The following contains spoilers for Chapter 69 of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, “Captives,” by Masashi Kishimoto, Mikio Ikemoto, Mari Morimoto and Snir Aharon, now available in English from Viz Media.
One of the developments fans hoped to see in Boruto was a bit more progressiveness on the LGBTQ+ front. The popular Naruto series initially teased this topic years back with Orochimaru’s gender-fluid arc, with many believing his obsession with Itachi was homoerotic. In fact, some fans even thought Naruto and Sasuke may have had feelings for each other, ergo why they didn’t get together with Sakura as teens.
In time, though, Naruto would end without ever veering off the straight path. However, that may well have changed in Chapter 69 of the Boruto manga, with hints that a major character has a crush on Naruto’s son and is indeed hoping for something more.
This is none other than Mitsuki, Orochimaru’s ‘son’ who was cloned from the reformed villain and sent to train with Team 7 in Konoha. Throughout the series, Mitsuki has been loyal to Boruto and Sarada, often risking life and limb to save them. He’s definitely been cleaning up his parent’s legacy, impressing Naruto and co. to the point they’re not even concerned he’d backstab Konoha.
In one key exchange in this chapter, however, is that Mitsuki always being over-protective of Boruto just took on a different light. While speaking to Sarada in the Hidden Leaf about how the Hokage’s son almost died in the war against Code, Mitsuki admitted he didn’t know what he would do if someone hurt Boruto. He quickly apologized, admitting it came out disturbing when he saw Sarada’s concern over his quiet rage.
He then pressed Sarada over her own feelings, prying to find out if she was in love with Boruto. It’s odd because Mitsuki never really showed interest in that topic, so it felt like he was deflecting — or perhaps sussing out the competition. Sarada then made a very telling statement, confessing how Mitsuki’s eyes light up when it comes to Boruto. It left him lost for words, all as he zoned out and was seemingly left contemplating how to tell his friend he was in love with him.
The look on Mitsuki’s face said it all, which also hinted why he has always been clingy to Boruto. He’s always wanted to level up, and while it seemed like it was due to friendship or duty, it may well be much more endearing. Sarada didn’t elaborate on her words but has clearly picked up on the crush as well, which means the franchise could finally be adding some much-needed diversity.
Given the twinkle in Mitsuki’s eyes and his slight blushing, he may end up telling Boruto soon. Apart from adding more representation, it’d fit Mitsuki’s arc, because as an Orochimaru copy, whether he’s a gender-fluid clone or not, this would live up to the queer behavior the snake ninja showed years ago. And ultimately, it’d prove Boruto is all about bold moves with flagship characters, acceptance and acknowledging the cosmopolitan world its fans live in.