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Boruto -Naruto Next Generations- – 51

“Boruto’s Birthday”

「ボルトの誕生日」 (Boruto no tanjoubi)

With spanners thrown into the works, I’m hyped to see how the mission is going to turn out, now that White Zetsu has made an unexpected return. However, that epic revelation played second fiddle to the other events that occurred in this episode. Remember last week, how I said that filler episodes were worth it, if it bought time for an increase in future quality? Holy moly, I wasn’t expecting the payoff to come so soon. This was one of my favourite episodes of Boruto to date, which finally put an end to any continuity doubts that were on my mind. I suspect the same could be said for others who had similar issues. While they were at it, production staff wrote a masterclass on family conflicts – featuring the Uzumaki Family.

Ensuring Continuity

Katasuke works as a sympathetic paternal figure. Boruto has already demonstrated a habit for hanging out at the lab, particularly when he’s in a bad mood, and the scientist is shown to reassure Boruto while listening to his concerns. This episode, Katasuke really proves a trustworthy figure, who fills up some of that emotional emptiness left by Naruto. He gifts Boruto a really cool gadget for his birthday, showing that he genuinely cares about Boruto’s birthday, that looks to be more compared to an absent Naruto. So it makes sense for Boruto to put so much trust in Katasuke and his scientific inventions, and takes comfort in this guy’s company. Their friendly relationship prior to the movie is sufficiently explained, and I’m entirely satisfied with how it’s been done, when there was so much potential for evil hamminess.
Naruto prioritising his Hokage duties on special occasions is not a one-off event. Hot damn, the dude didn’t even turn up for his son’s birthday! I get that the Hokage is a demanding role. But when his children start to suffer for it, I don’t get why this man refuses to put aside his pride, as I’ve repeatedly brought up. Times have changed, and it wouldn’t be unacceptable to modernise the administrative system, by delegating this modern workload amongst multiple people. Heck, a shadow clone or two wouldn’t be any harm either! So that was honestly not cool, and I think Naruto takes his duties way too literally. Does it have to come this far, that Boruto suffers so terribly? The scene that Boruto was about to throw his dad’s apology letter, only he couldn’t… that boy loves his father, and the resulting strain in their relationship is truly heartbreaking. People like to go off and criticise this kid for being a brat, myself included. Yet I’ve come to understand him more, and can see why the boy feels absolutely devastated and unloved. Naruto is very much culpable, for not being a better father in this situation, and deserves heavy blame for not being able to take a single day off work. There’s no doubt that he is still the same hero of old, but his flaws rear an ugly head, and disappointment is just overwhelming my senses. We all thought he was better than this, so shame on him.

Concluding Thoughts

The best thing about this episode was how we got an insight into Boruto’s mind. We can see how his achievements are constantly undermined by his father’s legacy. The kid has a rudimentary grasp on multiple nature transformations, can somewhat meld elements of wind together with electricity, and is even talented enough to invent his own jutsu. Yet people will always find a way of putting him down, because he’s supposed to be good, or that Naruto purposely gave him easier missions. Thus Boruto feels a need to prove himself, where he will rush headfirst into danger, which turned out to be some mutation of White Zetsu. He’s still a brat, but as we can see, he has his reasons.
What’s more, he’s worthy of admiration in my eyes. While Boruto can take having his emotional wellbeing neglected by Naruto, and even though he is hurting so much on the inside, he is super protective of Himawari. At a much younger age, he realises what it means to be stronger, when doing things for someone else, rather than yourself. He confronts Naruto, to make him promise that he would be there for her birthday. And Naruto makes a very clearcut promise. So here’s my question to people who haven’t seen the movie. Remember how Naruto’s ninja way in the original series, was never going back on his promises? Do you think it would outweigh his dedication towards being hokage? Just some food for thought.
Judging by the previews, Sasuke is going to make a cameo appearance, and something will happen between Konohamaru and Mitsuki. I’m looking forwards to these things, as well as seeing some action from Neo Team 7. Next week cannot come sooner. See you next time!

P.S. Don’t forget to check out the special chapter that Kishimoto released, which goes deeper into Denki’s background!

