Ladies and gentlemen… strap into your seats and get ready for another ride because Naruto is back in the form of his son Boruto and this time, EVERY episode is going to be filler!
Okay, so maybe not that dramatic, but Masashi Kishimoto did supply the story and script for the anime, which will be an all-original show. This makes sense seeing how the only source material for Boruto is the movie and the manga… which is, so far, only adapting the movie! This means that we will get a series where every episode is going to be a surprise! Speaking of episodes, the first one came out so it’s time to offer up my thoughts!
First Episode Impressions
The first episode opened up from the opening scene from the manga.
Wait… didn’t I just say that this wasn’t following the manga? Did I just lie to each and every one of you?
Not really. We see Boruto already grown up taking on a person by the name of Kawaki. Kawaki has, apparently, sent the seventh hokage (read: Naruto) somewhere, or it could mean that Kawaki killed him. That is completely unknown and with this being an original story, Kishimoto COULD, in theory, kill Naruto and everything would be fine and dandy because it’s not, technically, canon. Kawaki claims that the age of shinobi is over and we get to watch Kawaki and Boruto battle it out on the destroyed Mount Rushmore of Konoha with a ruined New York City-like depiction in the background.
Then it’s time for a reverse time skip so we know how things got the way they were. Boruto is running around the city with Shikadai, Shikamaru’s son. Boruto says they need to get somewhere before it’s too late. Turns out they were trying to get some spicy burger before they sold out and decided to hitch a train ride back home. As Boruto is making his way through Konoha, he comes across a boy named Denki who is being bullied. Boruto saves him and the two walk home together. Denki is the son of the owner of a company that produces the trains Boruto hitched a ride on.
Boruto convinces Denki to stand up for himself and to stand up to his father who is trying to force him to become a shinobi against his wishes. Denki does so and gets punished pretty harshly. All of a sudden, some purple snake like thing bites him (this just REEKS of Orochimaru, by the way, but it’s not confirmed yet) and Denki succumbs to the darkness. Denki traps the bullies on a broken down prototype of a train and it’s up to Boruto to save the day. Denki snaps out of it and everything is all fine and dandy and the two of them make a grand entrance at the opening shinobi academy ceremony by crashing the train cart right into Naruto’s face on the mountain overlooking Konoha.
We get the ending credits which introduce us to the majority of the new cast and that’s all she wrote.
Not going to lie. I was skeptical about this series because it is an all original story, but I do have to say I was very mightily impressed with the first episode. Many people are complaining about Boruto being too similar to Naruto, but he’s not (at least not in the anime.) Boruto acts like a kid, but he has a really solid head on his shoulders. He cares about others and isn’t the outcast like his father was. While there are some similarities, Boruto is quite different.
I loved the animation quality for the first episode. It actually looked like Studio Pierrot cared, which is a good thing. I only hope that the rest of the series ends up the same way because the Naruto franchise really needed a face lift and I think it got one here. I’m also really digging the new OST. There was a mixture of some old, familiar tunes, but the new stuff was different in a good way. It was a bit of a detraction from the standard Naruto fare, but it gave the show its own identity.
OP & ED Impressions
I am not buying the opening theme one bit. “Baton Road” by Kana Boon just doesn’t fit the Naruto series at all. The art in the opening was even worse. Solid CG colors ala Baka to Test to Shokanjuu littered the opening and it really made the show feel cheap. I have a feeling this is going to be a very long-running series so I’m hoping the newer openings can offer something new that gives Boruto it’s own flair without making it feel as cheap.
“Dreamy Johnny” by The Peggies served as the ending theme and all I can say is that I really hope Studio Pierrot spent a fortune to have a new ending theme for each episode because I don’t want to hear this song a second time. If the opening made the show feel cheaper than it was, then the ending theme just added insult to injury. What’s FLOW doing nowadays, anyway? Couldn’t we at least get them to do one or the other?
YES – The first episode of Boruto: Naurto Next Generations was really good, in my opinion. While it would be wise to watch Naruto and Naruto: Shippuuden to get some connection with a few of the characters, I really don’t think it’s necessary. If you want to skip 720 episodes of anime watching then just know Naruto was an outcast as a kid.. Then he grew up… did “something” and he’s now one of the most powerful ninja in the world and the hokage of Konoha. Nevertheless, check it out. Normally the forums are filled with haters, but when you see a ton of positive comments rather than the legion of trolls, you know that they’ve done something right.