The life of the shinobi is beginning to change. Boruto Uzumaki, son of Seventh Hokage Naruto Uzumaki, has enrolled in the Ninja Academy to learn the ways of the ninja. Now, as a series of mysterious events unfolds, Boruto’s story is about to begin!
And so Boruto continues consecutively just like its predecessor. I can see why they want to do this – shounen giants have the content and the demand in order to keep releasing episodes on a weekly basis regardless of seasons. This bodes well for Boruto, that the height of its anime predecessor and the support of the fanbase have allowed it to be launched in this fashion.
I like Boruto. But for all the support that is has from Naruto fans being pleased that they still have something to fill the ninja-shaped holes in their lives, there are others that are complaining about this story not shaping up to be the epic journey that Naruto was. You’d also have to be living in a cave not to see all the ‘Boruto’s dad’ memes flying around the intranet after Crunchyroll’s initial referral, which the anime community too as an extreme minimilisation of Naruto’s achievements to the extent that he is now just ‘Boruto’s dad’. Whilst this may be difficult for the anime community to accept generally, the fact is that Boruto is a different anime from Naruto. Some elements are the same, obviously set in the same universe, set in Konoha, focuses on young ninjas and the main character forming friendships with others etc, but the differences in the material mean that this story will go down a different path: the main characters are different, their personalities are different, the culture and stability of Konoha is different and so are the antagonists and their objectives. And most importantly, Boruto is not Naruto. He has a different upbringing, different drives and grew up in different circumstances. Arguable, he’s not as much of a sympathetic character as Naruto was when he was younger – he’s not been dealt the disadvantages Naruto has. He doesn’t want to be his father. As a result, he will be deliberately forging his own path and making his own story.
And one of these stories is set in the Mist Village, where Boruto’s class have travelled to on a field trip. Here he meets Kagura, the grandson of the Fourth Mizukage Yagura, who was a fearsome man in the past who once housed one of the tailed beasts inside him back in a time that the Mist Village was known as the Blood Mist Village. Kagura has been reluctant to pursue his ambitions, content to be the aide of the current Mizukage, but upon meeting Boruto he begins to contemplate taking on one of the legendary swords of the Seven Ninja Swordsmen for the good of his village. But when an old instructor, Shizuma, wants to kill Boruto to create war among the villages to resurrect the old ways and implores Kagura to join them. Kagura spares Boruto’s life, but past obligations to Shizuma means that Kagura joins his reformed Seven Ninja Swordsmen to forward his plans of war.
I believe that Boruto, at least for now, is trying to show how both father and son are doing their best to maintain peace in Konoha in their own ways, and perhaps they will be working together more in the future when Boruto gets a bit older. Naruto is finding himself restricted by the responsibilities of the Hokage, but in his place Boruto is already establishing relationships and doing what he can to stop another ninja war happening – just like Naruto is doing through sacrificing time with his family.
But the future of Konoha just isn’t about Boruto. Watching Sarada in action matches up with her plans to be Hokage, and of course we have Shikadai, Inochi and Metal Lee to watch develop as well as the ever-mysterious Mitsuki. There is a lot of potential in Boruto, and I want to see where this story foes and if it will ever truly breaks out of the shadow of Naruto. Whilst I don’t think that time has come yet, I am prepared to give Boruto time in which to do so.