March 31, 2018 at 9:01 pm
  • March 31, 2018 at 11:19 pmGreed

    “Don’t forget to check out the special chapter that Kishimoto released, which goes deeper into Denki’s background!”
    ………………………Ah, I get it. An April Fools joke. I was wondering what you were planning. Thanks for sharing.

    That Zetsu army would have been more interesting if they were like this. Meh.

    A bit late to ask this but is Naruto’s arm a Zetsu arm? Curious if Naruto could use a wood release jutsu.

    • April 1, 2018 at 5:04 amDude

      Its the First Hokage arm. Technically yes Wood Element is open to him.

    • April 1, 2018 at 9:08 pmZaiden

      Hey Greed! Hope you enjoyed the bamboozle, and yes, happy belated easter/april fool’s day! :)

  • April 1, 2018 at 5:30 amWorldwidedepp

    I just hope when she evolve her Sharingan, nobody has to die for it.. i bet there is surly an other option to evolve her eyes.. if the body and mind are ready for it, of course. Because Sasuke at his time was forced and had no choice

    • April 1, 2018 at 9:09 pmZaiden

      Given how the future timeline already shows a world in ruin, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sarada experienced a level of loss, which would have allowed her to gain the Mangekyo Sharingan.

      • April 2, 2018 at 7:04 amWorldwidedepp

        Lets see. Also if she evolve her eyes, i hope her Body can also keep up with it.. Remember the line of Rock Lee at the tournament? Yes exactly

    • April 2, 2018 at 1:31 pmOri

      I am fairly convinced, Sasuke will eventually die or give her one of his eyes just so she can level up.

  • April 1, 2018 at 7:01 amMistic

    For those who know the events of the film, or at least part of them, this episode screamed one thing: FORESHADOWING!!!!! Little by little, the great puzzle is being built, and there will be a payoff for those who have only followed the anime.

    And yes, it seems that the general reaction is that this episode paints Boruto’s father issues in a more positive light.

    There’s no doubt that he is still the same hero of old, but his flaws rear an ugly head, and disappointment is just overwhelming my senses. We all thought he was better than this, so shame on him.

    Since Boruto was announced, I’ve been thinking about this. In the end, did we have reasons to believe that Naruto would be a better father? Or it was pure projection and we didn’t want to see the signs that are now being deconstructed?

    As an orphaned child, Naruto rarely if ever was shown to long for parents. Wat he wanted, loudly, was acknowledgement by his teachers, his peers and by the rest of the village. Becoming Hokage was his path to achieve it, to the point he ended up seeing all his comrades, mentors and allies as a big family. It was lampshaded in the Road to Ninja movie, when Naruto rejected the illusion when he realized that his fake parents didn’t want to put him at risk even if that meant the destruction of the village, whereas his real parents had done the opposite.

    It echoes what Boruto said in episode 12: “The Hokage sacrifices those closest to them for the sake of the village”. A statement born of resentment, but I cannot say it is completely false. It’s the same spirit that led Itachi to kill all his family and clan.

    Of course, Naruto is not going to kill his family (I hope). He clearly loves them. What he says when he comes home, utterly exhausted, that he bought Boruto a gift but wasn’t sure because he didn’t even know what kind of games his son likes… Hinata looked like she was about to cry and so was I :_(

    • April 1, 2018 at 9:19 pmZaiden

      Hey Mistic!

      Although many of us were wondering how continuity would be ensured, I feel that missing pieces have come together in a highly satisfactory way. I think it will be hard to mess it up at this point.

      In the end, did we have reasons to believe that Naruto would be a better father?

      You would think that after suffering such a terrible childhood, it wouldn’t be hard to realise that he should provide for Boruto what he himself wanted as a child. I know there was nothing to suggest that Naruto would be a good father, but it’s not like he didn’t have paternal influences to draw from. Also, look at his relationship with Iruka, for example. What’s the harm in playfully scolding Boruto, while taking him out to ramen as a treat? And what about Jiraiya, the Toad Sage who brought up Naruto during the whole time skip? Yes, everyone is a big family, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t shower his nearest and dearest with some special affection.

      Urgh, I respect his convictions, but it’s simultaneously admirable and annoying how he won’t budge whatsoever on his principles.

      Of course, Naruto is not going to kill his family (I hope).

