“Himawari’s Birthday”

「ヒマワリの誕生日」 (Himawari no tanjoubi)

Chunin Exams are looming! But it’s not like our genins are totally unprepared. Having undergone many trials and tribulations over 53 episodes, I’d say that quite a few of them have demonstrated real guts, and are ready to take the next step. For example, Sarada aspires to become a Hokage someday, while Shikadai wants to be a person who can change the system. And Boruto…? Well, he’s still trying to figure out his own path, although it looks like Mr Sasuke might have given him some inspiration. Nevertheless, trouble never strays too far from the horizon.

Dawn of the Ototsuki

Toneri was stuck with some pretty awful choices. Would you rather die, or be frozen in time while maintaining full consciousness for 1000 years? Although the blinkered prospect of freedom should exist, thanks to swift scientific progression, that’s going to be a really long wait. Not to mention, Toneri is going to feel absolutely powerless, watching his Ototsuki kin have their way with the planet of shinobis. My question would be whether Urashiki’s death would undo the seal. Otherwise, we may be looking at a decade or so, before Boruto or someone goes to the moon in order to free Toneri.

It’s not exactly clear what kind of plan Toneri had in mind for the Jougan. But it seemed like he was greatly concerned about the prospects of an Ototsuki invasion, and wanted the Shinobi world to have some sort of chance to fend for itself. Which also means that theories on genetic requirements are also thrown out of the window. Why only Boruto, if Himawari would also theoretically satisfy any genetic requirement? I look forwards to seeing what kind of special qualities the boy has, which marked him out as the chosen saviour of ninja kind.

Broken Pride

“I never go back on my word, that’s my ninja way!” – Uzumaki Naruto

You guessed it – I’m here to crucify Naruto for going back on his nindo. Also, props to the anime for hammering home emotions way harder than the movie.

All of a sudden, those inspirational words ring hollow as our hero comes crashing down from his pedestal up high. To err is definitely human, and deserves some margin of sympathy. But breaking your promise twice in succession, to the most precious people in your life is nothing short of disgraceful. Especially when Naruto spent 500+ episodes reiterating his fiery conviction towards upholding his personal philosophy. It means a lot that he’s suddenly broken his creed, twice at that, and become this massive hypocrite. Look at all the emotional pain and suffering he’s causing to his nearest and dearest.

Boruto has every reason to be angry and upset. Though she attempts to justify it away, Hinata’s excuses do not change Naruto’s failure as a father. Yeah, the boy is lucky to have his father alive, as opposed to dead and utterly absent. However, that’s like pointing at a depressed person, and saying they can’t be depressed, because someone else has it worse than them. In short, that kind of logic sucks. As far as I know, there is no existing promise he made as a Hokage, that would have conflicted with upholding his promises to both Boruto and Himawari. Have we come to a point where duty matters more than following your ninja way? I don’t know. Maybe it’s reality and a part of growing up. That said, it doesn’t mean I have to like it, even if a whole layer of interesting context is added to Naruto’s character.

Concluding Thoughts

Dark forces are at work. First, Toneri getting sealed away by a fellow Ototsuki, paves the way for an outside invasion. Then Katasuke gets attacked in his own laboratory by a cloaked figure, compromising scientific secrets that could potentially define the next generation of shinobi. The stage is also being set for Boruto to embark down a baptism of fire, given how he’s at an emotional breaking point, with the Chunin Exams coming up as well. Could Sasuke provide a source of stability for the young and troubled genin? Who knows. Nevertheless, I’m excited to see how Boruto and Co will pull through the storm. Thanks for reading my post, and stay tuned for more next week!



  1. Yeah, the boy is lucky to have his father alive, as opposed to dead and utterly absent. However, that’s like pointing at a depressed person, and saying they can’t be depressed, because someone else has it worse than them.

    I couldn’t have explained it myself better. In this regard, I think the anime’s build-up has finally paid off. The series made the scene of the cake harder to watch.

    Because now we know that it wasn’t just Boruto being bratty, unable to accept the fact that his father can’t be with him and his family as often as he would like. It’s been slow and subtle, but compare the Naruto from the first episodes to this Naruto: his work-family life balance is worsening, his absences are getting more and more serious, his workload doesn’t decrease, and he’s getting visibly tired. He’s burning out.

    No wonder Boruto’s relationship with his father is becoming more strained. That said, to look up to Sasuke as a role model… Seriously, Boruto, that guy is an even worse father. Just ask Sarada. Still, I guess that’s part of the irony.

    I also like how they are foreshadowing Boruto’s future greatest mistake, from his choice in games to his decision to take part in the chunin exams. If we add the baggage from past arcs, it feels logical. But I won’t say more, because that would be spoilers.

    1. Even thought we are retreading the plot of the movie at this point, I feel it works much better here thanks to all the buildup. In the movie Boruto came across as a brat obsessing about a single bad thing that happened to him as an excuse for acting out. Now that we have more context, we see that this is a pattern and the birthday was the final straw. We’ve seen him getting angrier and angrier as time went on. It makes what’s going to happen more relateable and believable.

  2. https://randomc.net/image/Boruto%20Naruto%20Next%20Generations/Boruto%20Naruto%20Next%20Generations%20-%2053%20-%20Large%2031.jpg
    I am stumped as to why Naruto couldn’t do it the other way around, leave a clone at work while sending his real body to home. What a WASTE OF GOOD CAKE T_T!!!

    I sort of hope Orochimaru captures and does his inhuman experiments on this dude. I can’t imagine how happy that snake would be if he switches bodies with this alien.

    And honestly, this running style, it is so painful to watch!

