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Boruto: Naruto Next Generations

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations (Japanese: BORUTO-ボルト- NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS), also known as Boruto, is a Japanese manga series written by Ukyō Kodachi and illustrated by Mikio Ikemoto. Serialised 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 5 April 2017. Unlike the manga, which began as a retelling of the film Boruto: Naruto the Movie (2015), the Boruto anime acts like a prequel set before Boruto and his friends become ninjas in a later arc. A series of light novels have also been written.

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
A manga cover featuring three teenagers from Konohagakure and several animals, including a cat
Cover of the first manga volume featuring Sarada Uchiha, Boruto Uzumaki, and Mitsuki
ボルト
Genre Adventure, fantasy[1]
Manga
Written by Ukyō Kodachi
Illustrated by Mikio Ikemoto
Published by Shueisha
English publisher
Demographic Shōnen
Imprint Jump Comics
Magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump
English magazine
Original run 9 May 2016 – present
Volumes 5 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed by
Written by
Music by
Studio Pierrot
Licensed by
Original network TV Tokyo
Original run 5 April 2017 – present
Episodes 62 (List of episodes)
Anime film
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

Boruto originated from Shueisha's proposal to Kishimoto on making a sequel to Naruto. However, Kishimoto rejected this offer and proposed his former assistant Mikio Ikemoto to draw it; the writer of the Boruto film, Ukyō Kodachi, created the plot. While both Kodachi and Ikemoto are in charge of the manga, Kodachi also oversees the anime's adaptation alongside Kishimoto.

Critical reception to the series has been largely positive; most critics liked the traits of the main characters, most notably Boruto, who resembles his father, Naruto, but is spoiled and pampered and therefore faces different problems than Naruto did during childhood as a social pariah and an orphan. The story was also applauded for building up the original Naruto scenario by showing the new generation of ninjas and their relationships with their parents and mentors. Pierrot's anime prequel also earned praise for its use of both new and returning characters. Shueisha has shipped a million copies of the manga series as of January 2017.

Contents

PlotEdit

The series begins with young ninja Boruto Uzumaki facing a foe named Kawaki during the destruction of his village, Konohagakure. Boruto remembers how his father, Naruto Uzumaki, became his village's Seventh Hokage and oversaw a new generation in the Ninja World following his marriage to Hinata Hyuga. Boruto, who felt angry because his father placed the welfare of the village before that of his family, became a part of a ninja team led by Naruto's protégé Konohamaru Sarutobi, along with Sarada Uchiha, the daughter of Sasuke and Sakura Uchiha, and Mitsuki, Orochimaru's artificial son. When Sasuke returns to the village to warn Naruto of an impending threat, Boruto persuades Sasuke to train him for the upcoming Chunin exam to impress his father. During the exam, Momoshiki Otsutsuki and Kinshiki Otsutsuki — the threat of whom Sasuke spoke — appear and abduct Naruto so they can use Kurama, a tailed beast sealed inside his body, to revitalise the dying Shinju from the dimension they came from.

Boruto joins Sasuke and the four Kages — the leaders of other ninja villages — to rescue Naruto. Momoshiki turns Kinshiki into a chakra fruit and ingests it to become stronger. Aided by Naruto and Sasuke, Boruto defeats Momoshiki, who lives long enough to warn Boruto he will face much tribulation later on in his life. After recovering from his fight, Boruto decides to become a vigilante like Sasuke in the future while entrusting Sarada to follow her dream of becoming the Hokage. As Sasuke interrogates a criminal who knows of Boruto's mark that was placed on him by Momoshiki, he tells Naruto and his underlings there is a group called "Kara" (, lit. The Husk) searching for people with marks. Boruto's team is assigned to investigate the mysteries behind Kara.

