Boruto: Naruto Next Generations – Season 8

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations – Season 8

After quite a heart-wrenching, hard-hitting arc last season, resulting in the death of Onoki the Third Tsuchikage and Mitsuki learning a few things about his origins and what it’s like to be a member of a team and about friendship, the young ninjas are brought back to Konoha Village. However, since Team 7’s part in this whole, terrifying scheme would usually get them banished from the village in normal circumstances, Naruto has no other choice than to strip them of their qualifications as genin, leaving them all at square one.

However, there’s no time to dwell on the implications of this as it’s also Parent and Child Day in the village, which allows busy parents to take the day off in order to spend it with their children. Even Naruto manages to take some time off from running the village to come home for the occasion. Boruto is surprised but, upon seeing just how excited Himawari is to see her father, steps aside so that his little sister can spend all day with Naruto.

We spend a few episodes looking at short stories from different perspectives, focusing on a few of the characters spending the day with their parents. Naruto is desperate to find Himawari a rare festival toy before they’re all sold out and Choji and Cho-Cho, naturally, find themselves trying to secure a prize at an eating contest. Sasuke even manages to return to the village on this day (though not because he knew it was special – it just so happened to be a coincidence). He approaches Sarada with the intention of spending time with her, only to realise that he doesn’t know how to interact with teenage girls (surprise, surprise). After taking some ill-informed advice from Kakashi based on plots from ‘Make-out Tactics’ (great idea, there), Sasuke is at a loss on what to do. After learning from Shino that Sarada one day aspires to become the Hokage, he uses this to get to know her better, by helping her hone her skills and talking about that short (and misguided) time that he decided he was going to become Hokage.

Then, at the end of the day, even though it’s late, and he’s spent the day running around searching for a toy for Himawari, Naruto still has a few hours to help Boruto train, which Boruto appreciates more than he lets on.

This has been another story that’s been light on action this season and I feel that this is something that’s different between Naruto and Boruto. I try not to continually compare the two, but it’s difficult to view this story completely independently from its predecessor when Naruto is an anime quite dear to my heart. I don’t recall Naruto having arcs like this with little action in them. I can’t even say that there’s been any real character development, because there hasn’t. I would have loved to have seen more about Inojin and Sai’s relationship, for example, or some of the others who only seemed to get some passing shots of them ‘bonding’ in these Parent and Child Day montages.

I feel like all these little mini-stories are a sort of recalibration as the Boruto universe gears itself up to go in a different direction. The arcs are only now beginning to get a bit more serious and demonstrating the abilities of the new ninja generation – so I’m hoping that things begin to pick up again by the end of this season.