Boruto: The Gallant Jiraiya Returns

Isshiki is ressurected in Boruto chapter 47.
Isshiki is ressurected in Boruto chapter 47

Boruto starts to set itself apart

I have had many issues with the Boruto manga series. The anime is another matter. However, over the last few months, I decided to give the series another chance. The Kawaki Arc (chapters 24 to current) focuses on the character and the Kara. I had issues with Boruto abandoning the core ninjutsu lore from the Naruto series, introducing Ninja Tools. However, the series seems to embraced modernity more directly. The explanation of the Ohtsutsuki Clan as “aliens” yes the out of space kind. At first, I rolled my eyes, but after reading the series further I started to enjoy this arc. If Boruto is going to stand on its own it must separate itself from Naruto. The character Amado explains the clan in such a way that it feels new and organic. Boruto has decided to move from a chakra focused fighting style to one that includes nature and technology. 

The Alien Ohtsutsuki Clan

If you don’t read the series, Amado is a scientist that was the head of Kara’s R&D division. Amado is responsible for the “cyborg” bodies of the Kara members. He along with Koji Kashin betray Kara and defect to Konohagakure. While being interrogated by Naruto and Shikamaru, he goes into detail on the origins of the Ohtsutsuki Clan. Ancient celestial beings, the Ohtsutsuki, travel through dimensions planting Ten-Tails. The Ten-Tails then becomes a God Tree attempting to absorb the chakra from the planet. Once accomplished the Ohtsutsuki abandon the planet. Kaguya and Isshiki were sent to Earth to harvest it. For reasons unknown, Kaguya attacked Isshiki, leaving him near death. Isshiki possessed the ability called Sukunahikona, which allowed him to reduce the size of the body. Using this technique, he invaded Jigen’s body, becoming a parasite.

Jiraiya returns

The return of Jiraiya 

I have been hearing rumors and speculation from Boruto fans that Jiraiya was going to return. This seemed to be largely based on the character Koji’s use of toads. I initially thought this was ridiculous and only based on small evidence. However, the rumors persisted particularly due to Naruto occasionally mentioning that he finds something familiar about Koji. Boruto teased out this reveal with Koji using jutsu like Toad Oil Bombs and Doton Dark Swamp. The visual of the fight between Koji and Isshiki cuts out after the toad sharing the feed is killed. However, we get confirmation from Isshiki that Koji is a clone of Jiraiya. I’m not sure how I feel about this reveal. Jiraiya was my favorite Naruto character but his cloning feels like a crutch or fanservice. Other than that I can’t see how this helps the story, especially considering it seems that Koji is expected to die. The outcome of the next chapter will explain my question of course. If Koji dies, then it was just fanservice, if he lives then it could be much more. Regardless, Boruto is more interesting than I thought. 

The Problems I have with Boruto

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The Problems I have with Boruto

From Boruto Chapter 31

I have to admit I’m not sure I even like Boruto. The manga series is certainly better than the anime, but I find that neither comes close to the Naruto series, even if Masashi Kishimoto is the editor of the manga. The monthly schedule doesn’t help, but I do like the art style. One of the main problems is the feeling of growth. What I mean by that is all the characters seem to have S Rank abilities already. I make the series feel rushed. Take the BIG three of the series. Boruto Uzumaki, Sarada Uchiha, and Mitsuki. Heirs of the vaunted, Legendary Three Ninja, Jiraiya, Orochimaru and Tsunade and Team 7, Sakura Haruno, Sasuke Uchiha, and Uzumaki Naruto. While it true that the 3 Sannin and Team 7 were exceptional, the most recent generation seems even better.

Unlike his father, Boruto is the child of two powerful bloodlines, Hyuga and Uzumaki. He’s also a prodigy. Sarada is an elite genin, having inherited the Sharingan and her mother’s chakra control and strength. Then there’s Mitsuki, the “son” of Orochimaru. He was created by Orochimaru to be genetically perfect and has the “potentially more powerful than the Sannin himself.” Boruto has a unique Dojutsu that grants him similar abilities to the Byakugan. He also mastered the Rasengan with wind nature transformation added to it before finishing the ninja academy. It took his father a great deal of training and effort to do the same. Sarada learned how to use collect chakra into her fist, giving her tremendous strength comparable to her mother or Tsunade. She has had no training in this regard. Did she just guess how to do it? Mitsuki has Senjutsu, something that Jiraiya failed to master and took (okay a few weeks) for Naruto to.

Maybe, they have to give this generation a boost since they are competing with ninja tech now. Which basically makes my previous complaint moot, since you can buy ninja abilities. The ninja tech undermines the ninjas period. Normal people can use jutsu now. I don’t feel that anything jutsu has been earned in this series. Sure you should expect the main characters to be the best, but it feels unmerited.

