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BORUTO -NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS- – 02 »

BORUTO -NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS- – 01

OP Sequence

OP: 「Baton Road」by KANA-BOON

うずまきボルト!!」(Uzumaki Boruto!!)
“Boruto Uzumaki!!”

Initial Expectations

My experience with Naruto started back in Year 8 (U.S. equivalent 7th Grade), when this girl I had a crush began talking non-stop about it. Despite dabbling in it just to impress, even after her interest in the series faded all those years ago, I never gave up on Naruto because that’s my ninja way!

Despite adoring the Boruto movie, I had my reservations over a TV series adaption, since it seemed Pierrot was going one step too far in milking the franchise. And those excessive fillers in Naruto Shippuden did not help, as they had really created some trust issues for me. Admittedly, I do kind of wish this series didn’t have ‘Naruto’ in its name. Considering it’s not the original work of Kishimoto, I can understand why it is necessary to credit Naruto for being the universe of inspiration. But it still seems so awkward to have in the title. Even after learning that a talented lineup would be in charge of series production, the outlook felt pretty grim.

As luck would have it, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations pulled out an absolutely brilliant first episode, leaving me pumped, excited and wanting for more!

Foreshadowing

Naruto’s implied death at the start of the episode has me torn. While I think it’s an extraordinarily courageous move to kill off a character built up over more than a decade, the Cell Arc is my favourite saga in Dragonball Z and proves that overwhelming success is possible with these kinds of storylines. Conversely, ignoring the fact this might have given too much information away, I feel more attached to Naruto and simply don’t want to see him die. There were actually so many times in life where I came close to giving up on things, but remembering Naruto’s determination filled me with courage and inspired me to see things through to the end. Regardless of whether it stagnated towards the end, what made Naruto particularly special was its inspirational message and capacity to deeply move people.

First Impressions

Contrasting the bleak flashforwards, the opening theme displays a vibrant and colourful palette that is a real treat to the eyes. My eyes were literally glued to the screen and remained so with relentless action always being around the corner.  The parkour sequence was a juicy feast allowing the series to hit the ground running in terms of showcasing Boruto’s fun spirit. I feel Boruto (Sanpei Yuuko) has the right mix between competent and obnoxious. His general aptitude and sense of justice alleviate prior misgivings I had towards his bratty side. Shikidai (Ono Kensho) has all the capabilities of a young Shikamaru alongside a healthy fear of his mother, motivating him towards taking action. He will certainly be successful in life, barring incredible misfortune. Denki may be timid, but there’s no doubt his future role will be to demonstrate the positive influence Boruto has on others and to support Boruto in his times of need.

But sometimes, you must wonder, it seems a touch too coincidental that a lot of these new generation shinobi just happen to be the same age. How come the older generation all ended up procreating around the same time? Dattebayo. Moving onto genuine concerns, what was that shadow snake which could only be perceived by Boruto’s mysterious and special eye? Was the snake an independent agent of evil preying off Denki’s vulnerability or was it arranged by Denki’s father as part of some Faustian cahoots with evil? Something is definitely suspicious and I have so many questions to ask. But I suppose we will have to wait and see what the implications of these events are later on. Nonetheless, I sense a deep friendship blossoming between Boruto and the next generation ninjas which will probably end up deciding the outcome of the future war that destroys Konohagakure.

What I love about these newer characters is that they still remain so refreshing and fun to watch despite arguable overlaps with the older generation - I think enough distinction is made for Generation Xerox to be averted. The script is also well-written enough for me to retract my statement that Pierrot were milking the franchise dry. Maybe the fresh creative direction resulting from a change in mangaka has a lot to do with this. Seeing the family life of the Uzumaki household was definitely cute, especially the close sibling relationship between Boruto and Himawari (Hayama Saori). Hinata is one my favourite characters in Naruto and I have always been cheering her on, so seeing her long-time love continue to bear fruit fills me with great satisfaction.

Concluding Thoughts

There is much to look forwards to in terms of where Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is heading.  The upcoming action and fighting at the Ninja Academy is to be greatly anticipated, and I also can’t wait to see how the modernisation of Konohagakure goes, as it looks to be in the middle of an Industrial Revolution.

