ao’s Betrayal of Konoha Makes No Sense

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Episode 186, "How You Use It," now streaming on Crunchyroll.

Boruto, like many viewers, is struggling to understand Ao's heel turn. Not only did he stun everyone by killing someone he briefly mentored in Mugino, but Ao is also totally disillusioned with the concept of a shinobi. He believes his destiny is to now become a tool of destruction for Kara, besmirching everything he did when he fought alongside Naruto's allies in the Kaguya War.

In Boruto Episode 186, Ao gets the chance to explain his reasoning for his betrayal. However, it really doesn't make any sense -- in fact, it almost feels like he was forced to be a villain for drama's sake.

Continue scrolling to keep reading Click the button below to start this article in quick view.
Start now

In Naruto, there were organic reasons why the likes of Madara, Obito Uchiha and even Kaguya turned their back on humanity. They saw mankind as a poison that needed to be purged for their war-mongering ways. Whether their ideals were harsh or not, viewers understood why they were hellbent on course-correction.

But after Boruto defeats Ao and his scientific tools using a Rasengan, there's no logic to Ao's words. As Ao lays there barely breathing, Boruto takes a page from his dad's playbook and tries to talk Ao into redemption. Instead, Ao reveals after the Beast Bomb from the Ten Tails killed the sensory unit, including Ino and Shikamaru's fathers, he lost himself. Even after Konoha tried to fit him with cybernetic parts, he felt more machine than man, but when Kara started upgrading him, his soul was reborn dark.

The problem is, Konoha tried to help him as much as possible and the shinobi alliance has forged a path of peace for everyone to ensure such disaster doesn't happen again. It's the dream they all had, as opposed to villains of old who lost their dreams and saw a broken world develop. Ao talks about Kara fixing things, but all they're doing is creating division and hatred, just like what Ao's old enemies, the Akatsuki, did. It's a bemusing double standard; there's no logic to Ao endorsing a philosophy that just creates more lost souls like him.

As much as the show tries to paint his terrorist mindset with sympathy and give us insight into why he became so deluded, it doesn't add up. All the things he tells Boruto he wants to fight are the very things that Kara represents. Given they're now looking to use the God Tree to end the world, just like Kaguya, Ao should be against them.

Instead, he's doing the opposite of honoring the fallen from the last war, slandering what they worked for. Had the alliance failed and cracks arose, we could understand why Ao would turn away from diplomacy and become a rogue. Now, however, he's a dissident for no reason. There's nothing but inspiration in the alliance, and Ao had both friends and family there to help him to resume life, so his role with Kara isn't believable in any way whatsoever.

My Hero Academia Izuku Midoriya Fire
About The Author