AnimeEdit

Boruto joins the ninja academy and forms friendships. One day, a mark that allows him to see contaminated energy in certain people as they become violent appears in Boruto's right eye. With the help of Mitsuki, Boruto finds the person responsible for contaminating people's chakras. Sarada leaves the village to find her father, Sasuke, to confirm whether Sakura is her biological mother. Sarada and her friend Chocho Akimichi join forces with Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura to defeat Shin Uchiha and his clones, who want to kill Sasuke. The children from Konohagakure visit Kirigakure, where Boruto befriends a ninja named Kagura, who is forced to become part of a rebellion against Konohagakure. Boruto and his friends graduate from the academy. Boruto, Sarada and Mitsuki form the new Team 7 under Konohamaru's leadership. As the students have become ninjas, each team starts performing new missions, with Shikadai Nara accidentally befriending a criminal named Ryōgi. The anime also retells the events from the film Boruto: Naruto the Movie, the Chunin exam arc as well as the invasion of Momoshiki with additional content.[2]

ProductionEdit

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations was developed as an action-adventure, fantasy series.[3] When the Naruto manga ended in 2014, the company Shueisha asked Masashi Kishimoto to start a sequel. 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 instead.[4][5][6]

A countdown website titled "Next Generation" was used to promote the new manga. In December 2015, the Boruto: Naruto Next Generations's serialisation was announced.[7] Kishimoto said he wanted Boruto to surpass his own work.[8] The writer of Boruto, Ukyō Kodachi, had written a light novel called Gaara Hiden (2015) and had assisted Kishimoto in writing the script for the film Boruto: Naruto the Movie.[9] Besides writing for the series, Kodachi supervises the story of the anime. Kishimoto also acted as the supervisor of the anime for episodes 8 and 9.[10]

Despite Kishimoto revising the manga's scenario, he advised Ikemoto to make his own art style instead of imitating his. Ikemoto agreed and felt optimistic about his art style. While noting long-time fans might be disappointed Kishimoto is not drawing Boruto, Ikemoto stated he would do his best in making the manga.[11] While feeling honored to create the art for Boruto, Ikemoto stated he is grateful the series is released monthly rather than weekly because producing the required amount of nearly 20 pages per chapter would be stressful; however, he still finds the monthly serialisation challenging. Regular chapters of Boruto tend to exceed 40 pages; creation of the thumbnail sketches takes a week, the pages take 20 days to produce, while the rest of the time is used for colouring images and retouching the chapters.[12]

Despite having a lighter tone than Naruto, the series begins by hinting at a dark future. This set-up was purposed by Kishimoto to give the manga a bigger impact and to take a different approach than the one from the Boruto movie. In this scenario, Ikemoto drew an older Boruto, but he believes this design may change once the manga reaches this point.[11] 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.[12]

Although Kishimoto is not writing the series, he created multiple characters for the staff to use.[13] Kishimoto did not specify whether Naruto or another important character would die, but he said he would find a situation like this interesting and added that the authors have freedom to write the story as they wish.[14]

MediaEdit

MangaEdit

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is written by Ukyō Kodachi and illustrated by Mikio Ikemoto. It was launched in the 23rd issue of Shueisha's manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump on 9 May 2016. The original series' creator, Masashi Kishimoto, currently supervises the manga, which is illustrated by his former chief assistant and written by the co-writer of the Boruto: Naruto the Movie screenplay.[15] A spin-off manga titled Boruto: Saikyo Dash Generations (BORUTO-ボルト- SAIKYO DASH GENERATIONS) is written by Kenji Taira and has been serialised in Saikyō Jump since the March 2017 issue.[16]

