The ‘Evil Boruto’ Fan Theory Is Awesome – But Does It Actually Hold Up?

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Chapter #54, “Bro,” by Masashi Kishimoto, Mikio Ikemoto, Mari Morimoto and Snir Aharon, now available in English from Viz Media.

Boruto was flipped on its head recently when, in the manga, Momoshiki took over the body of Naruto's son and stabbed Sasuke in his Rinnegan eye. Momoshiki then tried to kill Kawaki and the Uchiha Ranger so he could finish his Ōtsutsuki mission of using Earth's chakra to create the God Tree to feed on.

Luckily, Momoshiki was stopped by Kawaki and Boruto regained control of his body. However, a new fan theory posits that the flash-forward from the very first chapter suggests that Boruto is actually the villain and Kawaki's trying to save what's left of Konoha.

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In that time jump, Konoha's decimated, with the Hokage mountain crumbled and the village destroyed. Kawaki also threatens to send Boruto to where he put Naruto, suggesting his death. One Reddit user believes that this is misdirection and an evil Boruto is the one who must be stopped.

Their theory purports that Boruto went off the rails after Naruto sacrifices someone close to him for the good of Konoha. Wounded during the attack, Kawaki then had to hide Naruto to save his life before confronting Boruto. Seeing as Boruto's wearing a sliced headband -- the mark of a rogue ninja -- it's implied that this destruction is payback for the village's betrayal, mirroring when Sasuke wanted to raze the Leaf Village.

Now, it's possible that Boruto would snap were something to happen to his mother or sister or even Sarada, Mitsuki or Sasuke, all of whom he's close to. But the only way Boruto would cause such a drastic level of damage would be if Momoshiki took over his body again. But the evidence against this being the case comes in the form of Kawaki calling him by his name, which means it is Boruto. While the sacrifice of someone he loves -- under his father's watch, no less -- would likely be enough for the young shinobi to abandon Konoha, it's difficult to see Boruto causing this level of disaster without something (or someone) influencing him or boosting his power -- like Momoshiki.

What also works against this theory is Kawaki saying the age of shinobi is over, to which Boruto is adamant that he is still a ninja. This puts Boruto in a more heroic position compared to Kawaki and, while the theory points to the headband as proof of Boruto breaking bad, it's most likely Sasuke's. He gave it to Boruto in an earlier chapter as a keepsake and the fact Boruto is also rocking Sasuke's cloak and sword suggests he's following the Ranger's ways, having kept the mementos from his mentor.

Given that Kawaki's so close as Naruto's adoptive son and he has Ōtsutsuki DNA in him, he also has the ability to kill the Hokage, which makes him prime (if obvious) villain material. The fact Kawaki calls Naruto the "Seventh Hokage" and not "Lord Seventh" reinforces that he has no respect and is the real enemy.

While it would be a shocking turn to flip the script, the evidence suggests Boruto is trying to avenge his dad and his loved ones, while Kawaki's the villain.

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