Real Nerdy

The Second Arc Is About To Start, So Let’s Talk About It: Boruto

The chakra ghost arc of Boruto has pretty much concluded, Anime Spring 2k17 is over, we’re almost half way into Anime Summer 2k17, and the next arc about Sarada is about to start, so I’ve chosen to talk about this arc and the show so far. While I’ve watched other people talk about their own opinions, I guess I wanted to add my perspective into the gauntlet because though I call a lot of anime trash (ironically), I don’t want to call this show trash or put it down…yet.

I mean I’ve watched people savage the ever living hell out of this show, usually in comparison to Naruto Shippuden, and though I’ve written a blog about the Naruto series as a whole and shown that I’m a fan (though reluctant to label myself as one), I still see no point in comparing these shows yet. I mean to desire enemies and combat as lackluster, because what you’ve seen can’t compare to the end of Shippuden is dumb. It feels as though everyone’s making combat comparisons while not understanding the situation that Boruto is still in academy, he’s not even a genin yet. I understand why fans would want to watch high technique combat, but to complain about Boruto using shadow clones over and over, when he’s not yet a genin and hasn’t yet learned techniques because he’s in the academy learning fundamentals, is stupid. If you’re reading this and you’re one of those fans I’ve just described, you’re dumb. And I’ve already started insulting fans, something that usually happens in the middle or end of these blogs. I think I’ll start with what I like so far about the anime, what I don’t like so much, and how I believe the anime could improve moving forward.

The Good

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So first thing to mention is that this show is fun, at least for me, to watch. I’m not going to lie, I’ve enjoyed every episode so far. When it comes to Boruto as a character, because of the movie, I thought that I’d see him as a brat. I thought he’d be worse than Naruto starting off, but I have a thing for people who start off kinda strong and competent. And though Boruto usually shows his incompetence, through immaturity or simple naïveté, due to his age I can let him off easily. A few watchers (one being a coworker) doesn’t like Boruto’s character because he has a hatred for his father, but, while the show sometimes comes off too strong with that “hate”, I can understand it. He’s twelve, he’s used to his father being around, and Naruto isn’t around as much anymore. And though the usual defense is, “His dad’s the hokage”, while I understand that Naruto’s in a high position and has a lot of responsibility, it’s problematic to have Naruto be dead tired and not be around as much if at all. He has Shikamaru as an assistant. It’s a time of peace (I understand that they’re reaching a high technological point for the series, but that shouldn’t make Naruto busy all the time). And also when fans complain about his hatred, it’s always misconstrued to Boruto selfishly wanting his father’s attention, when in fact a good part of it is simply Boruto wanting his father around for the entire family and not just himself. As he says in episode 18, he doesn’t want Naruto to make his mother and sister sad. But there’s also a point of that hatred being very preteen/ adolescent. He says he doesn’t like his father, but quite a few kids that age “hate” their parents. I know I was one of them.

Boruto is also way more compassionate at this point in the series than he was in the movie, is shown as more talented, and is more driven, which leads to my problem. Boruto’s character growing on me and becoming something I can root for will make it difficult to have him go back to the bratty personality he had in the movie (which will of course be covered in the anime). And for them moment I’ll leave it at that and talk more about this problem in my improvements section.

Another thing I like about this series is that they focus on the other characters. Because Shippuden became very narrow in terms of character focus, mainly sticking to Naruto or Sasuke and discarding the other parts of the cast, it was refreshing to see episodes include our side characters, and I hope that as the series progresses it doesn’t start to ignore them as its predecessor did.

The series also made a good job of establishing a main overarching narrative from the beginning of the series. We can see that what happened in the first arc was only a sample of what’s to happen in the later ones (just not the Gaiden arc). In the flash forward at the beginning of the first episode, we see Boruto’s eye and then as a child we see his eye at its beginning stage. Though it’s been ignored (only to be brought up later) since the end of the first arc, it was great for his eye to already establish itself in the series and allows the audience to look forward to its progression. I’d like to see it again, maybe during the movie arc, and not have it be a simple plot device though.

I really enjoyed these first few episodes and this series so far, but there are still some concerns.

The Bad

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So one of my first problems, though I enjoyed watching Boruto face off with them, was the use of a villain of the week plot line until the true culprit revealed herself. After a while it felt as though this suspense and use of “chakra ghost” possession had gone on for too long.

