The surprise death of one of Naruto's oldest allies in the latest episode of Boruto has lead to an outpouring of emotional reactions from long-time fans of the series.
SPOILERS FOR BORUTO EPISODE 218 FOLLLOW -
Episode 218 featured a lot of major changes to the status quo: while Naruto's powerful new Baryon Mode wasn't enough to finish Isshiki Ohtsutsuki off, a clever trick by Kawaki, using Naruto's signature Shadow Clone jutsu, was enough to finally put an end to the villain. However, the victory was short lived for the heroes of Konoha, as Momoshiki Ohtsutsuki immediately took control of Boruto's body and used the young ninja to drive a kunai through Sasuke's Rinnegan, causing the powerful shinobi to lose one of his most powerful key abilities. Following the ensuing battle, Naruto passes out from exhaustion as well, and is greeted by an old friend within his mind: Kurama, the nine-tailed beast that was sealed inside of the ninja shortly after his birth. Kurama reveals that the cost of using Baryon Mode wasn't Naruto's life force, but rather its own, and after reminiscing on the past and seeing visions of Naruto growing up, the fox spirit passes on, as Naruto -- and fans of the series -- cry and call out its name.
After all the event happened on Boruto 218:#BORUTO #NARUTO pic.twitter.com/3gmHNh7rnj— 𝐂𝐮𝐩𝐜𝐚𝐤𝐞(𝐕𝐢𝐧𝐨𝐝𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐢)🧁 (@sweettooth0297) October 4, 2021
The name of show is Boruto here you will get each kind of pain. Physical pain, Mental pain and Emotional pain. 🙂(smiling in pain 😭😭😭😭) pic.twitter.com/pLryrHCiBu— Fluffy Guest (@fluffyguest69) October 4, 2021
This flashback Kurama has of Naruto! 😭💔 pic.twitter.com/0i2H0Qy11U— うずまきヒナタ 🍥🌻 (@kmaeb___) October 4, 2021
The loss of one of Sasuke's key abilities and Naruto's oldest ally came as a gut-punch to many fans of the anime, who were previously riding high thanks to the debut of the powerful Baryon Mode in the preceding episodes, which made it seem like the Konoha shinobi were going to make it through this battle unscathed. Kurama was first seen in the original chapter of the manga and the first episode of the anime, and its influence has affected Naruto's entire life: the beast sealed within Naruto was what originally caused him to be outcast from society as a child, but once Naruto earned the creature's respect and access to its massive amounts of chakra, it became one of his strongest allies and sources of power.
Regardless of the tragic outcome, reception to the episode has been overwhelmingly positive, with many fans posting their reactions to the episode's multiple surprise twists on social media. This arc marks the point in the Boruto manga where Naruto's original creator, Masashi Kishimoto, began writing the series again, and many viewers have noted that this and the previous episode have managed to recapture the feel and tone of the classic Naruto series.
Episode 218 was directed by Yusuke Onoda, who previously worked on Bleach and Naruto Shippuden. The episode's unit director was Atsushi Wakabayashi, who also worked on those two series as well. Key animation for the episode was handled by Kosei Takahashi, who has also worked on series such as Black Clover and Detective Conan.