Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
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Boruto: Naruto Next Generations (Japanese: BORUTO-ボルト- NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS), also known simply as Boruto, is a Japanese manga series written by Ukyō Kodachi and illustrated by Mikio Ikemoto. Serialized in Shueisha's shōnen manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump, Boruto is a spin-off and a sequel to Masashi Kishimoto's Naruto which follows the exploits of Naruto Uzumaki's son Boruto Uzumaki and his ninja team. An anime television series adaptation directed by Noriyuki Abe started airing on TV Tokyo on April 5, 2017. Unlike the manga that started as a retelling of the film Boruto: Naruto the Movie, the Boruto anime acts like a prequel, before Boruto and his friends became ninjas in a later arc.
|Boruto: Naruto Next Generations|
|Written by||Ukyō Kodachi|
|Illustrated by||Mikio Ikemoto|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Jump|
|Original run||May 9, 2016 – present|
|Anime television series|
|Original network||TV Tokyo|
|Original run||April 5, 2017 – present|
Critical reception to the series has been largely positive, with most critics liking the traits of the main characters, most notably Boruto, who, while resembling his father Naruto, still plays pranks and bonds with his peers. Pierrot's anime prequel also earned praise for its use of both new and returning characters. Shueisha has shipped a million units of the manga series as of January 2017.
The series begins with young ninja Boruto Uzumaki facing a foe named Kawaki during the destruction of his village, Konohagakure. As that happens, Boruto remembers how his father Naruto Uzumaki succeeded in becoming his village's Seventh Hokage and oversaw a new generation in the Ninja World following his marriage with Hinata Uzumaki. Boruto, who felt angered by his father placing the village before his family, has became a part of a ninja team led by Naruto's protégé Konohamaru Sarutobi, along with Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Uchiha's daughter Sarada Uchiha and Orochimaru's artificial son Mitsuki. Boruto meets Sasuke when he returns to the village to warn Naruto of an impending threat. Boruto convinces Sasuke to train him for the upcoming Chunin Exam to impress his father. During the exam, Momoshiki Otsutsuki and Kinshiki Otsutsuki, the threat whom Sasuke spoke of, appear and abduct Naruto so that they can use Kurama, a creature sealed inside his body, to revitalize the dying Shinju from the dimension where they came from.
Boruto joins Sasuke and the four Kages, the leaders of other ninja villages, to rescue Naruto. But Momoshiki turns Kinshiki into a chakra fruit and ingests it in order to become stronger. Aided by Naruto and Sasuke, Boruto is able to defeat Momoshiki. Though dying, noting his killer's untapped potential, Momoshiki lives long enough to have a private discussion with Boruto and warns him that he will face much tribulation later on in his life. After recovering from his fight, Boruto decides he will become a vigilante like Sasuke in the future while entrusting Sarada with following her dream of becoming the Hokage. As Sasuke interrogates a criminal who knows of Boruto's mark, he reveals to Naruto and his underlings that there is a group called "Kara" (殻 lit. The Husk) searching for people with marks. Boruto's team is then assigned to investigate the mysteries behind Kara.
In contrast to the Boruto manga where the main cast start as ninjas, the anime first presents how Boruto joins the ninja academy and forms friendships. One day, a mark appears within Boruto's right eye, which allows him to see contaminated energy in certain people who start going berserk, attacking other people. With the help of Mitsuki, Boruto manages to find the person responsible for contaminating people's chakra. The anime then enters into another story arc, where Sarada leaves the village in order to find her father, Sasuke, to confirm whether Sakura is her biological mother or not. She and her friend Chocho Akimichi end up joining forces with Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura in order to defeat Shin Uchiha and his clones, who want to kill Sasuke. The following story arc involves the children from Konohagakure going on a trip to Kirigakure. There, Boruto befriends a ninja named Kagura, who is forced to become part of a rebellion against Konoha. Following this story arc, Boruto and his friends graduate from the academy. Boruto, Sarada and Mitsuki form the new Team 7 under Konohamaru's leadership. Additionally, the anime will retell the events from the film Boruto: Naruto the Movie, but with additional content.
