First Look: Boruto: Naruto Next Generations

Alternative title(s): Bort
Manga Adaptation by Pierrot
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

Set years after Naruto saved the ninja world and became the Seventh Hokage, it’s now time for the next generations to take up the long-running ninja-themed shounen show mantle.

Iro’s verdict: Not-As-Bad-As-I-Thought no Jutsu

Naruto has a special place in my heart as one of my gateway anime shows, and I still enjoyed it even as it hit the usual shounen lows towards the end. Thus, I’m not necessarily opposed to a sequel series about everyone’s kids. There’s some legitimately impressive animation on display here (though I doubt it’ll last until even next week), and the younger cast potentially means a return to the early days of Naruto before everything became some massive, overwrought conspiracy. My hopes is that it’ll focus on smaller scale action and the characters’ personal growth, but the super dramatic flash-forward makes me wary of the story lapsing into the usual threats that could end the ninja world or whatever. I may not stay current with this from week to week, but I’ll definitely keep an eye out.

Zigg’s verdict: Enjoyably Old-School

I don’t really have much of an attachment to Naruto – I dipped into the manga and anime for a few arcs early on and found it to be a charming shonen adventure, but by all accounts it gradually grew into the sprawling, self-indulgent mess that most Jump  properties end up as. That’s why I was pleasantly surprised by this opener, with its breezy air and well-paced, basic but enjoyable plot. Boruto himself is carefree and cute in a way protagonists rarely are anymore, and though his whole idiot hero/rage against his dad schtick has been done before, it’s always a solid plotline if done well. There’s a bunch of blunt but effective character stuff, some surprisingly fluid animation, and a gorgeous bright, expansive visual design to appreciate. Like Iro I am wary of the tired looking flash forward which opens the show, but if this can stay breezy and charming I’ll certainly be happy to follow along.

 

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