Times seem peaceful and prosperous, and maybe Boruto has no comparable problems on his plate to the younger Naruto, but every generation has their own complex struggles that should not be trivialised – even if they are supposed to have it ‘better’. Therefore I really hope we see some progress in Boruto’s relationship with Naruto in future episodes, as Boruto seems intent on finding his own path so he can avoid following his father’s footsteps. With a kage being one of the shinobi world’s pinnacles, it is certainly quite a difficult act to follow through as the next generation. However, if the introductory segment is anything to go by, Boruto will eventually come around to accepting the ninja ways.

Hopefully, people will give Boruto the chance it deserves. Although those unfamiliar with Naruto can treat it as a standalone spinoff and dive in straight away, they should go back and finish the original series in order to get the best experience possible. For old fans of Naruto, this is a fantastic experience that cannot be ignored.

 

Preview

April 6, 2017 at 7:21 pm
40 comments »
  • April 6, 2017 at 7:59 pm7godeohs

    Even though it’s Boruto’s story, I kinda wish they had started by animating chapter 700 of the manga all the way to the last scene where Naruto and his son are on the rock face, then finish the episode by cutting to the the scene where Boruto actually starts. By contrast, the rock faces are now destroyed, his father is gone (but hopefully not dead, because c’mon), and the peace they enjoy has been stolen. Pretty epic I would say.

    It would be nice to get at least some of chapter 700 animated as a flashback scene or something. Color me mildly salty. :) Regardless, I’m looking forward to more to see how things pan out.

    • April 6, 2017 at 8:16 pmZaiden

      You can tell this show is catered for kids from two things.

      1. The opening theme uses hiragana to display the lyrics, which is usually done to help really young children.
      2. It airs in the slot usually reserved for kids shows.

      If you think about it, a young kid isn’t necessarily going to know much about the original Naruto canon, so part of the reason they probably dived in straight away to make Boruto as accessible to youngsters as possible. For Boruto to be a successful flagship, it needs to take root in the hearts of the next generation, which is exactly what Pierrot seem to be going for.

      Also, a lot of the content is going to be anime original as opposed to being based off any manga. So look forwards to that!

    • April 6, 2017 at 9:02 pmSmokex365

      Looks like the anime is starting before 700 since they are just entering the ninja academy and Boruto still adamantly believes Naruto doesn’t care. So I imagine we will see it animated since none of chapter 700 or Naruto Gaiden have happened yet in the anime.

    • April 7, 2017 at 5:47 amZaiden

      Another thing to note.

      This series isn’t really a true successor to the manga, because it’s being written by Ukyo Kodachi – Kishimoto isn’t writing the story. He merely allowed an assistant to use Naruto’s universe as inspiration for Boruto, provided he was still credited. Now that I think about it, that’s probably why Boruto doesn’t extensively draw upon content from the original Naruto series that Kishimoto created himself.

  • April 6, 2017 at 8:27 pmroxis

    “and I also can’t wait to see how the modernisation of Konohagakure goes, as it looks to be in the middle of an Industrial Revolution.”

    Actually Naruto era already take setting in modern day.
    Kishimoto has confirmed that from past interview
    http://anime.stackexchange.com/questions/8326/what-is-the-technology-level-in-the-naruto-universe

    “Masashi Kishimoto: Actually, the world of Naruto doesn’t differ very much from our present time. TV, refrigerators and air conditioners exist in the world. The only exceptions are weapons and explosives, which I’ve decided to set in a much earlier era. That’s why you don’t see firearms.”

    • April 6, 2017 at 8:42 pmZaiden

      @roxis. I was kind of aware that there some modern items in Naruto, considering Orochimaru had loads of computers in his laboratory. My usage of modernisation was in the context of an industrial sense in that we’re beginning to see the effects of urbanisation occurring.

      While we have seen stuff like TVs, fridges and air conditioners, I can’t recall seeing stuff like skyscrapers or towers. And the technology does seem to have rapidly improved. It’s even mentioned in the episode that many advancements were a consequence of the Fourth Shinobi war.

      My memory could be wrong, but another aspect of the modernisation that I want to point out is geographical. From the overcrowded housing sprawled out over the side, you can see the effects of urbanisation in the form of overpopulation, that was not present before. This is essentially what I mean by contemporary modernisation, and it is not just limited to technology either.

      Otherwise the interview was extremely helpful, since I had always been trying to reconcile the idea of why certain modern technologies existed while others did not. Mystery solved, thanks to you!

  • April 6, 2017 at 9:28 pmL002

    http://randomc.net/image/Boruto%20Naruto%20Next%20Generations/Boruto%20Naruto%20Next%20Generations%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2031.jpg
    Current Naruto – “This is going to take a LOT of work to prevent Boruto from getting expelled.”

