Jiraiya was a much loved character in Naruto, acting as a father figure to the protagonist. His death at the hands of Akatsuki member Pain, who was in fact one of his previous students, broke the hearts of millions of fans and made them feel bad for Naruto Uzumaki who had to endure the loss of yet another person who was close to him.
However, rumours are rife that Jiraiya actually may not be dead. There is an antagonist in the next generation of Naruto franchise, i.e Boruto. His name is Kashin Koji and the internet can’t stop talking about how similar he is to our beloved pervy sage, Master Jiraiya.
So let’s delve deeper and see if this theory is plausible enough or not…
Who is Kashin Koji
Kashin Koji is a member of a mysterious group called Kara, whose intentions are not yet revealed completely. They seem to have connections with the Otsutsuki clan and are interested in the Karma, a seal bestowed by the Otsutsuki clan, which is borne by both Boruto and Kawaki in the series and manga.
Kashin koji is portrayed as a straightforward and ruthless individual, who did not think twice before killing his comrade Ao. He seems to be operating under his own views, always calculating and is very rational and methodical in his approach to things.
He considers himself to be an assassin and is constantly trying to uncover what Jigen’s motives are, till the point where he realises that he was betrayed.
Now, his appearance and ninjutsu have given enough proof for supporters of Jiraiya to stake claim that Kashin is indeed the pervy sage reborn, even though it is possible that Naruto’s and Minato’s master may have gone through some vile scientific experimentations to become what he is right now.
Similarities between Jiraiya and Kashin Koji
There are some striking similarities between the two shinobi which could almost convince a neutral to believe that they are indeed the same person.
- Similarities in Appearances:
Both Kashin Koji and Jiraiya have the same hair color, silver (or white, whatever you’d call it) Jiraiya had red markings under his eye, which was one of his major facial features. Kashin Koji wears a mask, but if you observe closely there are similar red markings under his eye, which end somewhere beneath the mask.
In addition to that, Kashin Koji is considered to be a veteran, could be because of his age.
Excited already? We are only getting to the best part:
- Similarities in Ninjutsu:
The similarities don’t end at the appearance. Both Jiraiya and Kashin Koji have some major similarities in their Ninjutsus too.
Both the shinobis have fire release jutsus. Whatever we know of Kahin Koji’s ninjutsus are the ones that are used during the fight with Konohamaru and new Team 7. During the fight the assassin from Kara uses True Fire of Samadhi, a spontaneous combustion of an individual which Konohamaru was forced to endure.
However most people were convinced when Kashin Koji was able to use a perfect Rasengan against Boruto, making him one of the very few people other than Minato, Jiraiya, Naruto, Konohamaru and Boruto who are able to use the jutsu. In addition to that, Koji was able to summon a toad without any qualms which in itself is a red flag.
Now comes another detail which tilts the scales in favor of the theory that Kashin Koji is Jiraiya.
While infiltrating the Hidden Leaf Village, which has strong barrier which only allows Konoha blood to enter and leave the village, Kashin Koji can pass the barrier undetected, pointing to the fact he is from Konoha.
Also in this scene, Koji tells himself that he has been linked by fate to the Konoha village. While it is not clear what he is trying to imply, his connections to the Hidden Leaf village become quite evident here further strengthening the basis of the theory that Koji is actually the legendary Sannin.
Dissimilarities in between Jiraiya and Kashin Koji
While there are striking similarities, there are naysayers who have pointed out the differences between the two shinobi, arguing that Jiraiya really is dead and Kashin Koji is someone else with a mysterious past.
- Difference in appearance:
While both the shinobis has white hair, fans have pointed out that Kashin Koji looks way younger than what Jiraiya should have looked. Considering boruto takes place some 15-20 years after Jiraiya’s death, the Sannin should have looked closer to 70 ( remember the third Hokage Hiruzen?), yet Kashin looks closer to 40 than 70. Also he is leaner and shorter than what Jiraiya was.
It could be possible that Jiraiya could have mastered a jutsu (like his crush Tsunade) which allows him to conceal his age. Or it could be that the experiments carried out by Jigen on his body could have brought about the changes.
- Difference in Personality:
Another major hindrance in Kashin Koji being Jiraiya is that obvious difference in personality between the two. The character we see in Boruto is an outright assassin, while Jiraiya was his entire opposite and even a pervert, which Kashin certainly doesn’t seem to be. Also he is hellbent on doing something sinister (or so it seems) which again doesn’t match with Jiraiya’s intentions for the village.
But again, there are some arguments which mention that maybe Jiraiya is trying to pull off an Itachi by concealing his true intentions so that he can spy on Kara. This argument gains weight when Kashin turns against Jigen apparently after realising that he was being played the whole time.
- Jiraiya is dead. Period.
Well this argument is pretty strong too. Kishimoto had previously mentioned that Jiraiya remaining dead was an important point in the plot which helped shape Naruto and his feelings. To many this proves beyond doubt that Jiraiya is not Kashin Koji. Also note that Jiraiya’s throat was impaled during his fight with Pain, which technically means Kashin Koji should not be able to speak, which is not the case here, again adding weight to the proof against the theory.
The counter arguments for this point is equally strong. Kara is an underground agency. It could very well be possible that Jigen only needed the essence of Jiraiya’s soul and he may have implanted that soul it into a reworked body of Jiraiya’s. Seeing what we have already seen in the series, this does not seem too far fetched.
At this point, we can only speculate as we don’t know what Kishimoto has up his sleeve. However the arguments of Jiraiya being Kashin Koji are very strong and there is a very high chance that this could turn out to be true.
Add the fact that he is currently waiting at the Kara base, waiting for Jiren so that he could finish him off, woohoo one hell of an encounter that would be. Maybe the truth gets revealed when the two antagonists slug it out.
Also we can’t wait to see how Naruto would react (if he survives the encounter with Jigen) if Kashin Koji truly turns out to be his old master, the beloved pervy sage.