Another problem was how the arc ended. Though some fans were howling for Sumire to be killed for what she had done (and I’m sorry, but no that’s wrong, why would you do that?), I feel as though she did get off too well with what she had done. I also feel as though she shouldn’t have been talk-no-jutsu-ed and if the series wants to differentiate itself from its predecessor and have Boruto go on a different path than Naruto, using the talk-no-jutsu was no the proper way to handle the end of that arc (though to their defense, Boruto is only at a point where he knows he wants to be different than his dad, but isn’t really at a stand point where he has the actual skills to see a different path and start it).

My last problem deals with the handling of Boruto’s eye (which also deals with the point of the ending of this arc). Rather than continuing on with the development of his eye, at the end of the arc Boruto just says that his eye went away and hasn’t returned since and though that seems quite minuscule in concerns, it’s more that it makes it all feel quite disjointed. We’ve been focusing on that eye for quite a while and have had an episode focusing on it, simply discarding it for the time being makes it feel like it never truly mattered and almost makes it feel like filler even though we know it’s not, because Boruto has the eye in the flash forward at the beginning of the series. Or at best, it makes it seem as though the eye is simply a plot device used for certain arcs and not just a fluid and organic attribute to Boruto’s character. And really those are the only problems I have with the show so far.

How The Show Can Improve

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First I guess I’d like to say that I’m not that concerned about the “Gaiden” arc that’s coming up. I mean if it can just follow the original source material, it will be fine. The only concern I have with the arc is that this show is called, Boruto. When the source material was made it was simply an after “series” of Naruto—a few chapter talking about a moment after Naruto became hokage and a catch up to talk more about Sasuke and his family. It wasn’t yet established that there would be a Boruto series. But now that this arc is in the context of being part of the show called, Boruto, it would be kind of problematic to have an arc that doesn’t focus on Boruto at all this early in the series (this arc focuses on Sarada and her relationship with her parents: Sasuke and Sakura). So I kinda hope that this arc will be a revised version of “Gaiden” that includes our titular character in some way.

Now what I’m truly concerned about is the movie arc that’ll come up eventually. I feel as though it would be a shame to degrade the amount of character development Boruto has had so far and turn him back to a bratty kid who isn’t that talented. Now if they present him in a way where he’s realizing that he isn’t trying hard and is therefore falling behind, that’ll be kinda fine (I’ll still be grumpy about it), but simply presenting Boruto at first as second in his class and then for no reason making him out to be far behind his former classmates will be problematic. Maybe he’s completely fine, but, solely because he wants to impress his father on a national stage and fears not meeting a thought up expectation, he’ll resort to cheating? But it will be completely problematic if you give him no reason to cheat after establishing so much character development in the first arc (even though he redeems himself at the end of the movie). The movie arc also be a revision of the movie itself and add more just as the manga did, because no one wants to watch the movie all over again, but split into like ten episodes.

Maybe Boruto starts to sense Momoshiki and his eye starts bugging out again? Maybe Boruto knows about the advancement of Ninja Tools, but doesn’t cheat? Yes. I know that I’m showing bias and want Boruto to be shown in a good light. But regardless of this bias, I think I want the movie arc to at least add something or revise it so that it doesn’t feel like a rehash of something that came out exactly two years ago (talk about timing).

Quick Hits:

  • Whatever Boruto has is not the byakugan (or at least maybe not exactly it), but Boruto does fight with the gentle fist styling, and I’d like that to be expanded on so he can at least have something in relation to his mother going on (imagine Boruto and Himawari using rotation).
  •  Some fans have hoped for the slow removal of anime original characters: Denki, Sumire, and Iwabe, but I hope they stay. I hope they become a team and continue to exist in the show. Just because they weren’t in the manga or the anime doesn’t mean they have to fade out. You can revise the source material via the anime.
  • Expand more upon why Boruto wants to be like Sasuke when that train of thought arrives.
  • Defend my boi Sasuke.
  • Continue to give the side characters some spotlight throughout the series and don’t narrow down on character focus.
  • Start having Boruto actually be different from his father after or during the movie arc, it’s all right to point out similarities, but it’s a problem when you’re trying to differentiate the two and all you can say is that they’re kinda different.
  • Don’t rely on Talk-No-Jutsu.

Overall I’d say that this series is enjoyable. And if you’re not having a good time with it, at least stick with it through the “Gaiden” arc, it’s going to be lit. The show is far from perfect, but it’s not awful and it’s not ruining your precious Naruto series. I have a lot of expectations for this show and hope that it’ll improve to become the best that it can be even if it’s not the greatest show in the world. I leave you with the second ending to Boruto which tells you what’s gonna go down in the “Gaiden” arc. Later days.

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