Boruto’s Own Iron Man Is a Brave but Flawed Hero for Konoha

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Episode 184, "Puppets," now streaming on Crunchyroll.

In the Boruto anime, Team 7 is currently steeped in grave danger at the airship site following Victor's treachery. Kara's racing to find the Vessel after the blimp went down, with Koji Kashin tasking the Konoha traitor Ao with doing whatever's necessary to retrieve it as he doesn't trust his own members.

Surprisingly, the heroes get a boost from their own Iron Man, Katasuke in Episode 184, but while he proves to be the bravest hero the village has ever seen, he's also Konoha's worst for one key reason.

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When Boruto, Mitsuki and Sarada get to the site, they're attacked by robotic puppets. These sentient beings are able to generate firebombs thanks to a chakra connection, bombarding and overwhelming the crew. However, Katasuke powers up his war suit and shows them that even a non-shinobi can be a key asset in the field.

His arms generate absorption balls that suck the flames in, with the overheating droids then burning out. Boruto and Co. are amazed because all their attacks couldn't take the bots out, yet Katasuke gets the job done despite not having much battle experience. This is the epitome of success in Boruto's eyes, proving that scientific ninja tools really can create make a better world without being destructive. It's also an aspirational story as they're saved by a non-warrior, which is relatively unheard of in the ninja world. Seeing such a valiant attitude truly inspires the teens and boosts Katasuke's confidence.

Unfortunately, Katasuke also shows Boruto that once these weapons fall into the wrong hands, they can be used for evil. When they eventually track Konohamaru and a wounded Mugino to a cave, Ao arrives and manages to take one of the gloves off Katasuke. He's amazed at how it sucked up his energy blasts and is able to use it to absorb Boruto's Rasengan, incapacitating the heroes. One has to wonder why Katasuke didn't have a failsafe or a DNA reader to render it inactive. It goes to show how scientists never cater for worst-case scenarios, as they're too caught up with making something work.

To make it worse, Katasuke admits his science has already been used for nefarious purposes. Mugino points out the robot that wounded him is similar to the ones that attacked them in Victor's lab weeks ago. When Sarada asks if only Konoha should have the ability, tech and research to develop them, Katasuke reveals he was placed under a genjutsu during the Chunin Exams.

This was actually done by the deceptive Ao, who mined a bunch of secrets from Katasuke's mind and took them back for Victor and Kara. It's why Kara has been making so many weapons of mass destruction, with Naruto's science chief confessing he doomed the village with his good intentions. He doesn't know if Ao gave intel to other terrorists,  has no idea the scope of Kara's work, and is clueless as to what's been misappropriated.

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