    If it was the old Naruto when he was twelve – “That’s my boy! How come I never did such a grand entrance?!”

    Anyway, Boruto is doing a good job making his father lose face. lol

    http://randomc.net/image/Boruto%20Naruto%20Next%20Generations/Boruto%20Naruto%20Next%20Generations%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2023.jpg
    Is that a Tenseigan or the good old Byakugan?
    Anyway, it should be noted that Boruto is considered a “prodigy” so I am curious, in what way, he is a prodigy; he can make shadow clones, that’s something, but it seems limited.

    http://randomc.net/image/Boruto%20Naruto%20Next%20Generations/Boruto%20Naruto%20Next%20Generations%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2027.jpg
    Not to be misanthropic but I think real bullies would let them fall, real bullies have no heart. So Boruto really lucked out on that.

    Anyway, anyone know how many episodes this will last? Animation seems too good for it to be an ongoing series (now if only they can fix that running style).

    • April 7, 2017 at 5:45 amZaiden

      Looks like a Tenseigan and I also look forwards to how Boruto will be considered a prodigy.

      The series wanted to show that the bullies were reformed through Boruto’s influence, because he saved them. If you think about it, some bullies are bullies by circumstance rather than choice.

      I’m not sure if I’m reading into it too much, but monetary greed asides, the boy who walks into the alleyway asking if they’re done stealing from Denki could have coerced them into doing it.

      • April 7, 2017 at 3:20 pmKarmafan

        Considering his mom is Hinata I’m guessing its some form of the Byakugan.

    • April 7, 2017 at 7:07 amLord Nayrael

      Bullies are not people who blindly follow some belief and act according to it. While some are complete assholes, others have enough common sense to know when something is not a game. The humans in general are not such simple creatures.

      • April 7, 2017 at 12:57 pmL002

        “others have enough common sense to know when something is not a game.”
        If only Inari’s bullies had that sort of common sense before letting Inari drown; kid could have died from such cruelty yet the bullies “treat like it’s a game.”

        If we take Elfen Lied, for example, we would know that there are some bullies, even if they are kids, that are apparently rotten to the core.

  • April 6, 2017 at 9:38 pmhjerry

    So I guess this settles that we’re never (or at least not sequentially) getting chapter 700 adapted, and that’s really a shame. I’ll try really hard to judge this show solely on its own merits, but I have to admit that the previous, not getting a proper ending by adapting the epilogue, and especially after all that sudo-filler (yes I know they came from authored side stories), has really left a bad taste in my mouth, and makes it harder for me to judge this with a completely open mind. Had I gotten some real closure after faithfully following that series for all those years, it would’ve made giving this one its own chance a lot easier. Hopefully sometime on down the line, we can get a truly faithful Naruto “Kai” adaptation, that gives the manga the respect that it deserves, and covers everything, minus any censors, and especially any filler.

    Until then anyway, I’ll try to give this series it’s own shot. My love of the first series, its aesthetic, and its characters, will probably entice me to watch it, but ironically, the very same may convince me to not to, so we’ll see.

    At very least, I don’t think that it’s off to a bad start, though the idea that, from the start, they’re going to suggest that there’s some non-ninja power out there, and that it’s going to kill off all the ninja, including Naruto, wasn’t exactly something that I cared for. I mean, I get that you want new audiences, but you’re basically rewriting how your entire universe works here, and my love for the first series, and waiting all those years to see Naruto as Hokage, and not only do you NOT animate the epilogue, giving that closure to his story, but in the first minutes of the sequel, you freaking kill him off (in the future at least)? I mean…damn, really? You might as well have started the episode with a middle finger on the screen directed towards your original audience. Oh, and where did Boruto’s eye power thing come from? How does that make sense?

    If anything, it does serve to make clear that this series is not a true successor (at least spiritually) to the Naruto manga/anime. They’re doing things similar to Avatar here, in that the sequel is similar, but will very much be its own thing. No, that successor came in the form of Boruto the movie. This, this is more like inspired by. This is, for better or worse, its own thing, and, at least for me, it’ll take at least a few episode to decide if it’s really for me or not.

    • April 7, 2017 at 5:40 amZaiden

      This series isn’t really a true successor to the manga, because Kishimoto isn’t writing it. He merely allowed an assistant to use Naruto’s universe as inspiration for Boruto, provided he was still credited. Now that I think about it, that’s probably why Boruto doesn’t extensively draw upon content from the original Naruto series that Kishimoto created himself.