When the Naruto manga ended in 2014, the company Shueisha asked Masashi Kishimoto to start a sequel. However, Kishimoto rejected the idea and proposed artist Mikio Ikemoto, who had been working as an assistant for Kishimoto ever since Naruto's early chapters, to draw it based on the experience Ikemoto had. A countdown website was used under the name of "Next Generation" in order to promote the new manga. In December 2015, the Boruto: Naruto Next Generations's serialization was announced. Kishimoto said that he wanted Boruto to surpass his own work. The writer of Boruto, Ukyō Kodachi, wrote Gaara's light novel, Gaara Hiden, and assisted Kishimoto in writing the script of the film Boruto: Naruto the Movie. Besides writing for the series, Kodachi supervises the story of the anime as well. However, for episodes 8 and 9, Kishimoto also acted as the supervisor of the anime.
Kishimoto advised Ikemoto not to imitate his own art style and instead make his own. While noting long-time fans might be disappointed with the fact that Kishimoto is not drawing Boruto, Ikemoto stated he would do his best in the making of the manga. Ikemoto mentioned he remained optimistic about his art style. Kishimoto also revises the manga's scenario. While feeling honored to create the art for Boruto, Ikemoto stated he feels grateful that the series is released monthly rather than weekly due to the stress the latter could bring because of the required amount of nearly 20 pages per chapter. However, Ikemoto still finds the monthly serialization challenging. Regular chapters of Boruto tend to surpass 40 pages, with an entire week required to create the thumbnails and 20 days to produce the pages while the rest of the time is used for coloring or giving the chapters other touches.
Despite having a lighter tone than Naruto, the series begins by hinting at a dark future. This set-up was purposed by Kishimoto in order to give the manga a bigger impact and a different approach than the one from the Boruto movie. In this scenario, Ikemoto drew an older Boruto, but he believes that once the manga reaches this point, the design might change. Kodachi drew parallels between Boruto and the post-Cold War era, stating that while the new characters are living in a time of peace, something complicated might bring the world back to chaos.
Even though Kishimoto is not writing the series, he created multiple characters for the staff to use. While not specifying if Naruto or another important character would die, Kishimoto commented that he would find a situation like this interesting and stated that the authors have freedom when it comes to writing the story.
Written by Ukyō Kodachi and illustrated by Mikio Ikemoto, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations was launched in the 23rd issue of Shueisha's manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump on May 9, 2016. Original series creator Masashi Kishimoto currently supervises the series illustrated by his former chief assistant and written by his co-writer of the Boruto: Naruto the Movie screenplay. A spin-off manga titled Boruto: Saikyo Dash Generations (BORUTO-ボルト- SAIKYO DASH GENERATIONS) was written by Kenji Taira and has been serialized in Saikyō Jump since the May 2017 issue.
|No.||Title||Japanese release||English release|
Uzumaki Boruto!! (うずまきボルト!!)
|August 4, 2016
|April 4, 2017
|2||Stupid Old Man!!
Kuso Oyaji…!! (クソオヤジ…!!)
|December 2, 2016
|September 5, 2017
Ore no monogatari...!! (オレの物語...!!)
|May 2, 2017
|March 6, 2018
|4||The Value of a Trump Card!!
Kirifuda no Kachi!! (切り札の価値!!)
|November 2, 2017
Chapters not yet in tankōbon formatEdit
These chapters have yet to be published in a tankōbon volume. They were originally serialized in Japanese in issues of Weekly Shōnen Jump.
- "The Vessel" (器 Utsuwa)
- "Blue" (青 Ao)
- "The Hand" (手 Te)
- "Puppets" (人形 Ningyō)
- "Scientific Ninja Tools" (科学忍具 Kagaku Ningu)
At the Naruto and Boruto stage event at Jump Festa on December 17, 2016, it was announced that the manga series would be receiving an anime project, which was later confirmed to be an anime television series adaptation that would feature an original story. The anime series, supervised by series creator Ukyō Kodachi, would be co-directed by Noriyuki Abe and Hiroyuki Yamashita, with series composition by Makoto Uezu, animation produced by Pierrot, character designs by Tetsuya Nishio and Hirofumi Suzuki, and music co-composed by Yasuharu Takanashi and YAIBA. The series premiered on TV Tokyo on April 5, 2017. Viz Media has licensed the series in North America. From episodes 1 to 26, the first opening theme is "Baton Road" by KANA-BOON. From episode 27 onwards, the second opening theme is "OVER" by Little Glee Monster. From episodes 1 to 13, the first ending theme is "Dreamy Journey" by The Peggies. From episodes 14 to 26, the second ending theme is "Sayonara Moon Town" by Scenario Art. From episode 27 onwards, the third ending theme is “I Continue Walking” by Melofloat.
