Boruto UzumakiBasically Naruto with slightly paler hair and less whiskers.


I was admittedly skeptical of this series when I saw the teasers pop up on Hulu. I hadn't even heard of the Boruto movie or manga, having never actually finished Naruto - like many, I eventually lost interest in the painfully slow chapters and endless fillers. Boruto's claim of "this isn't about my dad, it's my story1!11!!1" was a little giggle-worthy when he literally looks exactly like Naruto, Naruto is in the series title, and his friggin' name is practically the same. Still, nostalgia urged me to check out the first episode when it premiered.

The episode begins interestingly enough, with an older, scarred Boruto claiming "the age of the shinobi is over" as he and an unknown character, Kawaki, clash swords in a flash-forward scene. Kawaki threatens to send Boruto "where [he] sent the Seventh Hokage," which doesn't sound good for Naruto. Both are seen with black markings/tattoos covering their bodies that light up as the fight heats up. A decimated Konoha is seen in the background before the scene shifts into the present point in the story, with a younger Boruto just starting his first year at the Ninja Academy.

The modern Konoha includes trains, a McDonald's-like fast food joint, and an unimpressed attitude toward the ninja way life amongst its younger citizens. Shikamaru and Temari's son, Shikadai, appears to be Boruto's best friend and takes on his father's lackadaisical attitude. Almost immediately after being told to stay out of trouble, Boruto happens upon a new Mysterious Kid, Denki, being bullied and beats up his attackers. Turns out Denki's father owns the highly successful Kaminarimon Company, which he is set to inherit. While Denki is skilled in academics, his father insists he needs to be strong in ninjutsu as well. Feeling discouraged about his physical prowess, a vulnerable Denki is attacked by a purplish black force in the shape of a snake that bites his shoulder, reminiscent of Orochimaru giving Sasuke a cursed mark.

On his way to school the next day, Boruto comes across Denki and notices this dark chakra looming over him with his right eye, using a yet-to-be-explained doujutsu (eye technique).

Denki lures his bullies onto a defective train car, intending to collide it with another empty car. Boruto comes aboard and tries to talk sense into him while attempting to stop the train's impending doom. The dark chakra is seen leaving Denki's body, the boys work together to safely get the bullies aboard a different car, and Boruto steers the remaining car to land ON TOP OF HOKAGE ROCK, directly on Naruto's head. Nevermind that he could have missed and killed a bunch of people, at least he made a cool entrance. #priorities

Denki's father also sends money to pay for the reconstruction, along with thanks for Boruto "changing" his son. Upon learning that Boruto was protecting Denki, Naruto is seen smiling. Perhaps the (highly dangerous) stunt reminded him of his own defacement of Hokage Rock back in the day? The episode ends with Boruto returning to the Academy after a brief suspension.

While Naruto centered around him being an outcast aspiring to be loved, Boruto's goal is to stand out and be remembered as his own person instead of as the Hokage's son. Overall, a decent episode, but not something I'd likely continue watching if I weren't already a Naruto fan. The flash-forward intro was a smart move to garner interest in what events lead up to that battle. I'll be interested to see if it succeeds in becoming a solid standalone series, or if it becomes resigned to only being viewed as a Naruto spinoff.