TITLE: Boruto – Naruto Next Generations – vol. 1
RELEASE DATE: April 2017
COMPANY: Viz Media
Created and Supervised by Masashi Kishimoto
Story by Ukyo Kodachi
Art by Mikio Ikemoto
The popular manga series “Naruto” has been going strong since its debut in Shueisha back in 1999 via “Weekly Shonen Jump” magazine.
The manga by Masashi Kishimoto is about a young ninja named Naruto Uzamaki, a ninja of the Konoha leaf village who grew up facing prejudiced within his fellow ninjas because the evil nine-tailed fox was sealed inside him. But throughout the series, we have seen how Naruto is a kind-hearted boy who has worked hard in protecting his friends and staying true to his word with the goal of someday becoming the next Hokage of the village.
In 2014, Kishimoto wrapped up the “Naruto” manga and in the final chapter (featured in volume 72), Naruto would eventually become the Hokage of the Leaf Village and he and his wife Hinata would have two children, Boruto and Himawari.
Meanwhile, Sasuke and Sakura would have a daughter named Sarada, Shikamaru Nara and Temari would have a son named Shikadai, Sai and Ino would have a son named Inojin and Choji Akimichi and Karui would have a daughter named Chocho.
Everyone has grown up and Naruto is busy as the new Hokage at the village, this causes resentment from Naruto’s son Boruto who feels that his father was never there for him or the family.
This leads us to the new manga series “Boruto – Naruto Next Generations” which is created and supervised by Masashi Kishimoto but is now written by Ukyo Kodachi and artwork is by Mikio Ikemoto.
The manga begins with Boruto telling his story and him and his team partners, Sarada and Mitsuki being trained by Master Konohamaru. A lot has changed in terms of ninja skills and technology.
Now, a jutsu can be contained in a mini-seal and put into a bracelet which gives anyone, ninja or not, the power to use a jutsu. No chakra is even needed to use the new technology.
With the next Chunin exams coming up, Sarada and Mitsuki want to take the exam but Boruto, he has no desire. He doesn’t want to be like his father and that means not wanting to be Hokage. But for Sarada, she wants to be Hokage and tries to get Boruto to take part in the Chunin exam to let his father know he could do it.
Meanwhile, Sasuke Uchiha returns to the village and Boruto, not wanting to be anything like his father, goes to Sasuke to take him in as a pupil. But Sasuke will only agree if Boruto can learn the Sharingan jutsu.
We also get to learn about Mitsuki and find out who his parent(s) may be.
Reading “Boruto – Naruto Next Generations – vol. 1”, I can’t help but be entertained by the fact that the series focuses on the children of the characters that many of us grew up reading/watching for 15 years.
“Naruto” having lasted so long was a big part of the lives of manga/anime fans of the series that we watched “Naruto” grow from a child, to a teenager and a young adult. Seeing how his heart and his passion would inspire so many but also seeing him determined to defeat those who threatened the village or his friends.
With Naruto, he is a student that felt he had to prove himself through hardwork and determination.
So, it’s fascinating to see how Boruto is much different than his father. Naruto, who had always said he would become Hokage is now the new Hokage of the Leaf Village but this new role means being busy with work and unfortunately, that means no time spent with the family.
Hinata is literally taking care of both children and you can see how Boruto is upset at his father for neglecting them, but he harbors a bit of anger for his father not being there for him.
What’s even more interesting is that Boruto is not too aware of his father’s past and how he grew up, so he is not aware of the challenges or difficulties his father grew up with.
And because of his feelings towards his father, he asks his dad’s rival, Sasuke Uchiha to become his master.
The first volume features the first test in the Chunin exams but also goes into who the parent of Mitsuki is and really interesting background about him as well.
And I’ll leave it that.
This is a new beginning, a new chapter and not sure if this will last for another 15 years but this is a tremendous task and also honor that “Naruto” creator Masashi Kishimoto had bestowed upon writer Ukyo Kodachi and artist Mikio Ikemoto.
The story and artwork is well-done and for the most part, I just enjoy reading this latest volume because this storyline is literally a passing of the torch to a new generation of characters in the Leaf Village.
And having read and enjoyed the “Naruto” manga (I enjoyed the anime series but the plethora of filler episodes made things drag out way too long for me), it’s great to read a story focused on the 7th Hokage’s son.
If you enjoyed “Naruto”, you’ll find “Boruto – Naruto Next Generations -” to be entertaining and a lot of fun to read!
I look forward to the second volume of “Boruto – Naruto Next Generations -“.