Publisher: VIZ Media
Released: April 4th 2017
Boruto is the follow up series to Naruto and Naruto: Shippuden. Reading (or watching) it first isn’t technically a prerequisite, but it’ll give you a better understanding of the setting and world, as well as the back-story of many of the side characters shown.
The son of Naruto is everything one would expect him to be. He’s noisy, obnoxious, and obstinate, just like his father. Many may find Boruto’s behavior abrasive and annoying, but frankly this is nothing new in my opinion. Naruto himself was always very grating, especially in the earlier pars of the series. The series truly shines when Naruto (and presumably Boruto) interacts with the world and characters around him. He brings out the best in people, allowing the readers to see the continuous growth and development of the surrounding cast. It’s what I have always loved the most about Naruto, and I’m hoping this becomes true of Boruto as well.
We might as well start with the elephant in the room: Is Boruto going to become a Nuknin? The first few panels certainly seem to imply that. They also heavily imply Naruto’s death, which I found more upsetting than I anticipated. The flash forward is only a few pages long, and leaves the reader with more questions than answers.
There is a lot of hat tipping to characters in the original series, mainly through showing children that look shockingly like their parents. This is simultaneously nostalgic and irritating (why are all the kids the same age/year of school? Did all the mothers get together and plan this?). The children in the original series are now shown as being the new school instructors, which makes sense. My favorite new character is Sasuke and Sakura’s daughter [name], whom is determined to become Hokage when she grows up. I wholly believe that Sasuke deserves the irony of having a daughter like her. Adding to his pile of insanity, Sasuke agrees to train Boruto. I’m certain that will be a lesson in pain for both of them, while being highly entertaining for us.
Boruto’s obsession with thrashing his father in a fight has me concerned about the outlook and mood of the series – what if something actually does happen to Naruto? Will Boruto ever forgive himself? Will he spin into a cycle of hopelessness and regret? (Ok, considering who is father is this isn’t actually all that likely). Or will he focus on avenging his father? He could also do something I haven’t even remotely predicted.
We’ve been introduced to a few other elements as well, but I’m uncertain about how they’re going to work into the main plot, so I’m going to withhold judgment on them for now, other than to say that I think they have potential.
This only being the first in the series I can’t say too much more. I will state that the series has some serious potential and is worth following, at least for now.