Boruto: Naruto’s Most Powerful Form Creates His Most Cowardly Strategy Ever

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Chapter #52, “Baryon Mode,” of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations by Masashi Kishimoto, Mikio Ikemoto, Ukyo Kocachi, Mari Morimoto and Snir Aharon, now available from Viz Media.

Naruto has always been about aggression. He's been a bit too rash over the years, allowing enemies like Sasuke, the Akatsuki, Obito, Madara and especially Kaguya to top him in certain fights. He learned the hard way but eventually got it right, with mentors like Kakashi, Yamato and Jiraiya constantly warning him about tempering his tactics. Now, Boruto #52 finds Kurama forcing Naruto to adopt his most cowardly strategy ever.

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Naruto's evolved into his Baryon mode to take Isshiki down, combining his chakra with his Nine-Tails Fox to create a new form of energy as if his body's a nuclear fusion reactor. However, while it's the most powerful form witnessed so far in the series, there's a major problem as it's siphoning Naruto's life essence.

Kurama realizes the bigger his attacks, the quicker their chakra's drained, so they're operating like a ticking time bomb. If they expend too much too fast, Naruto will die and Kurama will go off into the ether. Ironically, when they make contact with the conniving Isshiki, they drain his energy as well. Seeing as he was reborn in the frail frame of Jigen, Isshiki's body is losing energy too, and he only has 10 minutes left on the board.

Kurama quickly equates it to sports, boxing in particular, and warns Naruto if they try to win, they'll perish. All Naruto has to do is be defensive and waste down the clock. This will allow them to win on the decision as they should have more energy when time runs out, with Isshiki wasting his energy to harm them. It's not something Naruto usually does, and he's not comfortable with it, but he concedes given the circumstances.

It's the only way out, but there are problems that could handicap Naruto as the brawl progresses. If Isshiki goes after the badly wounded Sasuke and Boruto, Naruto will have to make Hail Mary plays that could drain his life-meter. Unfortunately, Isshiki's found a way to bring Kawaki to this secret realm as well, so that's another person Naruto has to protect as he doesn't want the villain being reborn in Kawaki's perfect body. In that sense, while Kurama's idea is well and good in theory, it just got more complicated for Naruto to put into practice. He'll surely be forced to go on the offensive and risk his life to save his loved ones.

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