      Now, I don’t think Naruto would ever kill people in his family if it meant saving the village. But he doesn’t see that he’s slowly losing Boruto, who is lost by the time of the Kawaki flashback, seeing how the boy bears the headband of a missing nin. And if that glimpse of the future offers any indication, this is merely symptomatic of Naruto’s personal failings, which may have drastic consequences on the ninja world.

      • April 2, 2018 at 8:53 amMistic

        What’s the harm in playfully scolding Boruto, while taking him out to ramen as a treat? And what about Jiraiya, the Toad Sage who brought up Naruto during the whole time skip? Yes, everyone is a big family, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t shower his nearest and dearest with some special affection.

        Well, we’ve seen him trying. He does exactly that in episode 18, coming home to take care of Himawari and spending some quality time with Boruto at the ramen shop. Still, as you say, principles.

        What was the ultimate principle he learned from all those mentoring figures? That ultimately the good of all comes first and that personal sacrifices for such a goal are to be praised. I think he has such a reverence for the office of Hokage that he won’t allow himself selfish breaks or change a system that has remained unchanged for decades.

        Also, Naruto may think that his children don’t have it so bad. Yeah, he isn’t around them very often, but he’s alive and looking after them from his position of Hokage. And Hinata is at home. Naruto could well think that it’s not a perfect situation, but that it isn’t so terrible. Fans have said similar things, blaming Boruto for complaining despite having a relatively good life (of course, that’s not how emotional pain works, but that’s a different matter).

        And if that glimpse of the future offers any indication, this is merely symptomatic of Naruto’s personal failings, which may have drastic consequences on the ninja world.

        A personal clash or perhaps a philosophical clash? I think that, after the movie arc, the family situation between Naruto and Boruto will get better. However, I think their methods and principles will follow separate paths. There could be a time where Boruto may think that to protect those he loves, he has to break away from Konoha, something that Naruto wouldn’t consider.

  • April 1, 2018 at 7:35 amLaura

    On Boruto’s birthday, Naruto doesn´t warn or bother to send a double (Although that wouldn´t improve either), although it is clear that he would have liked to attend and regrets missing.
    In this episode, Boruto makes Naruto promise to go to Himawari or he will definitely not forgive him. To which Naruto says he understands it.
    I’m not trying to defend Naruto, but I think he really regretted failing his family in this way.
    He took Boruto’s words seriously.
    But he still can´t miss Hokage’s work.
    So in the movie, Show Spoiler ▼

    The main problem is that Naruto has to learn to be more flexible with his work. (This I say as much for his family as his own health)
    And he should learn to better communicate his feelings to his children (mainly Boruto), and listen to his feelings. (Naruto himself admitted that lately he does not know what his son likes, proving the distance that had been created between them)

    • April 1, 2018 at 8:56 amZaiden

      Fixed your typo, and put a spoiler tag on the movie info, since some people might not have seen it.

      Personally, I can’t take Naruto’s regret sincerely, because he continues failing his family like this. Yes, he has Hokage work to do, but there’s such a thing as balance, and I’m amazed he’s not striving to find it. As you’ve said, he needs to learn that his work can be flexible. Everything is still working, so he’s definitely doing an alright job, even if people are discontent with the wealth gap resulting from Konoha’s modernisation.

  • April 1, 2018 at 9:20 amneko_in_blue

    I was reading some doushinji yesterday about Hinata’s feelings on her husband absence. It is not something that the anime explored as well, the weight of his role on their relationship and how much overloaded Hinata is. She has to be a mother and father figure for her children, attending to many needs while her husband is away. I wonder if she chose to stop her missions as getting married or having children or it was something she decided to do to support Naruto in his dream.

    Minato was also the Hokage and he was able to be a very good husband and he would be an excellent father if he had the chance. Why isn’t Naruto doing the same? Like you said, he has so many people around him, put the clones to work, enjoy your family. For someone who had nothing but loneliness as growing up, I hoped he would be the best father ever.

    I dont know if you agree with me, but even though he is absent a lot, he seems a little more present with Himawari. He tried the clone, he rushed home as she was sick, tried to make her food.
    He said before, he doesn’t know how to comunicate with his son because he didnt have a father, but, he is so much better with Himawari.

