Naruto fans may think they know Orochimaru pretty well at this point, but thanks to the latest episode of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, we’re learning that in fact, we may not know Orochimaru that well, at all!
In a brief scene during episode 67 “Super Cho-Cho Butterfly Mode” we see Mitsuki having a little visit with his “father” Orochimaru, in which the latter has to sign a form for Mitsuki’s School. Mitsuki inquires whether he should list Orochimaru as his father or mother and gets the following response:
“That’s a silly question. There have been times when I was a man, and times a women, as well as something not of this world. Outside appearances don’t matter. The will to uncover all truth… that I see the core of my being. I guess that doesn’t answer their question, though…”
This quote makes it part of official canon that Orochimaru is gender fluid – and species fluid, to boot! The question that is now being discussed and debated by fans is: What is true nature of Orochimaru’s statement here?
Orochimaru can steal bodies and has also experimented on his own form more times than can be counted. At this point, it’s almost like he’s just a living consciousness, which can invade bodies like a parasite or a body snatcher alien. That’s kind of existence would obviously give one a much different perspective on gender identity.
With the increasing conversation about LGBTQ representation and gender identity, anime’s often androgynous approach to some characters is getting more attention and specificity. In the case of Orochimaru’s case, there probably isn’t going to be all that much ‘controversy’ around this’s particular case – in fact, the bigger discussion seems to be how nonchalant Mitsuki is about the whole thing. The actual scene is actually rather deep and progressive in its statement that it’s what at the core of a person that defines them – a lesson that is clearly a foreshadow to the ongoing subplot about Mitsuki’s secret origin and Sage power, which is actually come to head with his Team 7 pals: Boruto and Sarada.
Does this little revelation change your view of Orochimaru ? Or is he same mad scientist you’ve always loved (or hate)?