Attention: there are spoilers ahead for Boruto: Naruto: The Next Generation, Chapter 71!
Romance was an important part of Naruto, and Boruto brings back this key plot mechanic that fans are celebrating. Boruto’s romance is considered to fit well with the current story arc and recreate the dynamics of the relationship between Hinata and Naruto during the original series. But the Naruto spin-off series still lags far behind what the original offered to fans.
Despite the fact that Boruto is considered a smaller version of its predecessor, its recent inclusion of romance is something that almost all other famous Shonen Jump games avoid like the plague, to the detriment of themselves and Boruto’s continued success. The way the villainess Eida approaches love not only solves Naruto’s mistreatment of Sakura by strengthening Boruto’s female antagonist, but also creates a threat to the shinobi world that is something other than pure force.
Related: Boruto Unexpectedly Took a Break after the Next Chapter
By chapter 71 of Boruto, Eida’s companion code has already fallen victim to Eida’s ability, which, in fact, makes any Shinobi fall in love with her (unless they are her blood relatives or members of the Ootsutsuki clan). Until in this last chapter, Code had never really expressed his feelings for Eida, except to say that something was wrong when he first met her. But when Ade ends their partnership, Code responds by saying that he loves her with all his heart, trying to prove that he is the only knight for her (instead of her brother Damon), and then swears to Ade that he will find out for sure if he really loves her or if it is the result of her abilities.
This latest development would be absolutely incredible if readers saw this side of the Code before it was rejected. Although Code has been under her spell all this time, he has never shown signs of being as deeply fascinated by Aida as he reveals in the last chapter. Unfortunately, the depiction of past events makes his latest reactions uncharacteristic of him, since every time Eida almost threw him aside, Koda’s responses gave the impression of excitement about the practical implications for his own goals. At the time, it seemed that he just needed her abilities to achieve his goals, and that the only thing keeping him from deceiving her was her power over him, and not the feeling of love rooted in who Ade really is.
Now it is clear that the Code experienced such emotions, and, unfortunately, they do not seem sincere. It’s a shame, because the idea that a seemingly powerful villain is reduced to such a vulnerable state that his own ambitions could be jeopardized further underscores Aida’s influence on others. This should be a very impressive moment, and not one when readers will have the feeling that the creators missed.
Of course, we hope that these doubts will be dispelled, as successive chapters show how the Code is desperately trying to prove his feelings for Eida. Even more exciting, Eida apparently fell for Amado’s bait to make peace with Konoha and meet the love of her life, Kawaki. For readers who have been absorbing all these romantic events up until now, it’s been a long time, and recognizing the Code only makes things more exciting and challenging. Boruto’s romance isn’t perfect, but it’s a unique and compelling aspect of his story that we hope will improve over time.