So what do you think. I am off base here? Do you agree? Have you ever read or watched Boruto? What am I missing ?

Boruto defeats Shojoji

This chapter was largely predictable, Boruto wins. However, what I predicted was someone would come to the aid of Boruto, I was wrong on that front. I have often decried the abandonment of strategy of the later Naruto chapters and early Boruto chapters, this chapter did add some nuance to battle.

However, none of the jutsu seem to need hand signs anymore. Boruto did surprise me with his use of “Uchiha-Ryuu Shuriken Jutsu,” with lightning infused chakra. The attack is ineffective against Shojoji’s, Wind release – wind count’s shield which counter’s any attack he’s aware of.

What if find disappointing about this series so far is that the character progression is too fast. When did he learn, Shuriken Jutsu, Chakra infusion, and Normal Rasengan. Considering that Naruto took several chapters to learn both the Rasengan and then the wind infusion his son miles ahead of him. I think this is probably due to the monthly schedule for the series that makes it impossible to go in-depth into their training.

While, the fight wasn’t the most impressive, it was entertaining. However, with the next chapter coming in August it is becoming frustrating to have to wait. Finally, with the Boruto anime series being weekly it seem plausible that it will fill in the blanks so to speak. That said some of the anime episodes do feel like they are filler episodes.

Boruto saves Tentou

First B-Rank mission

Boruto, Sarada, and Misuki are given a B Rank mission, Misuki reminds them that Gaara was doing B-Rank missions when he was a genin. Sarada and Boruto are excited that she could walk in the path of a Kazekage. Until this point there is no real evidence that they are this good, but I guess we will get to see what they’re capable of.

Boruto remembers Tentou

Boruto finds the rare card that Tentou hid in his pocket. He is surprise that Tentou gave him the card after he refused it. Boruto aims to return the card to him and goes to his hotel. He overhears that Tentou has been kidnapped. The mujina are responsible and they demand 500 million ryou for Tentou’s return. They also want all the prisoners from “Hoozuki Castle,” to be released.

Boruto goes at it alone

Sarada is practicing her aiming, meanwhile, Boruto arrives to inform her that he will be unable to make the mission. Sarada accepts that he can’t tell her what he’s up to and he goes to save Tentou. The leader of the mujina, Shojoji, reveals that Yamaoka was killed a long time ago. He explains how Shikabane Bunshin no jutsu, is a forbidden technique that devour and take in the form, memories abilities and their life. Tentou uses the shuriken to try to kill himself, it ends the way it is expected to with Tentou being defeated. Shojoji attempts to eat Tentou’s brain and Boruto kicks him in the face hard. Boruto aims to take Shojoji by himself.

There’s been a lot of criticism of Sarada appearance, basically she’s dressed like a 20 year old, but is only 12. I agree, I don’t understand why it’s necessary to dress her in skimpy clothing, it’s creepy. Another criticism is of the art style, I had some criticism in the begin but have come to actual like it. Manga artist often get better, as the series goes on (see Bleach) and I think it’s also relative unique style. As for the chapter there’s now way Boruto has the ability to defeat Shojoji. Unlike his father who was often saved by the nine-tails, Boruto lacks this ability. Most likely, he will be saved by Misuki and Sarada, we’ll get to see how good they are and most likely accomplish a mission higher rank mission.

 

 

Boruto makes a new friend in Tento

In the 11th chapter of the Boruto manga series, Boruto is the bodyguard to the son of the diamyo, Tento. I was a ready to hate him, as he was initially introduced as a clique snobby rich kid. He does flex his financial power by first renting out the entire hotel. He quickly pivots to how he loves ninja’s and wants to see ninjutsu. Boruto shows him the Shadow Clone jutsu, Tento gives him a backhanded compliment, suggesting that Naruto is able to produce thousands. 

Tento shows Boruto his card collection amazing him with it’s quality. Boruto notices that Tento has a very rare card in his collection. Tento tells Boruto that he can have it, because he has duplicates. Boruto declines, stating that he will earn his own cards. Boruto and Tento bond during a shruikenjutsu training and Tento tells him that he hopes that his father will notice him if he became a ninja. Eventually, Tento is successful in hitting the target, Boruto and Tento become friends and plan to see each other again. Meanwhile, a member of the Mujina Bandits is watching and communicates with his boss Shojoji who’s disguised as Yamaoka

I’ll admit that I was surprised how Tento turned out. I was ready to hate him for being a rich brat. While he did originally behave that way, he turned out to be more complex character than that. Father issues is clearly going to be the main theme of this series, like being parent-less was in Naruto (Naruto, Sasuke and Gaara). Overall, I like this chapter and look forward to the next one. 


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