VolumesEdit

No. Title Japanese release English release
1 Boruto Uzumaki!!
Uzumaki Boruto!! (うずまきボルト!!)
4 August 2016[17]
ISBN 978-4-08-880756-0
4 April 2017[18]
ISBN 978-1-4215-9211-4
  1. "Uzumaki Boruto!!" (うずまきボルト!!, Uzumaki Boruto!!)
  2. "The Training Begins!!" (修業開始!!, Shūgyō Kaishi!!)
  3. "The Chunin Exam Begins!!" (中忍試験開始!!, Chūnin Shiken Kaishi!!)
Naruto: The Path Lit by the Full Moon (NARUTO−ナルト−外伝 ~満ちた月が照らす道~, Naruto Gaiden: Michita Tsuki ga Terasu Michi)
2 Stupid Old Man!!
Kuso Oyaji...!! (クソオヤジ...!!)
2 December 2016[19]
ISBN 978-4-08-880827-7
5 September 2017[20]
ISBN 978-1-4215-9584-9
  1. "Stupid Old Man!!" (クソオヤジ...!!, Kuso Oyaji...!!)
  2. "Momoshiki and Kinshiki!!" (モモシキとキンシキ!!, Momoshiki to Kinshiki!!)
  3. "Buffoon" (ウスラトンカチ, Usuratonkachi)
  4. "Collision...!!" (激突...!!, Gekitotsu...!!)
3 My Story!!
Ore no monogatari...!! (オレの物語...!!)
2 May 2017[21]
ISBN 978-4-08-881078-2
6 March 2018[22]
ISBN 978-1-4215-9822-2
  1. "You'll Need to Do It" (お前がやるんだ, Omae ga yarunda)
  2. "You Remind Me Of..." (まるでお前は, Marude omae wa)
  3. "My Story!!" (オレの物語...!!, Ore no monogatari...!!)
  4. "A New Mission!!" (新たな任務!!, Aratana ninmu)
4 The Value of a Trump Card!!
Kirifuda no Kachi!! (切り札の価値!!)
2 November 2017[23]
ISBN 978-4-08-881227-4
4 September 2018[24]
ISBN 978-1-9747-0140-7
  1. "Friends...!!" (友達...!!, Tomodachi...!!)
  2. "The Value of a Trump Card!!" (切り札の価値!!, Kirifuda no Kachi!!)
  3. "Teamwork...!!" (チームワーク...!!, Chimuwaaku...!!)
  4. "The Supporting Shadow!!" (支う影...!!, Kau kage...!!)
5 Ao
Ao (青)
2 May 2018[25]
ISBN 978-4-08-881413-1
-
  1. "The Vessel" (, Utsuwa)
  2. "Ao" (, Ao)
  3. "The Hand" (, Te)
  4. "Puppets" (人形, Ningyō)

Chapters not yet in tankōbon formatEdit

These chapters have yet to be published in a tankōbon volume. They were originally serialised in Japanese in issues of Shueisha's magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump and its English version published by Viz Media.

  1. "Scientific Ninja Tools" (科学忍具, Kagaku Ningu)[26][27]
  2. "How You Use It" (使い方, Tsukaikata)[28][29]
  3. "Fierce Battle Conclusion!" (激闘決着!, Gekitō Kecchaku!)[30][31]
  4. "Karma" (, Kāma)[32][33]
  5. "Kawaki" (カワキ, Kawaki)[34][35]

AnimeEdit

At the Naruto and Boruto stage event at Jump Festa on 17 December 2016, it had been announced that the manga series would be adapted into an anime project,[36] which was later confirmed to be a television series adaptation that would feature an original story.[37][38] Additionally, an original video animation was previously released as a part of CyberConnect2's video game collection, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Trilogy (2017), which despicts a new mission where Boruto's team has to stop a thief.[39]

The television anime series, supervised by series creator Ukyō Kodachi, is 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 5 April 2017.[40] Viz Media has licensed the series in North America.[41] In promoting the anime, Crunchyroll started sharing free segments of the series in early 2018.[42][43] The episodes are being collected in DVD boxes in Japan, starting with the first fifteen episodes on 1 November 2017.[44][45] A CD soundtrack titled Boruto Naruto Next Generations Original Soundtrack 1 was released on 28 June 2017.[46]

Other materialEdit

A series of light novels based on the anime have also been produced. The first one, titled The New Konoha Ninja Flying in the Blue Sky! (青天を翔る新たな木の葉たち!, Seiten o Kakeru Aratana Konoha-tachi!), was released on 2 May 2017, by Yasushi Shigenobu, with illustrations by Mikio Ikemoto.[47] A second one was released on 4 July 2017, under the title A Call From the Shadows! (影からの呼び声!, Kage Kara no Yobigoe!).[48] 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 4 September 2017.[49] The upcoming video game Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker (2018) is aimed to contain characters from both the Boruto and Naruto series.[50]

