This article will contain spoiler for the Naruto and Boruto: Next Generations manga.
As an avid mystery reader, I love that feeling of euphoria when all the pieces finally fall into place. One notable example is Soji Shimada’s The Tokyo Zodiac Murders, which shows how astrology’s cryptic plotlines and plotlines will provide us with “the ultimate introduction to a ‘grounded yet off-the-wall’ detective story.”
similarly, BorutoThe first episode left me baffled by the depiction of an adult Boruto crossing swords with a mysterious Kawaki, but rather than tell us more, the series continued meandering aimlessly through Boruto’s childhood (which unfortunately proved infinitely tedious). At least it wasn’t all in vain, as the final edition of the 79th chapter of the manga finally decided to give us a key to understanding the whole mystery (honestly, not all of it, but hey, baby steps!).
The Boruto anime has always been a controversial topic thanks to God who knows how long to incorporate a great deal of the original episodes and deviate from the source material of the primary – the monthly manga. Adopting Kawaki as Boruto’s cooler, long-lost brother did little to balance the latter’s personality.
The frustration spills over into the characters, as Aida—Kawaki’s number one fan—demands to change the cast to make her anime Kawaki: The Next Generations since her story debuted. The clerk seems to have finally had enough and he decides to grant Aida’s wish without even forcing her to collect the seven Dragon Balls first.
Aida’s intense affection for Kawaki leads her to activate an extremely powerful ability called omnipotence, which allows her to manipulate reality at will, stripping everything that characterized Boruto (his family lineage, friends, and history in the village of Konoha where he grew up) and giving it all to Kawaki instead, Which led to Boruto being described as an outcast from the village, even a villain from Konoha (and Kawaki now considered Naruto’s son as if that was always the case).
I only realize this now, but it was perhaps painfully obvious how Boruto’s journey has steadily paved the way for me to take on the role of an anti-hero or antagonist. Right from the start, you had Boruto learning the ropes of ninja from Sasuke Uchiha, a former ninja from Konoha turned antagonist/anti-hero, in place of his father, the protagonist and former hero of Konoha Village. Furthermore, Kawaki’s constant envy of Boruto’s quiet lifestyle, Boruto’s death and rebirth as a full member of the evil Otsutsuki clan in their final fight all subtly contributed to this path, subtly cementing Boruto as an outcast from the village and antagonist against the ninja world in a calculated, no-nonsense setup. Can anyone expect it.
Needless to say, Boruto wasn’t that enthusiastic about his national identity as the ninja of Konoha. He has always seemed to prioritize his moral code over his position as the son of the Hokage (the village chief), and has grown up playing Nintendo Switch games and collecting TCG cards instead of scanning decks for a living like his father, and being disrespectful towards him. Naruto’s position and legacy were clear.
He grew up later, but always felt unworthy. He needed to experience some sort of loss to genuinely realize how precious his life was, and the loss of it all speaks volumes to how Boruto’s birth with a silver spoon in his mouth was intentional (and wouldn’t work for his fatherless father).
Boruto has also shown a cunning nature and willingness to bend the rules for success, earning him the ire of many viewers and characters in the story, but perhaps this was a harbinger that Boruto simply wouldn’t work in situations that required him to respect the ninja code or any form of common honor (I don’t think that He even has enough time to worry about that after that (the role of foreign actors has shifted to that of the lead actor).
Boruto’s circle of friends and adversaries reflects this, seeing as it includes not only ninjas, but also aliens, cyborgs, and former enemies, showing that Boruto prefers to embrace and address different ideologies than what is set in the ninja world as the norm. It seems that Boruto was not set up to become a national ninja protector like his father in the first place, but rather to develop his own unique personality and act independently as a lone wolf like Sasuke, as now proven in the story.
However, this all begs the question of whether such a drastic change as eliminating Boruto’s entire identity is justified, and the answer brings us back to how the introduction of Kaguya Ōtsutsuki was the primary instigator of the events of the original Naruto.
Naruto has always focused on relatable characters – individuals with complex histories and circumstances shaped by the ravages of war. Not only was the introduction of an alien clan mother from outer space inconsistent, but it also lacked the emotional depth or substance that many other human adversaries have. This development proved so frustrating that many fans, myself included, completely ignored its existence when they brought up the story.
But Boruto’s story never let me forget, instead expanding Kaguya’s character to include an entire clan of alien fascist enemies (Ōtsutsuki) and their cyborg progeny (like Eida), which felt out of place and failed to add to a layered narrative with roots in the ninja world. It’s a stark contrast to other famous characters like Madara, Ubito, or Itachi, whose encounters with Naruto are always emotional since they were all originally members of the same village and families.
Most, if not all, members of the Ōtsutsuki clan have now kicked the bucket (although there are some in other forms using a karma curse that they cast on other characters such as Boruto and Kawaki, allowing them to be reborn in their own bodies when the time comes). This detail, along with the new twist, addressed the bad taste I had after watching Naruto Ending, where the Ōtsutsuki clan went from being an unnecessary plot point with undue focus to a clever setup to create the real narrative of the internal struggles between the ninja themselves (which was Always the core of Naruto’s magic).
I can now say with confidence that Boruto has finally returned to his character-driven roots. It may have surpassed its predecessor with its flexibility in handling the characters and the story, but without making it seem out of place or uneventful.
I don’t know what to think of the future, with the potential for more reality-driven story twists to change everything I thought I knew about Boruto or even the original Naruto, but the fact remains that after this twist, Boruto will. It will never be the same again.
Next: There is no sex in Starfield, which is great