Title: Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Vol. 1
Author: Masahi Kishimoto (Creator), Mikio Ikemoto (Art), Ukyo Kodachi (Story)
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Shonen, Battle
Publication Date: April 4, 2017
The fourth great ninja war is over. Naruto and Sasuke have battle, weddings happened, children were born and a brand new generation in the ninja world has begun! Boruto: Naurto Next Generations pretty much says it all in the title, but if you need an explanation, this manga is centered around Boruto Uzumaki, Naruto’s son.
We are treated to a very cryptic opening with an older Boruto fighting against someone who claims that the end of the Shinobi World is at hand. It really looks like Boruto when through hell and back to get to that state and I couldn’t tell if he had a blind eye or if that was a Byakugan, but it wouldn’t shock me if it was the latter since Hinata is his mother. Needless to say, that ends after page 2 and we’re brought back to the beginning where Boruto is still a child. Naruto is the seventh hokage and much has changed in Konoha. The scientific division has created a new ninja tool that allows those who have trouble using jutsu load up an ability onto a scroll and the device will cast the jutsu for you. Katasuke, the head of the division, wants Naruto have the students use the tools in the chuunin exams, but Naruto flat out denies it, which sends Katasuke off rather displeased.
Meanwhile, Sasuke returns to Konoha with disturbing news. Apparently, there have been sightings of people from Kaguya’s clan and it needs to be investigated. The current five Kage convene and agree that it is to be treated with critical importance and must be investigated. During this, Boruto meets Sasuke and after a little bit of reluctance, Sasuke agrees to become Boruto’s master! Boruto undergoes training and tries to replicate the Rasengan and succeeds… to a degree. Boruto can do it with two hands and without the need for a shadow clone, but the size of his Rasengan is extremely small. Frustrated with his training, Boruto succumbs to using the ninja tool. When the chuunin exams start, Boruto uses the tool to help his team advance all while hiding the fact that he is using it.
The volume concludes with a scene involving our favorite mad scientist, Orochimaru taking Mitsuki on a mission. There, Mitsuki runs into… Mitsuki? The twist here is that the original Mitsuki learns that he is an artificial being and that the Mitsuki he meets was made before him. He explains that Orochimaru will continue to make beings like them to suit his whims. This leads to Mitsuki #1 achieving sage mode and declaring that he is Mitsuki, Snake Moon. Oh Orochimaru… you and your experiments.
The biggest focus here is, obviously Boruto. We get to see what kind of person he is, which is one who is extremely spiteful towards his father. He hates the fact that his father can’t be around for him because he’s too busy being the Hokage. He even states to Sarada (Sasuke and Sakura’s daughter) that he’d rather die than become Hokage. This is even taken further when it’s Boruto’s sister’s birthday. He only wanted his father to be there for Himawari, but when he comes home, he soon discovers that his father was nothing more than a shadow clone. This drives Boruto to rebel and pick up Sasuke as a master. When his training doesn’t go as fast as he wants it to, Boruto resorts to the ninja tool. It just shows the resentment he has towards his dad and this is way of rebelling whereas his father was defacing all of Konoha and annoying the ever-living crap out of people. Hinata hit a nerve too when she told Boruto that at least he has a father that’s a live since we all know Minato and Kushina sacrificed themselves for Naruto and to save the Hidden Leaf from Obito/Kurama.
Because of this, Boruto seems similar, yet different to his father. I really enjoy the big differences between the two of them. There’s a nice balance to where they keep it similar enough to the point where you feel at home in the Naruto universe, but also different enough to where it’s refreshing and something new at the same time.
We didn’t get any real development outside of Mitsuki and a liitle bit with Katasuki. With Mitsuki, we just know that Orochimaru is up to his old tricks, but we don’t know the full reason why as of yet. Katasuki just has wannabe villain written all over him and I’m sure he’s going to do something stupid to promote his new ninja tool… probably as soon as the next volume as the chuunin exams are just beginning to take place.
Other characters like Sarada and Himawari were just introduced so there really isn’t going to be much in the way of their development yet. Naruto always slow burned their characters so it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if we had to wait a while to find out more about them.
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations feels familiar, yet, refreshing. This is a clean slate for them to craft an all-new series that could last a very long time. I don’t know if it will last 700 chapters or if there will be Somethinguto: Boruto Next Generations after it, but it’s nice to see the series that became my true gateway into anime continue on. I think long-time fans of the series will find something to love about this and even though the first volume seems like a rehash of the way the original Naruto started out, I think it’s probably best that it started off this way.
I’d say sit back, take the time to learn the new characters, enjoy the old, familiar faces and strap yourselves in for another long haul. Also, this volume came out at a great time since the television anime for Boruto is also starting in April. The difference here is that the Boruto anime will feature an original story since the only source material is the movie that came out in August 2015 and this manga is an adaptation of the movie… at least for now it is.
Either way, looking forward to more Boruto in the future!
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This item was provided for review by Viz Media