If you had told me two years ago that Naruto would return only to save anime with his son I’d laugh in your face. It’s a cruel irony now that I’m saying that, welp, it’s saved. Again.
I want to open up by saying that Boruto had a legitimately good and fun opening episode. Boruto has been a special little gem for me since I watched the movies for it not too long ago. The manga also has a special little charm to it. I engage with the Boruto franchise and, honestly, I’m left with the feeling of wanting to cherish Boruto and have him be my son. (No lie!)
Let’s discuss what made this first episode so entertaining though. I’m sure most of us remember Naruto from our middle school years and remember how we used to get all excited to see Naruto do some stupid shit on the TV. Naruto just had this weird charm that got you all giddy when they started throwing ninja stars around or when they performed some bomb-ass jutsu. Boruto still has that type of charm, but it is built on with a cute cast, better animation, more detailed backgrounds, and with this new flair of excitement. Boruto is very similar to how the original Naruto was formulated, but for some reason this cast is just more interesting to see interact and their opening story (while simple) looks like it may be more fun/interesting than the original trio.
Boruto is already a more likable character than Naruto could ever be. He stands up for himself in a much better fashion, he’s rather stylish, he’s capable, and his interactions with his family demonstrate just how important they are to him. Naruto had similar qualities, but unfortunately, his obnoxious character could get in the way of liking him at times. Boruto has a special charm about him that just immediately endears you to him even though he can be a little bratty at times.
This opening episode wasn’t especially original. It offered a kind of generic showcase of our shounen hero coming to the rescue of a new friend, it presents some type of “evil” possessing this new friend and our hero comes to the rescue, but in typical, over-the-top Naruto fashion. We were also treated to a flash forward scene where there is an older Boruto. My assumption is we’ll be seeing something similar to Shippuden then. It wasn’t the most creative start to a story, but it offered some fluid animation, nice backgrounds, and some tasteful down to earth moments that the original Naruto never really managed to properly capture.
I joke that Boruto saved anime (obviously that was Yuri on Ice!!), but this opening episode was still a treat to watch. The cast is cute and so far they’re all rather likable. Plus the animation so far as certainly been a step up from the earlier episodes of Naruto. I’m intrigued to see where they’ll take the franchise. I wouldn’t mind if they followed the Naruto model, but I’m hoping for some more originality from the work. Either way, I’m here for the ride!