      Boruto’s eye powers seem to be the Tenseigan. For the Tenseigan to be achieved, a mixture of Otsutsuki and Hyuga genes are required.

      The Uzumaki clan are descended from Otsutsuki through Asura Otsutsuki, and obviously the Hyuga genes come from Hinata. Even with the mixtures of Otsutsuki and Hyuga genes fulfilled, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the outcome will be a Tenseigan. So it seems some probability or other unknown factor played into Boruto being able to achieve this power.

    • April 7, 2017 at 7:11 amLord Nayrael

      There’s no reason for there to be chapter 700 when a full sequel started immediately after the prequel’s ending. If Boruto Manga was to start a week after Naruto’s end, then chapter 700 would have been skipped there as well. The whole chapter was written to serve as an ending, not a start.

  • April 6, 2017 at 9:52 pmstarss

    Let’s see how long into THIS projected 500-episode-long adventure this blog will reach!

    • April 7, 2017 at 5:32 amZaiden

      I won’t necessarily blog past this episode, so I wouldn’t ask people to get their hopes up. Apologies.

      • April 9, 2017 at 12:34 ammika163

        I was so surprised to see a post on anything Naruto. After reading your reply, I will certainly not hope for anything. Thanks for writing about this though.

      • June 17, 2017 at 6:31 ama1saucer

        Yeah after watching the flash forward telling us that Naruto dies. . .I just said “nope”, and closed the browser.

  • April 7, 2017 at 12:27 amGuile

    … Why do the kids have Naruto’s whisker marks? Is it encoded in his DNA?

    • April 7, 2017 at 5:25 amZaiden

      You are right. From browsing around on forums, I think it is because Kurama’s chakra re-encoded Naruto’s DNA. It’s probably the reason why Kinkaku still had whisker marks when Kabuto used his DNA to reanimate him. Naruto, Kinkaku, and Ginkaku all had their DNA altered. That is how their chakra and stamina were enhanced beyond natural limits.

      Then that means half of the DNA Naruto passes on to his children would also be mutated, which is why Boruto and Himawari also have whisker marks. You will notice they only have two whisker marks as opposed to three, because the mutation is being diluted by their hyuga genes. Had Hinata been the Kurama’s host, Kurama’s chakra would have infused with them in the womb, giving them three whiskers instead like Naruto himself.

  • April 7, 2017 at 5:08 amLyfe

    I haven’t watched anything Naruto in like so many years. I got tired of the constant flash backs and filler episodes. But I guess it doesn’t matter much with this series as there’s literally like no material at all for them to draw from.

    I did see a lot of people mention that the opening looks similar to Bleach Opening 15.

    • April 7, 2017 at 5:29 amZaiden

      Although Bleach’s 15 OP Harukaze had some similarities, I was more reminded of Persona 4 Golden’s OP, both in terms of style and aesthetics.

      I was also getting pretty tired of the constant flash backs and filler episodes, but I think you will find less fillers for Boruto as the TV anime plans on doing a lot of original work that will naturally focus on a lot of character development, due to the new generation all being so young.

      • April 7, 2017 at 5:41 amLyfe

        I think Noriyuki Abe just got lazy when doing the opening lol. There’s pictures floating around comparing scenes from both openings. The similarities are so there.

        And thankyou, I’ll be checking the show out for now. I really can’t see the show lasting as long as Shippuden.

      • April 7, 2017 at 5:48 amZaiden

        @Lyfe, glad I could help you come to a decision! Although I don’t think the show will last too long, it is airing in a spot commonly reserved for shows that will go on to run for quite a while, so there’s that to consider.

      • April 8, 2017 at 11:45 amLyfe

        Do you think Boruto will turn out to be a good series Zaiden? I’m undecided. I think the lack of source material can be a good thing because the writers are free to go in their own direction rather than being restrained by the manga. Some shows when doing filler have to keep in mind that they can’t kill off certain characters, or do this or that because they risk upsetting the manga readers.

      • April 8, 2017 at 6:21 pmZaiden

        @Lyfe, I think Boruto will be a fun series, but not necessarily good. It’s something of a Naruto spinoff right now as people have pointed out, and the future scene seems a long distance away.

