Did 'Boruto' Just Set up Mitsuki to Be the Next Sasuke?

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations has begun it's new Mitsuki-focused arc - one that is exclusive to the anime, and therefore has fans largely in the dark about where it's headed. Episode 71, "The Hardest Rock in the World" ended with a big twist, which saw Mitsuki make a violent exit from the Hidden Leaf village after getting some kind of mysterious note. As you can see in the Boruto preview above, there are serious hints that Mitsuki is on a path to become the next Sasuke of the Naruto franchise.

In the preview, we see Naruto, Boruto, and their close friends all reeling from revelation of Mitsuki's apparent flight from Hidden Leaf, and the guards he left injured in his wake. The big twist makes Boruto and Co. begin to question what they know about Mitsuki, with the voiceover dialogue from Sarada stating, "We never heard him talk about his parent or his home village, did we?"

While the characters of Boruto are in the dark, Naruto fans know that Mitsuki is a creation of Orochimaruo - a synthetic human and partial clone of the mad scientist. He was sent into Hidden Leaf to investigate whether Boruto is the "Sun" to his "Moon," however that mission has come under scrutiny, as Mitsuki now wonders if his drive to befriend Boruto is a genuine extension of his own willful desire for independence, or perhaps the programming that Orochimaru implanted him with, as part of some yet unknown agenda.

This latest twist in Mitsuki's story has Naruto fans making Sasuke comparisons, and with good reason:

  • Both characters are connected to important figures of power.
  • Both were left under the care of the Hokage, as "orphaned" students.
  • Both became close friends of an Uzumaki (Naruto and Boruto) and member of Team 7.
  • Both have powerful older brothers that are villains (Itachi and Log, respectively).
  • Both have unique access to great chakra powers.
  • And as of this latest episode, it seems both will have periods of dark defection from Hidden Leaf, and (possibly) violent collisions with their former comrades.
  • It's just speculation, but it seems Boruto is setting up an echo of history, where a team heads out after the rogue member:

Naruto fans have been speculating about whether or not Mitsuki will become the next Sasuke pretty much since Boruto began. However, while the hints and breadcrumbs were always there, few expected the turn in Mitsuki to happen so suddenly. To be fair, we don't know what was in the note that triggered his defection, how long this story arc will last, or how big its impact will be. Will Mitsuki be gone for long? ANd is there even a possibility of him being excepted back, once his true origins are discovered? And what will that revelation do to the fragile peace between Naruto and Orochimaru? The answers to these questions will keep Boruto interesting in the coming weeks, as we inevitably head toward the series' next big arcs.

Catch new episodes of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations streaming weekly (in a new timeslot) on Hulu, Crunchyroll and Funimation.