Let’s take a look into Boruto (ボルト) as a character and why people may not like him and/or the show
Naruto to Boruto
People always want to re-capture what made them love a show, but it is impossible to recapture the essence of what it was at that time. It’s that nostalgic feeling we want to create again that usually doesn’t ever measure up. Being that it’s called “Boruto: Naruto Next Generations.” Its called the “Next Generation for a reason. I am a millennial. From a baby boomer to a millennial to a Gen Z, there are many themes that tend to occur each generation like “a generation despising the last” and “a generation blaming the last.” Basically, a generational cycle of misunderstandings with a mixture of the faulty human condition. Though these themes are common throughout every generation, every generation goes through their own struggle. There is something to be learned from each generation and there is something lost from each generation. Naruto represents the character that started from the bottom and molded the nostalgic idealism in what we think about the Naruto world. Boruto is seen as a character that gets to reap the benefits and is totally different from his predecessor, but has many positive characteristics in his own right. So, let’s discuss why Boruto is underappreciated.
Separating Critiques of the Show vs Boruto as a Character
As a shonen (少年) protagonist, he fits the bill. What makes him interesting is that more and more generations in the future will be able to relate to a character like Boruto. Let’s be real with ourselves. No one wants their children to start from the very bottom and have to suffer unnecessary hardships if they don’t have to. Everyone DOES experience some kind of hardship, it just becomes something different that we must adapt to. That is what makes Boruto as a character so relatable on top of the typical shonen tropes. Everyone has to go through their own experience. Knowing your physical and mental limits, your desires in life and the environment around you; these are instrumental in determining your path in life. That is what I see in Boruto as a character.
There are many elements in the “Naruto Shippuden” series compared to “Boruto” that has changed. We won’t get into detail about specific critiques, but lets remedy for those who despise the show. If you want to watch something like Naruto, just re-watch Naruto. If you want something different within the same universe, then watch Boruto. There are parts of us, the nostalgic part, that wants to recreate something that cannot be replaced because of the time in your life when you watched it and the natural passing of father time. This is an argument that I tend to use. Woudn’t it be awesome if we stayed 21 forever?
Looking down upon a high status offspring is nothing new.
The ideal legacy is someone that surpasses your father/mother. That is something we all want from our children; to be better versions of yourself. In reality, it is more likely that our children will be very different from ourselves like interests, motivations, limitations, abilities etc. A commoner may be jealous or envious of a king’s son. A commoner may hate the prince for legitimate reasons like being a bad leader and portraying antagonist ideals. That is who we are as the viewer, when we look at a character and show like Boruto.
There are so many tales of characters that started from the bottom and then made it to the top. As a society, we sometimes forget that “the talent” needs to be procured as well. When you build a strong foundation, how long will that foundation last? We all know about the snot-nosed “rich kids” that act like royalty. That is an issue that anyone with a family comes upon. The “passing of the torch” to the next generation. Boruto is a good example of the metaphor many of us will come to face.
Early on in the show, we get to see Boruto misunderstand Naruto being gone as the Hokage, use his talents to get by without trying hard and ultimately, doing something the viewer probably hates universally; cheat and embarrass his father in front of everyone. Not only that, Boruto was forced to watch Sasuke and Naruto fight Momoshiki, while he basically did nothing. This is definitely something that sucks early on, but will pay dividends down the line for his character. Having to face something that you are powerless against and having the viewer cheer on the predecessor is something a child will always come to face. Getting over that hump is unique to us in our own individual paths, but something we all can understand.
Unavoidably, people are always going to compare shows from the same universe to each other. That is pretty much what we do with anything in life. Boruto will always compete with that nostalgic feeling. I’d say, just enjoy things in life for what it is. Your perception is different from other people’s reality. Getting passed that, you may actually enjoy the depths to Boruto’s character and how relatable he actually is.
Agree of disagree? Please comment below what you think!