    1. I am stumped as to why Naruto couldn’t do it the other way around, leave a clone at work while sending his real body to home.

      I think this is the point that reveals the real problem with Naruto: priorities. I’m sure he believed he could do two things at the same time with his shadow clones, despite his stress; but when deciding what he could get away with in case he failed, he chose his daughter’s birthday. He’s taking them for granted, and that’s a serious problem. Boruto’s words that his family is below the rest of the village in Naruto’s eyes are not completely without merit.

      1. That’s nice and all from a family-style shounen perspective, but a leader’s family should be less important than the village as a whole (or the country as a whole, etc). The problem is that a lot of time, the sacrifice in this case is seen as unworthy because there are better ways to do things (like paperwork) that would make Naruto more available. Also, since there is peace, Naruto’s position is seen as less important.

        This is Boruto’s story and has to set Boruto up as the hero, and Naruto is in narrative an easy source of conflict. However, he is also immature and selfish as all children are. They both need to make concessions in this circumstance, it’s not his fault he was born in his family but he is the child of someone who will always belong to a bigger picture, and that is (in the real world) a hard reality to face.

  3. I think Naruto is a horrible Hokage on the administrative ways. How come things are peaceful and even so he is always full of work? What is he not doing properly? We did not see the previous Hokage suffering like that.
    I wanted to know the dates Boruto and Himawari’s birthday, are they really that close or there was a long time skip? Moost of times, in anime, we can notice months going by with changing of seasons but I cannot see this in Borut. Baka Naruto, leaving a clone to your father duties? Hima-chan was so happy as seeing him at the house, it broke my heart. I would definitely divorce Naruto at this point. He could at least talk to his wife about this horrible idea, Hinata would put some sense on it. At least, why they cant celebrate on his office, since he is not able to leave?
    What kind of friendship is that between Naruto and Sasuke that he doesnt even know Boruto’s names?
    This generation people skill is seriously damaged.

    1. In the bygone eras of Konoha, presided over by previous Hokages, there were civil tensions and wars arising from conflicts with other Hidden Villages. There was less of a need for paperwork, since the administration was far more militaristic, and there were no trade deals or peace negotiations to be had. Instead, the Hokage served as a powerful figurehead of war, and had little paperwork to deal with, only needing to be physically present in order to command people.

      Now that we find ourselves in an era of peace and diplomacy following the Fourth Great Shinobi War, there would naturally be a lot more paperwork to handle resulting from the change in priorities when it comes to running any Hidden Village. The increase in industrial output and trade, in conjunction with the perceivable lack of a sophisticated service industry (Finance, Banking, Legal Firms, etc) to help regulate and facilitate this economic growth, leaves Naruto to shoulder the bulk of the burden.

      Since he is the Hokage and the man in charge of everything it’s left upon him to regulate everything and have the final say. Because this kind of peace is relatively new to the Narutoverse, Konoha hasn’t come up with an efficient way to handle the increased paperwork, hence a lot of it falls onto Naruto to manage. Of course, he’s definitely stubborn because a newer administrative system might prove far more effective, if not for his stubborn insistence on handling everything by himself. Even Shikamaru was willing to help out, if it meant that Naruto could spend the day with both Himawari and Boruto, but Naruto was the one who declined the offer.

      Is this Naruto’s fault? Kind of. But I don’t blame him for being ill-equipped to handle new demands, since we’re seeing a rapid transition within the global society, of the likes that have never been seen before in the Narutoverse. He should stop being stubborn, and accept that times have changed, and ancient traditions shouldn’t stand in the way of implementing more practical systems.

  4. Studio Perriot made Naruto’s word mean as much as a Cup of instant Ramen when they retconned his feelings for Sakura to pair him with Hinata so to be upset that he doesn’t follow his nindo is pretty silly.

    Hello Pot, I’m Kettle
    1. Quite the contrary. Naruto never gave up and kept his promise to Sakura – that he’d bring back Sasuke. Plus, he never said he’d love her for the rest of his life. If anything, he wanted her to be happy, even if that meant having her love for Sasuke come to fruition. As an extremely altruistic guy, he never asked for anything in return.

      Also, feelings shouldn’t be forced to remain the same, if an extenuating circumstance occurs. It’s not like even the best of people persist in pursuing an unrequited first love for the rest of their lives, so I don’t see why you’d hold that against Naruto.

      1. No one is saying that someone can’t move on or step aside to let someone be happy—(except studio perriot apparently since they say a girl’s feelings can never change)—and if that had been what had happened it would have been fine but Naruto didn’t move on or step aside; his feelings were made out to be false, only part of his rivalry with Sasuke. He was made out to seem like an idiot about love when his feelings for Sakura always appeared very mature.

        But even though many of us assumed Naruto stepping aside was always a possibility, there was also the fact that Naruto was supposed to not give up on his dreams. Everyone was rooting for Naruto to succeed in his dreams where so many others had failed—(Jiraiya, Obito, Yahiko)—to bring back Sasuke, become Hokage and get the girl. I suppose the only way to make it seem like he didn’t give up on the girl was to make it seem as though he never really wanted her in the first place.

        Sorry if I come across as a whiny NaruSaku fan. While I did prefer it, the pairings aren’t why I don’t like Boruto. It just plays out like a bad fanfiction in so many ways that it’s ridiculous.

        Hello Pot, I’m Kettle
      2. Don’t worry about it. I complain just as much as the next person, when my favourite ships capsize, and it was honest of you to come forwards and make that concession.

        Naruto didn’t give up on his dreams – be Hokage and save friends. He made them come true. As I said, his dream was never to be with Sakura – it was always to make the people he cared about happy, and he achieved that.

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