Has Boruto: Naruto Next Generations introduced a secret love child of Jiraiya’s? Making his debut in the classic Naruto series, Jiraiya was a nomadic, carefree ninja of Konoha Village, famed for his strength and wisdom despite a generally immature attitude outside of combat. Naruto quickly develops a parental bond with this odd character and Jiraiya becomes the youngster’s official sensei, teaching frog summons and his signature Rasengan jutsu during their time together. Jiraiya is one of the few characters to actually die in Naruto and never be resurrected, killed in a fight with Pain, who Naruto ultimately defeats to avenge his master.
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Currently, Naruto is a key part of the Boruto sequel series, by which time he has finally become the Seventh Hokage. Unfortunately, Naruto’s reign isn’t quite as peaceful as he might’ve liked, and Konoha comes under assault from a new group of technologically-enhanced villains called Kara. With connections to the Otsutsuki clan and a monstrously strong leader in Jigen, Kara pose the biggest threat Naruto has seen in his adult life. One of Kara’s top members (known as The Inners) is Kashin Koji. This masked warrior attacks Boruto and his friends, but the story has since revealed Koji as a double agent, joining Kara with the intention of taking it down from within, just as Itachi had with Akatsuki in the classic Naruto series.
Although very little is definitively known about Kashin Koji, many fans are predicting that the character could be the son of Naruto’s old master, Jiraiya. The first clue was Koji’s appearance. Sporting the same long white hair Jiraiya was famed for, Kashin Koji is also roughly the right age to be Jiraiya’s child, since he appears to be 5-10 years older than Naruto or Sasuke. Jiraiya was a frequent traveler and notorious for his pursuit of females. If any character has a hidden child from a one-night stand in Naruto, it would be Jiraiya, and Koji’s age could put his conception around the time the Frog Sennin was training Nagato and the original Akatsuki.
Perhaps more convincing than a similar appearance and convenient age is Kashin Koji’s move-set, especially his ability to summon frogs and use the Rasengan. These two techniques are synonymous with Jiraiya and were the most prominent lessons passed down to Naruto. Combined with the clear visual resemblance, there certainly seems to be some level of connection between Kashin Koji and Jiraiya, and this theory is further supported by Koji’s ability to infiltrate Konoha without being detected, hinting at a previous association with the village. The fact that Kashin Koji is an undercover good guy also demonstrates self-sacrificing principles similar to those of Jiraiya.
Despite some compelling evidence, there are several wrinkles in the theory that Kashin Koji is Jiraiya’s son, chiefly, that the Boruto character was never mentioned previously. If Koji uses his father’s moves and has history with Konoha, then Jiraiya must’ve known about his son and trained him personally. Why, then, would the likes of Naruto and Tsunade have no clue about Koji’s existence? And why would Jiraiya act as if Naruto alone was his legacy and successor?
Because of these issues and the strange technology available to Kara, an alternate theory has arisen suggesting that Kashin Koji actually is Jiraiya, somehow de-aged or brought back from death, while others claim he could be a younger brother – something that would explain the similar move-set while also accounting for why Jiraiya never spoke about having a child. With Mitsuki, Boruto has even dabbled in cloning, which is another alternate explanation for why Kashin Koji and Jiraiya might have so much in common.
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