  • April 7, 2017 at 8:23 amhello

    You made a minor mistake, its Studio Pierrot not Toei

    • April 7, 2017 at 8:41 amZaiden

      That was no minor mistake. That was a major mistake! Thanks for pointing it out to me. Will fix it.

  • April 7, 2017 at 9:18 amkonart

    Looks like they made a number of changes compared to the Boruto manga.

    • April 7, 2017 at 10:47 amZaiden

      Only the peek into the future, and the parkour sequence were from the manga. The rest seems to be new, and I think the anime producers have done well to create such compelling original content.

  • April 7, 2017 at 10:13 pmDuzz

    Fuck Baruto Gary Stu little shit.

    • April 7, 2017 at 10:45 pmZaiden

      Naruto is actually the bigger Gary Stu. Not only does he have the bloodline factor like Boruto does, but he was also the subject of a prophecy, is the reincarnation of a demigod and had powers granted to him by a god. Boruto is only a prodigy from multiple bloodlines and he still relies on his own power to win.

      • April 8, 2017 at 12:53 amkonart

        Erm, no. You maybe subject of whatever, but it’s up to whether you are going to live up to expectations. Naruto had nothing in him (except for amounts of chakra and the fox) and achieved everything through hard work. That’s the main point. It’s not like he got he super powers out of nowhere.

      • April 8, 2017 at 10:00 amZaiden

        @konart. Naruto had nothing in him except for large amounts of chakra, the fox, being descended from the powerful Ototsuki clan via the Uzumakis, is the reincarnation of a demigod, had powers granted to him by Hagoromo. Yup, he had nothing in him and achieved everything through hard work. I won’t deny he worked hard at the start of the manga, but there was only so long he could go on as the underdog, being the main character and all.

        After the timeskip occurs, Naruto comes to lack any noteworthy flaws, just saying. Naruto is the basis for morality in this story and is thus always right. He’s an undeniable Stu for sure, but not the worst example one in this manga.

      • April 8, 2017 at 11:51 amLyfe

        God I hope they don’t make Boruto too overpowered. I think when characters get too strong, you lose a lot of the excitement from the series. That and you know that once they reach a certain level, there’s literally nowhere else the show can go. There’s only so many times you can introduce an enemy stronger than an overpowered hero that the hero has to become even stronger to overcome.

  • April 8, 2017 at 9:21 amtanz

    All I hope is that the female characters get written better.

    • April 8, 2017 at 10:04 amZaiden

      Sarada and Chouchou look fun and unconventional. Sai and Ino’s daughter looks pretty interesting. Other than that, I don’t really know what to expect.

    • April 8, 2017 at 11:55 amLyfe

      Same here, Sakura & Hinata were useless for such a long time in the Naruto anime/manga. Not until Sakura became Tsunades apprentice did she have a direction.

  • April 9, 2017 at 2:32 pmArsene Lupin

    I gave up on the Naruto anime way, way back. During the Sasuke Retrieval arc, if you can remember whenever that was. The slow-pacing just killed it. I stuck with the manga, though, and generally speaking I think most of the post-time skip stuff was good… when it maintained focus.

    This first episode of Boruto was… pretty good, I Thought. Not as impressive as Naruto’s first episode (which may as well be a case study in How To Do Shounen Right), but definitely solid. The only thing that worries me is whether or not it will fall into the same trap that Naruto did–losing focus.

    It’s a common flaw with contemporary Shounen series… new characters keep getting introduced, draining focus away from the main cast. There are already a *lot* of characters in Boruto. I can only hope that the series makes good on its promise in this first episode and focuses on telling “Boruto’s story,” and doesn’t get bogged down giving every single side character his or her own arc (or arcs).

    • April 9, 2017 at 6:26 pmZaiden

      Hey Arsene Lupin, definitely see what you mean. I liked most of the post-time skip stuff, but really disliked the way in which the Fourth Shinobi War was handled. Madara had the potential to be one of the greatest shounen villains ever. Then they randomly canned him in some freak power spike.

      I don’t think it will fall into the same trap as Naruto. You can already see that the core cast is a lot smaller – Boruto, Shikidai, Denki, Chouchou, Sarada, Kawaki, Ino/Sai Daughter, Mini Might Guy.

      One thing Boruto can do, is play upon the assumption that we feel a link with the new generation by giving them similar characteristics to the old generation that evoke nostalgia. Our nostalgia for the old generation might be substantial enough to fill in gaps that reduce the need for a side character having their own arc. Just my two cents.

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