The original Naruto manga entertained us with the story of its irrepressible orange-clad ninja Naruto Uzumaki for 15 years; now our hero has finally achieved his dream of ruling his village. However, headstrong son Boruto wants to follow his own path in life, frustrated that his dad seems to put the job before his own family – especially when Naruto misses his daughter Himawari’s birthday.
Luckily for Boruto, an opportunity to take a first step along this path presents itself in the shape of Naruto’s old rival, Sasuke, who after some pestering agrees to mentor the youngster. He could do with a spot of training – while packed with potential, Boruto still has to get to grips with many of the things his father had to go through. This includes the Chunin Exam, where Boruto will have to work alongside Sasuke’s brainy daughter Sarada and Mitsuki, the artificial ‘son’ of the villainous Orochimaru.
There are two directions that diehard Naruto fans will be tugged in as they pick Boruto: Naruto Next Generations off the shelf; joy that the epic story is continuing and worry that the new work, written by Ukyo Kodachi and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto’s long-time assistant Mikio Ikemoto, will tarnish the original. Happily, Boruto’s debut volume suggests that there’s no need for anxiety.
New protagonist Boruto inherits many of his father’s qualities, while Naruto himself is still the exuberant character we know and love. The two generations mix well, there’s plenty of intrigue developing in Hidden Leaf Village and the manga has already garnered an anime adaptation. However, as with its young hero and his famous dad, the question remains: can Boruto stand on its own feet or will it forever be stuck in Naruto’s shadow? Reviewed by Ian Wolf
Credits: Masashi Kishimoto (creator/supervisor), Mikio Ikemoto (art) and Ukyo Kodachi (script)
Publisher: Viz Media
Release Date: Out Now
© 2016 Viz Media/SHUEISHA Inc.