ReceptionEdit

MangaEdit

The manga has been generally well-received in Japan; the compilations appeared as top sellers multiple times. In its release week, the first manga volume sold 183,413 copies.[51][52][53] The series has one million copies in print as of January 2017.[54] Between 2017 and 2018, it became the 8th best-selling manga from Shueisha.[55] The manga's first volume also sold well in North America,[56][57] while the series became the sixth-best-selling serialised manga in 2017 according to ICv2.[58]

Rebecca Silverman of Anime News Network (ANN) said Boruto appealed to her despite never having gotten into the Naruto manga. She praised how the writers dealt with Boruto's angst without it coming across as "teen whining" and the way Sasuke decides to train him.[59] Amy McNulty of ANN regarded the manga as appealing to fans of the original Naruto series, adding that while Mitsuki has a small role in the story, his side-story helps to expand his origins.[59] Nik Freeman of the same website criticised Boruto's lack of development in comparison with his introduction in Naruto's finale; Freeman also said there are differences between the reasons both the young Naruto and Boruto vandalised their village. Nevertheless, Freeman liked Mitsuki's backstory as he did not feel it retold older stories.[59] Reviewing the first chapter online, Chris Beveridge of The Fandom Post was more negative, complaining about the sharp focus on Naruto and Boruto's poor relationship and the retelling of elements from Boruto: Naruto the Movie; Beveridge also criticised the adaptation of Kishimoto's artwork, but he praised the relationship between Naruto and Sasuke as well as the foreshadowing of a fight involving an older Boruto.[60]

Melina Dargis of the same website reviewed the first volume; she looked forward to the development of the characters despite having already watched the Boruto movie; she was also pleased by Mitsuki's role in his own side-story.[61] Leroy Douresseaux of Comic Book Bin recommended the series to Naruto fans, explaining how the new authors managed to use the first volume to establish the protagonists' personalities.[62] Dargis was impressed by the apparent message of the series, which she found was trying to connect to modern audiences with themes such as parental issues and the use of technology, in contrast to Naruto.[63] Douresseaux liked that Boruto's character development had already started by the second volume of the series because it helped readers appreciate him more.[64]

AnimeEdit

The anime was popular with Japanese readers of Charapedia, who voted it the ninth best anime show of Spring 2017.[65] IGN writer Sam Stewart commended the focus on the new generation of ninjas as well as the differences between them and the previous generation. He praised the return of other characters like Toneri Otsutsuki and enjoyed the eye techniques.[66] Stewart applauded the characterisation of both Shikadai and Metal Lee, calling their relationship as well as accidental fight interesting to watch and saying Boruto: Naruto Next Generations improves with each episode.[67] Crunchyroll Brand Manager Victoria Holden joined IGN's Miranda Sanchez to discuss whether Next Generations could live up to the success of the old series while still reviewing previous episodes of the series.[68]

In a more comical article, Geek.com writer Tim Tomas compared Boruto with the series The Legend of Korra, since both were different from their prequels despite sharing themes with them.[69] Sarah Nelkin considered Boruto as a more lighthearted version of the Naruto series, but Amy McNulty praised its 13th episode for the focus on a subplot that had been developing since the first episode because its revelations made the series darker.[70][71] Stewart agreed with McNulty, commenting that the developers reached the climax of the anime's first story arc. The villain's characterisation also impressed the reviewer.[72] Allega Frank of Polygon mentioned that during the start of both the manga and the anime, multiple fans were worried due to a flashforward in which an older Boruto is facing an enemy named Kawaki who implies Naruto might be dead; his fate left them concerned.[73] The series ranked 80 in Tokyo Anime Award Festival in the Best 100 TV Anime 2017 category.[74]

Critics also commented on Boruto's characterisation in the anime. Beveridge applauded the series' first episode, saying he felt Boruto's portrayal was superior to the one from the manga, while other writers enjoyed his heroic traits that send more positive messages to the viewers.[75][76][77] Reviewers praised that the returning character Sasuke Uchiha had become more caring toward his daughter, Sarada, the female protagonist of the series, and they felt this highly developed the two characters.[78] Critics felt this further helped to expand the connection between the Uchiha family members — Sasuke, Sakura, and Sarada — due to how their bond is portrayed during the anime's second story arc.[79][80][81]

ReferencesEdit

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