The latest chapter of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations has dropped some pretty big bombshells about the nature of Boruto and Kawaki's Otsutsuki transformations. Both boys were marked with the Karma seal, which allows an Otsutsuki Clan member to "download" his/her essence into a new host body, after death. Kara's scientist Amado revealed to Naruto and co. that destroying Karma seals are the key to destroying an Otsutsuki for good - and that theory was put to the test with the destruction of Isshiki Otsutsuki. However, in the aftermath of the battle, darker, deeper truth about what Karma has done to both Boruto and Kawaki gets revealed.
Warning: Boruto Chapter 54 SPOILERS Follow!
To take out Isshiki, Amado first forced the Otsutsuki to first inhabit the body of his unwilling host, Jigen. By taking over Jigen, Isshiki negated all need for his other potential host bodies, and so Kawaki was freed for his connection to Isshiki, and the Karma seal disappeared with it.
However, even though a Karma seal can be removed, apparently the connection to the Otsutsuki infection never dies.
Boruto's previous chapter ended with the shocking twist of Momoshiki Otsutsuki's consciousness manifesting in Boruto, following the battle with Isshiki. In chapter 54 of the manga, Momoshiki uses Boruto to give Naruto, Sasuke, and Kawaki a crash-course in what the Karma seal process is really all about.
We knew that a Karma seal acted as a storage drive for an Otsutsuki's essence. An Otstustuki's essence gets "downloaded" into a Karma seal upon death, and thereafter infects the host body over a long span of time until the host completely becomes the Otsutsuki. Through that process of rebirth, the Otsutsuki are virtually immortal. However, what Momoshiki reveals is that when a Karma seal is assigned, the download process on the host begins - and that process doesn't stop when the seal gets destroyed.
In other words, both Boruto and Kawaki are part Otsutsuki. In fact, according to Momoshiki, Boruto and Kawaki are both at about 80% in the transformation process. As Momoshiki puts it to Kawaki: "You body is almost wholly Otsutsuki at this point."
Boruto started with the flash-forward of Boruto and Kawaki battling over the ruins of Hidden Leaf, over a cause that's still unknown. The series has done a good job repeatedly twisting around the context of circumstances to reframe what that duel could be all about. This latest chapter has once again added new layers of intrigue to that tragic falling out, as it could be our first real hint as to the level of power that the two boys of battling with.
Boruto releases new chapters of the manga Free Online. The Anime is currently into the Ao arc from the manga.