Publisher: VIZ Media
Released: September 5th 2017
Boruto continues to surprise me and confuse any expectations I have based off of Naruto. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s a different author (not that it is a bad thing). I’m still torn on how I feel about a lot of the character designs. On the one hand, I love that you can tell who is whose kid, but on the other I feel like kids wouldn’t dress so similarly to their parents, given half a choice. Though admittedly I don’t love how the original character designs look either (they remind me too much of the filler characters in the Naruto TV series).
The tension between Naruto and Boruto is still borderline painful to watch. I think it’s especially difficult for the fans that have read/watched Naruto (which I imagine is most of Boruto’s audience) because we know just how good and kind Naruto can be, and we just want to be able to get Boruto to see that too. I’ll admit I still find the idea of Naruto being an absent father pretty jarring – I just have trouble believing that he’d pass up that opportunity. Maybe that’s just my bias showing.
Boruto is appearing to be pretty conflicted about things himself. On the one hand he’s obviously pretty excited to have passed the first two rounds of Chunin exams. On top of that, his father even said he was doing well. On the other…he knows he’s cheating, and that everyone would be pretty upset with him if he got found out. I want to feel bad for Boruto being in this situation, he’s just a kid after all…but it’s a struggle.
Naturally you know what that means has to happen: Naruto figures out what Boruto is up to and not only disqualifies him, but removes his headband. I’m not sure if this is standard procedure for getting caught cheating; though it did happen in front of most of the villages, so maybe it is. I wasn’t allowed much time to feel bad for Naruto or Boruto though, because things start happening pretty rapidly from there.
I should have seen this one coming: Naturally because it’s the second match in the Chunin exam, something big and bad had to happen (pretty sure it’s a tradition at this point). It was nice seeing Kurama again, though I would have loved to see more of him (I know, I’m so greedy). Apparently Hinata attempted to protect Naruto after he went down, I would have liked to see that as well (though I don’t think anything will compare to the time she stood up to Pain to save Naruto. My heart still hurts about that one).
I don’t want to give away the conclusion; but I will say that Boruto becoming a Nukenin is finally explained. I’m not sure I like the reasoning – it seems almost shallow? I think they were trying to replicate Itachi, but without the loss or time spent building it up. Which I think were the two main reasons why Itachi worked, but that’s just my two cents. I’m holding out hope that this reasoning will become more interesting with time. We’ll see!