Boruto Naruto Next Generations have been on air for 5 months now since the first episode on April 5, 2017. The show didn’t receive much positive reviews during the first few episodes. However, it was just beginning and all initial judgments might not be valid in later months. So after 23 episodes (at the point of this review), is Boruto Naruto Next Generations good? Or is it just another failed sequel of a once-great series? Let’s find out in this Boruto Naruto Next Generations review!
***SPOILERS ALERT: This review will have considerable amount of spoilers. You have been warned!***
The story of Boruto Naruto Next Generations is clearly focusing on this next generation. In the first episode, we caught a glimpse of how things would turn out in the future: Konoha Village’s destruction. And on that ruins, Boruto and his “friend” Kawaki fight for their own future. This scene reminds us of Naruto’s story in which he constantly clash with Sasuke. From this scene, we can also see that Boruto and Kawaki also have some unknown tattoos which seem to be their new sources of power. Boruto’s right eye also becomes black with light-blue pupil, suggesting this to be Boruto’s new eye power. “Unfortunately”, we can see the rest of this battle as the story pulls back to the present day of young Boruto.
First few episodes
From episode 1 to 9, the story mostly focused on introducing the new young generation studying in Ninja Academy, including Boruto. Throughout the episodes, a new unknown enemy was also introduced: a mysterious shadow which fed on victim’s negative thought. The shadow gave the victim enormous power, and also drove victim into maddening rage. Interestingly, Boruto’s right eye was the only thing which could detect the shadow, though the eye often activated subconsciously.
These first 9 episodes receive the most different opinions. Many people (often judged as “die-hard” fan) express that they like the direction of the new story. While many others think it was bland and boring.
But if we take a more “neutral” view, these first episodes were not that bad as many people think. It gave a good story foundation and decent characters introduction. However, if we compare to original Naruto (which many of us will), the beginning of Boruto Naruto Next Generations is not as impactful as Naruto. That said; it is quite unfair to compare Boruto with an already impactful Naruto original series.
If we have to rate the first 9 episodes, it would be 7/10. The story set up good foundation and decent introduction to the new generation. Yet, the beginning is not really attractive. Still, it’s a decent start, not a total disaster.
Sumire and Gozu Tennou
Continuing the mystery of the shadow, Naruto, Shikamaru, and Sai began their investigation of this unknown enemy. So too Boruto, along with the new characters Mitsuki and Shikadai (Shikamaru’s son), started their own investigation. Later on it was found out that Sumire, Naruto’s classmate, was the one who control the shadow. The shadow was just a part of Nue, a fearsome creation from one of Danzou’s research. This beast can absorb Chakra, making it an extremely dangerous foe. Luckily, Boruto and Mitsuki succeeded in subduing the beast and persuaded Sumire to stop the beast and her vengeance.
These next episodes became more interesting due to the reveal of shadow’s identity, and also the danger posed by Nue. We also got to see a bit more power of Boruto’s right eye as he could see the beast’s Chakra Network and its weak point. In addition, he could sense hidden barriers which connect different dimensions.
The story definitely got better and more exciting. And even though it was not too surprising, overall the tension was there and it raised our fascination. Personally we would give it 8/10.
The Uchiha Family
From episode 19 to 23, the story turned its direction to the Uchiha family, and the development of Sarada Uchiha in particular. Unlike Boruto who knew his father (and even wanted to get acknowledged), Sarada didn’t know her father and all she could only see her father through his old picture. And so, the story focused on her reunion with her father (though it was quite rough) and how her dream changed.
Frankly speaking, this story is really exciting since we could finally see Sasuke and his reunion with his daughter. However, an accident happened when Sarada thought that her real mother wasn’t Sakura (thanks a lot Suigetsu!). This started hatred within Sarada, thus awoke her Sharingan. But thankfully, all misunderstanding was cleared and the Uchiha family reunited peacefully. Sarada’s belief about ninja was also changed and she has decided to take quite an interesting turn, which we will talk about in the next section.
The story also features a new “temporary” enemy: Shin, a Mangekyou Sharingan user who can create a full-flesh-body clone of himself. He wanted to recreate the Akatsuki again to pursue his own belief. However, his plan was quickly shattered by the intervention of former Team 7: Sakura, Sasuke, Naruto, and also Sarada. To some extent, Shin did a good impression as a big threat. But it seemed he was put in mostly for the sake of reason for Naruto and Sasuke meeting, and ultimately Sasuke and Sarada’s reunion.
And so despite Shin’s weak impression, the most touching and exciting part was Uchiha family reunion and interesting development of Sarada (And hey! Cho-cho’s pursuit of her “true father” is also funny too). Overall it would be 9/10 (of course this was mostly subjective).
To this point, the story of Boruto Naruto Next Generations is far from ending. There are much unanswered things and we will still have to wait. For now, the story of Boruto would be 8/10. The story is not something extraordinary, but the characters development is quite interesting and we would love to see how to things will continue.
