Boruto: Naruto Next Generations

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations anime cover art featuring Boruto, Sarada, and Mitsuki
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Cover Art

Overview

Since Naruto is one of my favorite anime series, of course I was going to watch Boruto. However, that doesn’t mean I have to like Boruto as much as Shippuden or even the original Naruto series. The Boruto series isn’t even as good as the Boruto Movie yet.

In this post, we’ll be taking a look at the first 50 episodes of the Boruto series.

Unfortunately, the first 50 episodes of Boruto are mostly filler. There were a few small, non-filler arcs I can think of, but basically everything else was filler. Then, when we got to episode 50 we got a recap episode which only recapped the filler of the first 49 episodes and none of the actual content.

But before I get too much into what was good or bad about this series so far, let’s do a little general plot overview. As you may have guessed, Boruto is about the next generation of Ninja after the Shippuden series. This means it follows the children of our favorite characters from the earlier series.

However, the best arcs of the anime so far are the ones that involve the older characters. The first good arc we get has to do with the attempted revival of the Akatsuki by Shin Uchiha, a clone made by Orochimaru who has Sharingan eyes implanted all over his upper body.

In this arc, we get to see my favorite pair, Sasuke and Sakura Uchiha, fight against Shin Uchiha and his children who are clones of himself. While this arc has some good action involving old favorites, it also serves as an important growth point for one of the best characters of the new generation, Sarada Uchiha.

The other good arc I can think of is a background arc for one of the new characters, Mitsuki. I’ll discuss Mitsuki a bit more in-depth below, but in this arc we learn of his origins and get a pretty good fight between Orochimaru and another of his creations, an earlier clone of Mitsuki.

Besides those two small arcs, everything else in the series has been pretty boring so far. We’ve gotten episodes such as the obligatory lost cat episode which we saw in the original series with Team 7 and in Shippuden with both Konohamaru’s team and Itachi’s team.

Then, 2 weeks ago at this point, we got the 50th episode of the series in the form of the recap episode I mentioned earlier. This recap episode skipped over the two arcs I mentioned above and instead just reintroduced us to nine of the twelve new characters who we’ve been watching this whole time (they left out the worst team so at least that was good).


Characters

Team 7 is the main squad of the series and is led by Konohamaru Sarutobi, grandson of the third Hokage and rival/apprentice of Naruto, the seventh Hokage. In his team are Boruto Uzumaki, Sarada Uchiha, and Mitsuki. I went over these three characters in my review of the Boruto Movie, but we’ll do it again anyway.

Boruto Uzumaki is the son of Naruto Uzumaki and Hinata Hyuga. He’s a prodigy who is able to use multiple chakra natures while still a student in the ninja academy. He always feels the need to prove himself because he hates being compared to his father, the Hokage.

His younger sister, Himawari Uzumaki, has awakened her Byakugan at this point, but Boruto has not. Instead, he has some unknown visual jutsu which we haven’t seen in a while now, but appears to be important for later on in the series.

Sarada Uchiha is the only child of Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno. She has inherited both her father’s Sharingan eyes and her mother’s physical strength so she’ll be one of the more interesting characters as the series goes on. She also hopes to become Hokage one day and honestly I’d rather see her in that position than Boruto.

Mitsuki is the initially mysterious third member of the team. However, we learn that he’s actually the “son” of Orochimaru and was made in a lab along with many other clones of himself. He doesn’t use snakes in the same way that Orochimaru did, but his body is able to stretch and become snake-like.

Team 10 is the next most important team and is led by Moegi, a former teammate of Konohamaru. This is the Ino-Shika-Cho team and includes Inojin Yamanaka, Shikadai Nara, and Chocho Akimichi.

Inojin Yamanaka is the son of Ino Yamanaka and Sai. Rather than inheriting the mind-transfer jutsu of the Yamanaka clan, Inojin uses the super beast scroll like his father. However, while Sai’s drawings were more of a Sumi-e style, Inojin’s use color and are more manga-esque.

Shikadai is the son of Shikamaru Nara and Temari, the sister of Gaara, the Kazekage. Shikadai is essentially a mini version of his father. He uses the same shadow paralysis jutsu and acts the same way as Shikamaru does. I suppose Shikamaru was such a popular character that they just brought him back.

Chocho is the daughter of Choji Akimichi and Karui, a ninja from the village hidden in the clouds. She uses the same expansion jutsu that the rest of the Akimichi clan uses and is probably my least favorite member of the squad just like Choji was.

Team 5 is even less important than team 10 and is led by Udon, the other teammate of Konohamaru and Moegi. In this team we have Metal Lee, Iwabe Yuino, and Denki Kaminarimon.

Metal Lee is the son of Rock Lee, but we don’t know who his mother is at this point and we may never learn because Lee only had Might Guy as his mentor and Might Guy only had his father, Might Duy. Metal Lee excels in taijutsu like his predecessors, but tends to fail under pressure such as when someone is watching him.

Iwabe Yuino is a completely new character who uses earth-style jutsu. He tends to use this to make a giant hammer he uses to fight. Iwabe is older than the other members of his team due to failing the academy graduation exam multiple times.

Denki Kaminarimon is another new character and one of my least favorite characters of the series. He doesn’t really use jutsu, but instead carries around a laptop which he uses to hack into things. He’s everything I hate about the advances in technology in the leaf village.

Team 15 is the only one of the remaining three teams that matters at all. This team is led by Hanabi Hyuga and includes Wasabi Izuno, Sumire Kakei, and Namida Suzumeno. This is the worst team (other than the inclusion of Hanabi) and each character is color coded which makes it even worse.

Wasabi Izuno is the green one if you couldn’t guess by her name. She uses a cat jutsu to gain the abilities of various cats. I originally thought she was supposed to be the daughter of Kiba Inuzuka and whoever the cat girl he liked was, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Sumire Kakei is the daughter of one of the scientists who worked for Danzo as part of the Foundation. Her signature jutsu is a summoning jutsu which summons a chimera demon similar to a tailed beast named Nue. She’s the purple one of the squad.

Namida Suzumeno is the orange one and potentially the worst. Her jutsu involves crying which shows how useless she is. When she cries, it makes a disorienting sound wave so maybe she’s related to someone from the sound village in some way.

Sakura Uchiha vs. Shin Uchiha from the anime Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Sakura vs. Shin

Conclusion

For now, the Boruto series is a 5/10 which puts it below both Shippuden and the original series. The plot just isn’t that good due to all the filler and most of the animation for the series isn’t good either. It’s only during fights such as the one between Shin and Sakura/Sasuke that we get decent animation.

With the first year of Boruto coming to a close, it seems that we’re finally getting close to the arc from the Boruto Movie which I’ve heard is going to be redone in the series. While I’m looking forward to this because it means the series should get better, I don’t really have my hopes up because they might decided to add even more filler before we get to that point.

The first OP for Boruto is available here.

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