Naruto’s new Nine-Tails form is revealed in full by the Boruto sequel series. But what is Baryon mode? And what exciting powers does it bring?
Here’s everything we know so far about Naruto‘s Baryon Mode. Over the course of his ninja career, Naruto Uzumaki has unlocked a host of different forms and transformations. The toad-inspired Sage Mode, the jinchuriki Nine-Tails Mode, and the “I finally made friends with my inner demon” Kurama Mode are the three most common in Naruto’s arsenal. While new power-ups are a staple of many action anime and manga franchises, most fans would’ve assumed that Naruto peaked once the spotlight turned to his son in the eponymous Boruto: Naruto Next Generations series.
- However, Boruto recently revealed that the Seventh Hokage had yet to reach his final form. Pushed to the limit by the emergence of a new villain, Isshiki Otsutsuki, Naruto was being soundly beaten in his standard Kurama Mode, even with the assistance of Sasuke Uchiha. When all seemed lost, Kurama revealed a previously unknown ace Naruto could still call upon, albeit at the cost of his life. Boruto chapter 51 only offered a tantalizing glimpse at Naruto’s new mode, but chapter 52 lifts the lid fully on this unexpected transformation.
- Naruto’s new form is officially called Baryon Mode, and according to Kurama, involves smashing Naruto’s chakra and the Nine-Tails’ chakra together in a manner similar to nuclear fusion, creating an entirely new energy. The Baryon title is derived from a type of scientific particle, and while the real-world Baryon won’t turn you into a demonic killing machine, the name does at least allude to the nuclear nature of Naruto’s latest upgrade. As revealed by the issue’s cover page, Naruto’s usual orange-yellow glow is now replaced by the bold red color of Kurama’s fur, which forms a sleek coat around him with tails protruding from the back. Naruto’s face and hair take on traits of the Nine-Tails, and an Uzumaki logo with the tails of Kurama spinning off forms on his chest, representing their fusion.
In terms of power, Baryon Mode is far beyond any of Naruto’s other transformations. Where the Hokage was struggling to even land a decent strike in Kurama mode, he effortlessly dodges Isshiki’s attacks in Baryon mode, and can knock the Otsutsuki villain down with a single, well-placed elbow. Perhaps the greatest benefit of Baryon Mode is the poisonous effect each blow inflicts upon an opponent. With every strike Naruto makes, Isshiki’s life is gradually chipped away, somewhat akin to radiation poisoning. As Kurama describes it, simply hitting the target is enough to claim victory while fighting in Baryon mode. Unfortunately, this power comes with a major drawback. Naruto’s previous forms involved fusing chakra with Kurama and then un-fusing once the battle ended. In Baryon Mode, the chakra of both Naruto and Kurama is used up, and unable to be replenished – hence why the form will supposedly end in death.
While Baryon Mode is clearly streaks ahead of Naruto’s other states, it’s difficult to say whether this is his most powerful form in the entire history of the series. Baryon Naruto is dominant against Isshiki, but the Otsutsuki isn’t currently fighting with the full extent of his power. Sage of Six Paths Naruto was competitive against Kaguya Otsutsuki but required the help of Sasuke and Sakura. As things stand, Naruto’s Sage of Six Paths Mode looks to be stronger than Baryon, but it’s still too early to say for certain. If Naruto can somehow survive his current ordeal and master Baryon Mode to use at will (and not die each time, obviously), the transformation would be a very welcome, and very marketable, feature of Naruto mythology.