At the moment, characters seem to be the main focus of the series. We’ve get to see how Naruto generation is doing as true adults, and more importantly, how their child develops over time especially Boruto and Sarada. Other characters also make a good appearance and development such as Shikadai (Shikamaru’s son), Mitsuki (“son” of Orochimaru), Cho-Cho (Choji’s daughter), Inojin (Sai’s son), and Metal Lee (Rock Lee’s son).
On the other hand, there are many other new characters, mostly Boruto’s classmates, but somehow they are kind of bland and uninteresting. There are some exceptions like Denki and Iwabee but still their appearance is decent at best. Sumire is probably the most significant new character since she was the one behind Gozo Tennou summoning. Even though her shy personality reminisce Hinata, she is still more interesting than most of other new characters.
Back to the main cast, Boruto and Sarada made quite good appearance and development:
Boruto, son of the 7th Hokage
Some people may dislike Boruto because of his “spoiled brat” characteristic. However, it is actually fitting in this new story. Let’s remind that he isn’t just any “son”, he is the son of Naruto, the 7th Hokage. Not only that, Naruto is a huge figure within this ninja world. In this world, Naruto is always respected as a great hero figure and no doubt, being a son of such a huge figure isn’t an easy thing. Naturally, a son always tries to surpass his father, and Boruto also wants the same. In fact, he loves his father as much as he loves his mother and sister.
Aside from it, it showed that Boruto also inherits the heroic spirit from his father. Though he is known as “troublemaker” but at the same time, he also has respect from his friends. Probably this is the biggest difference between Naruto and Boruto: While young Naruto was neglected and look down by almost everybody, Boruto didn’t have to face that hardship, he already had friends and respect. It may be a big nuisance to many viewers, but neutrally speaking, it’s quite logical and it reminds us of Konohamaru who was often referred as “grandson of the 3rd Hokage”.
And so it is safe to say that Boruto made quite a fine appearance and it is interesting to see how he will change in the future.
Sarada, daughter of the Great Shadow
Sarada is daughter of Sakura and Sasuke, but unlike other families, her father was never at home. Sasuke often took mission in faraway lands and he rarely came back home, thus leaving his daughter a life without the father figure. Sarada always wonders about her father: who he is, what he looks like, what does he do, etc… All these questions cause a great disturbance within the young Uchiha.
In the recent issue, Sarada finally reunite with her father but unfortunately for her, it wasn’t a happy reunion. When Sarada followed Naruto and Sasuke to Orochimaru’s lair, she thought that Sakura wasn’t her true mother and this greatly hurt her feeling. She awoke her Sharingan at this point, which also proved her deep love for her parents.
After all that, it’s quite touching to see Sarada and her parents had a “true family reunion day”. Also interestingly enough, Sarada decided to become Hokage even though she “disliked” ninja at first. The impression of Naruto influenced her and she wished to become a Hokage like him. Why this is interesting? For those who have watched Boruto Naruto the Movie, Boruto was also impressed by Sasuke and he wished to become a Hokage’s shadow just like Sasuke. Although this event has yet to happen in Boruto Naruto Next Generations, the development of Sarada and Boruto is definitely something worth to watch.
In overall, Boruto Naruto Next Generations deliver quite good cast with interesting story and development, except for some weak new characters. In our opinion, characters aspect of Boruto Naruto Next Generations would be 8/10.
Boruto Naruto Next Generations was created by studio Pierrot, which is extremely famous for their big-name anime adaptations like Bleach, Yu Yu Hakusho, Tokyo Ghoul, Beelzebub, Great Teacher Onizuka, and the original Naruto.
Just like Naruto anime, the visuals in Boruto Naruto Next Generations still remains the similar style which looks as good as always. The animation looks fluid and beautiful. Overall it is 9/10.
Boruto Naruto Next Generations Opening (Source: Editions Kana)
There is not much to talk about music. The songs, background music, sound effects, all are nicely done and well calibrated. The opening song Baton Road and Sayonara Moon Town are really suitable for the young and energetic theme of Boruto. Overall it’s 8/10.
Boruto Naruto Next Generations is a good show and by all means, it is not a failure. Yet, we have to agree that Boruto doesn’t have as strong opening as the original Naruto series. If we compare the two series then clearly Boruto is inferior to Naruto. However, this is a reboot series and for such a big name as Naruto, it’s quite unfair to compare the two. If we judge Boruto as an individual series, it is a good series with interesting characters and it is far from being a failure.
At the moment, the final verdict for Boruto Naruto Next Generations is 8/10. Of course the series hasn’t reached its peak yet so it’s hard to say whether the series is a totally success or not. Yet it’s a series worth to take a look for and we’re glad to continue following this new wind.
And that’s it folk! Thank you and stay tune for more news in the future!