    • April 1, 2018 at 10:17 amWorldwidedepp

      i do not know, but sending an Clone to the Birthday party is like sending an secretary from his office. it do not feels right

      • April 1, 2018 at 10:28 amneko_in_blue

        Not the best decision, indeed. Adult Naruto is pretty slow sometimes. That is why I suggested he should use the clones on office and stay with his family.

      • April 1, 2018 at 11:37 amWorldwidedepp


        or is there not some 2nd Seat (Vice-president) that could take over at last for his Son Birthday party?

        But oh well, i do not know if there is an Vice-Hokage in Naruto’s world

      • April 1, 2018 at 11:39 amWorldwidedepp

        Perhaps even Naruto is somehow afraid to interact false with his Son. Sasuke is not there he could ask, Kakashi is single and his old teacher… oh… yes.. his old Teacher from the school… but his teacher should keep this ultra secret.. this are the thoughts of an father not of an Hokage

    • April 1, 2018 at 10:20 amWorldwidedepp

      Also if do not know how to react with his Son, why he not ask the closed adult to him? His teacher? and of course his Wife.. but i bet Boruto has some secrets that he do not tell to his mother.. it is not easy

    • April 1, 2018 at 9:24 pmZaiden

      Hey neko_in_blue! That’s a rather interesting perspective into Hinata’s viewpoint, and I can imagine that she does feel that way. I have no doubt that she still loves Naruto, and that is why she chooses to almost singlehandedly raise their children, without so much as a complaint. But she doesn’t go against her husband, and supports him even when he’s in the wrong, which leaves Boruto feeling like no one is on his side.

      In all fairness, the role of Hokage has changed from being a military leader, to being the Prime Minister who oversees the daily running of a nation. Naruto has tons of paperwork to deal with, and to be honest, he kind of sucks at it. Nevertheless, he keeps at his work, and is able to keep the Fire Nation running, so it’s not like he’s a bad Hokage. That said, he should really work on adopting an administration that can operate effectively, considering how modern changes have thrown the reliability of precedence out of the window.

      He can start off by actually using shadow clones, rather than choosing to respect the fact that all previous Hokages worked without one. Also, relying upon Shikamaru, who would have been really happy to help out, so that Naruto would have had time for Boruto’s birthday. And as an extension of that point, appointing various people to oversee the different things required in a modernising economy e.g. Agriculture, Industry, Transport, Healthcare, etc.

      • April 2, 2018 at 7:08 amWorldwidedepp

        just imagine if Naruto gets bedridden sick.. Would his Village tumble into chaos, because he do not “trust” an Vice-Hokage?

        Even in today Politics there are leader that can not be allowed to get sick or fail an day at the office.. I do not point my fingers now. But they lie in the direct neighborhood of Japan

      • April 2, 2018 at 5:26 pmneko_in_blue

        It is just her personality. I was reading a blog where people were discussing the roles of Hinata and Sakura and I had to agree with them, when they were saying they just exist for Naruto’s and Sasuke’s sake. They did not have any important roles, like Winry, Lei Fan or Riza in FMA. I think both of them think ( and it is very heartbreaking ) that they achieved the love they wanted so bad and just settle on those relationships, even with their problems. Sakura is even more pitiful since I ( and A LOT of other people ) trully think they just had sex once and Sarada was an accident. Hinata loves Naruto so much and since she knows everyhing he went trough to be a Hokage, she just thinks she needs to support him even if their family having some serious problems. She cannot have the will of calling her husband and saying ‘Hey, dear, we are having this, this and this situation and we need to fix it.” She is just going with Naruto’s flow and that sad look on her face as he said he did not know their son’s preference, it was her own realisation of her mistakes as well, for allowing such things.

  • April 2, 2018 at 1:32 pmOri

    Is Sasuke and Naruto trying to compete for “poor parenting” award?

    • April 2, 2018 at 5:09 pmneko_in_blue

      Sasuke wins because he is also a terrible husband.

  • April 4, 2018 at 9:53 pmSunny

    I wonder when things are gonna get real. And is actually how strong is Konohamaru Sarutobi? Who knows. Is he really going to be the 8th Hokage?
    who knows…

  • April 5, 2018 at 1:11 amKF