A New Legend Begins

The next generation of shinobi rises in Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, Vol. 1.

By Alexis Kirsch April 06, 2017

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Welcome back to the amazing ninja world of Naruto in Boruto: Naruto Next Generations! Naruto has saved the world and became Hokage, the greatest ninja in Konohagakure Village. He now spends his days cooped up in his office doing boring paperwork. But this isn’t his story! This is Boruto’s story. Boruto is the son of Naruto and Hinata, but he is his own character. Growing up during such peaceful times has resulted in Boruto not being as motivated toward greatness as his dad was. It also doesn’t help that the Hokage is a terrible father who never has time to spend with his kids. This has manifested in Boruto as a hatred towards all things Hokage. What? Naruto’s son wants nothing to do with being Hokage? Sometimes the apple does fall far from the tree…

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One of the strongest aspects of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is the relationship between father and son. As a child, Naruto was alone and treated like trash by those around him. This shaped who he is. His goal to be Hokage was all about being acknowledged as a worthy person by the village. He would do anything to get attention, he didn’t even care if it was negative attention. Boruto has never had that problem. He’s the son of possibly the greatest ninja the world has ever seen. He’s probably had to listen constantly to people telling him how great his dad is and that he’ll follow in Naruto’s footsteps. The problem for Boruto is that he doesn’t see his dad as some great person, he sees him as a man who’s too busy to even show up for his kid’s birthday party. What’s so great about being Hokage if it means ignoring your family? Naruto worked hard to get the whole world to notice him, Boruto just wants his dad to pay attention to him.

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But the Naruto and Boruto dynamic isn’t the sole focus of this series. There are tons of new characters that are exciting in their own way. Boruto’s team is made up of Sarada and Mitsuki. Sarada is the daughter of Sasuke and Sakura and is bit of a mixture of both. With the Sharingan and brute strength, she may have what it takes to become the next Hokage. Then there’s the mysterious Mitsuki. This character takes a backseat in Volume 1 of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations until the bonus chapter at the end drawn by Masashi Kishimoto Sensei himself. It turns out he’s related to Orochimaru! Mitsuki seems to pack a ton of potential and I’m looking forward to his development in future volumes.

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The final volumes of Naruto dealt with some incredibly high stakes. The fate of the world was literally at stake and Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura risked their lives against the most fearsome foe the world has ever known. The start of Boruto is a lot more low-key. It’s nice seeing the character deal with more internal problems that need finesse to solve. Okay, maybe I spoke too soon about that. Boruto’s plan to make Naruto notice him is to learn his dad’s weaknesses with the help of Sasuke. I found it very cute that the only thing that seems to motivate Boruto as a ninja is defeating his dad. He’ll do anything to get noticed by his dad. However, pay attention to the first few pages in the series. These are a flash-forward scene and all sorts of terrible things seem to have gone down. Has Naruto been killed? Is the village destroyed?! I can’t wait to learn what exactly happened. Now that is a good hook!

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Volume 1 of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is in stores now! If you want to stay up to date with the latest chapter, the series runs in Weekly Shonen Jump as a monthly serial.

-Alexis Kirsch