After Naruto’s 15 year-long anime run, Boruto takes the torch to keep the ninja spirit alive.
The first episode of Boruto begins with an ominous standoff between an older Boruto and an unknown enemy, which closely resembles the battle that lasted for years between Sasuke and Naruto. While this quick glimpse is only fleeting, it raises questions on how Boruto had gotten to that point. Is it five years in the future, or ten? They mention that Naruto is no longer with them, so what exactly happened?
Some might think that to watch Boruto, you would’ve had to have been a fan of the original Naruto series. However, the makers of Boruto made the show to be welcoming for newcomers as well as old fans. New topics and ninja tactics are introduced and explained in some form in Boruto, making it easy for people to follow, especially for those who might have have taken a break from Naruto. Of course, newcomers may be missing several references that pertain to the old series, but if newbies stay along for the ride, they’ll definitely be able to catch on fast. In addition, it’s a new developing ninja world, and Naruto fans have yet to grasp the changes that have occurred in the ninja villages across Earth.
After the small snippet of Boruto’s eventual path, we are sent into the past that acts like a present where Boruto is about to start his days at the Ninja Academy. The characters that Boruto interacts with mostly are children of the older generation, but there are also others new characters that aren’t related to the past generation. Many of the characters, like Shikidai or Metal Lee, seem like blatant copies of their predecessors, but in a way, they are different just as they are similar. Many of these characters, including Boruto, are redefining themselves in their own way, offering something new to the young generation.
As for the show overall, the pacing varies a bit in the first two episodes, mostly because the first episode had a burst of energy and generated lots of interesting visuals. But for the following few episodes, which focuses on the students at the ninja academy, felt more slice-of-life like. Nonetheless, there is endless action as the class continues to deviate from doing ninja-related classwork as we see more interaction and bonding between the kids.
The visuals were great in the first episode, it felt like eye candy seeing how the village transformed, and the stylistic music of the ninjas. However, there’s a noticeable drop between the first and the following episodes, as everything becomes a bit bland and not amusing, to say the least. But where the animation drops, the plot, character development, and comedy pick up. From seeing Metal Lee struggle with his nervousness to Boruto making a fool out of himself in front of the whole class, it’s easy to see that the comedy we got in Naruto still continues in Boruto. Including the fact that each kid isn’t just a carbon copy of their predecessor, instead, they offer something unique and have a different, yet a similar set of skills.
Throughout all this, it’s obvious that there is a build up of something larger in the village, and Boruto may be the only one to notice it. With his genetic inheritance from Hinata and Boruto, I think his odd right eye is an odd form of Byakugan combined with Tenseigan, but nothing’s confirmed yet. We still have yet to understand the rest of the ninja world as it stands in Boruto today, and what evil is looming in Hidden Leaf Village. So far, I believe Boruto is doing well in keeping the audience interested and engaged with the story. We’ll just have to see the path Boruto will take as a rising ninja, alongside the new generation.