Recent developments in the Boruto manga and the announcement of an upcoming timeskip have raised concerns that the series is struggling to break free from the shadow of its predecessor, Naruto. While Boruto initially aimed to establish its own unique identity, these recent events seem to indicate that it is more closely following in Naruto’s footsteps than it would like to admit.
The current state of the Boruto world is one of turmoil, as the powerful Eida has utilized her shinjutsu to fulfill Kawaki’s wish, resulting in a disturbing turn of events. By swapping the identities of Boruto and Kawaki and implanting false memories in the majority of the population, Boruto finds himself on the run instead of Kawaki, who was originally the one being hunted by the entirety of Konoha. Despite this upheaval, Boruto receives unexpected assistance from unlikely allies. His former mentor, Sasuke, takes him under his wing once again, while Eida herself promises not to spy on their locations until Boruto completes his mission. This particular development bears a striking resemblance to Naruto’s iconic timeskip.
From its inception, Boruto has made a conscious effort to differentiate itself from Naruto. It deliberately toned down the strength of the original characters, shifting the spotlight onto the new generation and introducing fresh faces, abilities, and concepts into the Naruto universe. The series has modernized the world of ninjas, incorporating scientific innovations and elevating the level of threats by making the Otsutsuki the central antagonists. It also delves into the aftermath of the Fourth Great Ninja War, exploring its impact on the world and the complex dynamics between the previous generation of characters and their children. While it introduces a new generation of shinobi, Boruto still draws heavily from the overarching concepts established in Naruto.
However, recent developments in the Boruto manga indicate that it is revisiting familiar territory and echoing Naruto’s themes of rivalry and redemption. The parallels between the two series are becoming increasingly evident. Just as Jiraiya trained Naruto for a significant period, Sasuke is now assuming a similar role with Boruto. This repetition of the master-student dynamic, despite Sasuke already accepting Boruto as his student in the past, undermines the series’ attempts to forge its own path. Moreover, it is anticipated that Boruto will experience a brief timeskip following his training with Sasuke, reminiscent of Naruto’s own journey.
The similarities extend beyond the mentor-student relationship. Boruto’s fervent desire to become stronger in order to confront his rival and sworn brother, Kawaki, mirrors Naruto’s unwavering determination to bring Sasuke back to the village and save him from his own darkness. Both protagonists grapple with the complex emotions of fighting against someone they consider family. Boruto, like his father before him, is driven by the goal of saving Kawaki and realizing their shared vision of a complete and united family, even if it means putting his own life at risk.
These parallels in the themes of rivalry and redemption suggest that Boruto may follow a trajectory similar to Naruto in terms of its storyline. While this may pose challenges for the series to carve out its own distinct identity, it also presents an opportunity for the creators to explore new narrative avenues and introduce fresh and unique elements to the Boruto franchise. To truly distinguish itself from Naruto and capture the imagination of its audience, Boruto must strike a delicate balance between honoring its predecessor’s legacy and forging its own compelling path forward.
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