A novel entitled The New Konoha Ninja Flying In the Blue Sky! (青天を翔る新たな木の葉たち!Se iten o Kakeru Aratana Konoha-tachi!) was released on May 2, 2017. A second one was released on July 4, 2017, under the title A Call From the Shadows! (影からの呼び声! Kage Kara no Yobigoe!). The third novel, Those Who Illuminate the Night of Shinobi! (忍の夜を照らす者! Shinobi no Yoru O Terasu Mono!), was released on September 4, 2017.
The manga has been generally well received in Japan, with the compilations appearing as top sellers multiple times. It also has one million copies in print as of January 2017. The manga's first volume has also sold well in North America.
Rebecca Silverman from Anime News Network admitted Boruto appealed to her despite never having gotten into the Naruto manga. She praised how the writers managed to deal with the protagonist's angst without coming across as "teen whining" as well as how Sasuke Uchiha decides to train him. Amy McNulty from ANN found it appealing to fans of the original Naruto series, stating that while Mitsuki does not have a large role in the story, his side story helps to expand his origins. Nik Freeman, another writer from the same site, criticized Boruto's lack of development while comparing him with his introduction in Naruto's finale, and that there were multiple differences between the reasons why both the young Naruto and Boruto vandalized their city. Nevertheless, Freeman liked Mitsuki's backstory as he did not feel it rehashed stories from the past. Reviewing the first chapter online, Chris Beveridge from the Fandom Post was more negative, complaining about the large focus on Naruto and Boruto's poor relationship and the rehash elements of Boruto: Naruto the Movie while also criticizing the adaptation of Kishimoto's artwork. Nevertheless, he praised the relationship between Naruto and Sasuke as well as the foreshadowing of an older Boruto fight. Melina Dargis from the same site reviewed the first volume, commenting that she was looking forward to the development of the characters despite having already watched the Boruto movie and was also pleased by seeing Mitsuki's role in his own side story. Leroy Douresseaux from Comic Book Bin recommended it to Naruto fans, explaining how the new authors managed to use the first volume to establish the protagonists' personalities. Melina Dargis from the Fandom Post was impressed by the apparent message of the series as she found it was trying to connect to modern audiences with its themes such as parental issues and the use of technology, in contrast to Naruto. Leroy Douresseaux liked how Boruto's character had already started developing by the second volume of the series as it helped readers appreciate him more.
The anime was popular with Japanese readers of Charapedia who voted it the ninth best anime show of Spring 2017. IGN writer Sam Stewart enjoyed the focus on the new generation of ninjas and the differences between them and the previous generation. He also praised the return of other characters like Toneri as well as famous "Eye Techniques". Crunchyroll's Brand Manager, Victoria Holden, joined once to discuss whether Next Generations could live up to the success of the old series while still reviewing previous episodes of the series. Stewart enjoyed the characterization of both Shikadai Nara and Metal Lee, seeing their relationship and accidental fight as interesting to watch, and he liked that Next Generations managed to improve itself with each episode. Beveridge enjoyed the series' first episode, remarking that he felt Boruto's characterization was superior to the one from the manga. In a more comical article, Geek.com writer Tim Tomas compared Boruto with the series The Legend of Korra as, while sharing themes with its prequels, they were still different. Sarah Nelkin considered Boruto as a more lighthearted version of the Naruto series, but Amy McNulty acclaimed its 13th episode for the focus on a subplot that had been developing ever since the first episode and how the revelations from it made the series darker. Stewart agreed with McNulty, commenting on how the developers reached the climax of the anime's first story arc. The characterization of the revealed villain further impressed the reviewer. Allega Frank from Polygon noted that during the start of both the manga and the anime, multiple fans were worried in regards to a flashforward; in this sequence, an older Boruto is facing an enemy named Kawaki who implies Naruto might be dead, so his fate left them worried. The series ranked 80 in Tokyo Anime Award Festival in the Best 100 TV Anime 2017 category.
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