Boruto- Naruto Next Generation is the sequel to Naruto and tells the story of next generation of the Naruto world. Though the previous characters we enjoyed for nearly two decades are still there, the series predominantly focuses on the next generations.
Anime has main additional arcs compared to manga. I have only considered the anime for this list and didn’t take manga into account.
5 Best Characters
Let us start by seeing the five best characters in the series.
Orochimaaru still remains mysterious as he was in Naruto though he is “supposedly” now on good side. The majority of the series plot has its basis on his research on artificial human. It is fairly obvious that he will play an important role in future in defeating the Otsusukis.
There are lot of problems with Sakura in original Naruto series. But surprisingly I loved her character in Boruto despite here limited screentime. Her role as mother for Sarada and her struggles raising a child alone were interesting to see. I believe her role in Shin arc alone deserves a place in this list.
I said that it will be a list of the five best characters but honestly there isn’t any one that deserves a fifth spot. It was tough to fill as there aren’t lot of characters that were convincing in the series so far. But the top four are pretty straight forward.
4. Sarada Uchiha
One thing that Boruto does better than Naruto is having a convincing female lead character. Sakura in original Naruto isn’t as bad as people make her to be but for a leading main character she was lacklustre. Sarada right from the start has shown promise but still has a long way to go.
Best thing about her character is her leadership and intelligence. In every mission she takes the lead and acts responsible. She is very intelligent as seen by actions in their missions and the Chunin exams.
Her emotional trauma with not knowing about her father and doubting if Sakura is her true mother and the way she handled the things are admirable. Also her interactions with Sasuke are delight to watch irrespective of the awkwardness they exhibit.
The biggest strength of her character is that she is written to be natural and realistic and having her as the leading main character instead of Boruto could have been a better choice.
Next in our list is Mitsuki who is the artificial son of Orachimaaru. Like Orachimaaru in Naruto, Mitsuki is very mysterious and intriguing. At the start of the series the mystery of whether he is a good guy or a some sort of psychopath like Orachimaaru was interesting and probably the only interesting part in whole series till Shin arc.
Later we get to know more about him and by each passing episode he becomes more interesting. He is intelligent and calculative but not fully emotionally developed. His questioning of whether his feelings and memories are natural or programmed and eventually leaving the village to find about it are some of the most interesting aspects in the series.
Next on our list is our favorite protagonist of original Naruto “Naruto”. We saw Naruto grow up from a lonely and unimpressive kid to a man who saved the world. It is only fitting to finally see him as Hokage and also with a loving family which he never truly had as a kid.
His role as Hokage and a family man is really interesting and to see Naruto act matured as grownup is refreshing to see. He has some criticism of being a poor Hokage and a poor father both of which I disagree.
He sacrifices much of his personal life to fulfilling his role as Hokage and he goes extra mile to safeguard the peace that has been established since only him and Sasuke are capable of battling the Otsutsuki in the whole world.
There is a valid criticism of him naive for a Hokage. But people forgot that Hashirama’s naive ideology formed the Leaf Village and the same naivity by Naruto saved the world in several occasions. So him not punishing Orachimaaru, or allowing Mitsuki and Shin Uchiha to live in village isn’t naive rather trust in himself and others.
I don’t agree with the criticism of him being a poor father. Much of the scenes showing him as a poor father is him sending a tired clone to his house which is honestly illogical. I will explain this point later when I talk about another character down the list.
Sasuke in original Naruto can be really frustrating and tough to like especially at the end. But Sasuke in Boruto is just a visual treat. The only reason the series has this amount of success it has is due to Sasuke and Naruto. The episodes where they come in screen hit high TV ratings.
The best thing Boruto did in handling Sasuke is having him retain his cold personality. Him not even seeing Sarada for several years and almost killing her is very “Sasukesque”. Traveling alone and fighting the Zetsus and Otsutsukis without any yearning for recognition is pretty badass. Remember when Shisui taught Itachi that a true shinobi is someone who protects peace from within the shadow.
Action scenes of Sasuke and his powers are brilliant visually. But the best thing about Sasuke in Boruto is his role as a father to Sarada. He tries to be a good father but with no real father figure to look up to growing up fails miserably. Also his role as a teacher to Boruto is interesting though it still is in early stages and doesn’t have any real impact like Jiraiya-Naruto relationship which he openly addresses.
Now for the Top 5 Worst Characters
It isn’t outrageous to say “Boruto – Next Generations” didn’t live upto its expectations and the bar set by Naruto. Biggest problem in the series is its writing of the characters. With no evil organization existing and no immediate danger, the characters have nothing interesting to do. The studio should have waited for few years until manga has developed quite a bit but they instead wanted to milk as much episodes as possible. As a result we have a poor series with its few best moments coming from the chapters adapted from manga.
Let look at look at the five worst characters from the anime.
Chocho has a lot of screen time and she does only one thing which is to annoy the characters in the series and also the audience. There isn’t lot to talk about her and she is written to give some comical tone but unfortunately she is never enjoyable.
To be blunt, Kages are lame in Boruto barring Naruto and Gaara. But worst of them all is Chojuro. Does the show actually want me to accept Chojuro as a Kage? He was lame in original Naruto as he was neither interesting nor powerful and Boruto does nothing to improve that image.
He is really unimpressive in power level and it showed when he struggled against new seven ninja swordsman or Otsutsukis. Zabuza and Kisame even with limited screen time were both amazing and even the reanimated ninja swordsman in the war were really powerful and interesting.
He is neither powerful nor has a leadership quality to be a Kage. He brings the genins from Leaf village to fight the swordsman who are planning a coup. Not just Chojuro, Darui and Kurotsuchi are equally useless and doesn’t add anything interesting to the story.
Shin arc is one of the only two arcs that are worth watching in the whole series and both have pretty lame antagonists. The whole issue of Sharingan should have ended with Original Naruto. Sasuke and Naruto fight signified the end of “curse of Uchiha” and the whole Sharingan debacle should have ended there.
In Original series, We also saw Kakashi losing his Sharingan signifying his overcoming of trauma from Obito’s death, Danzo destroyed by Sasuke bringing peace to the stolen eyes, both Obito and Madara also had some sort of conclusion for their troubled past. With so many complicated stories and characters associated with Sharingan and each having a meaningful ending, was it necessary to bring a new character with Sharingan that too with no foreshadowing whatsoever?
Even if neglect the whole logic of artificial people with Sharingan existing, Shin(s)’ design, powers and characterization are very lame. Shin(s) lacked any personality and as a viewer it was hard to feel anything emotional on seeing them. Shin bring up Akatsuki and Itachi in his conversation with Sasuke but unfortunately the series didn’t go deep into that part which might have added something interesting to his character.
On paper, Sumire’s character in the series might look great. She is in undercover as a normal shy and awkward kid in the school but secretly planning to cause destruction to the village when right time comes.
But the way it is executed is really poor. The big reveal that she is the villain all along was underwhelming. She had a real purpose for vengeance as she was tramautized since her young age due to how the village treated her family for being part of Danzo’s faction but she turns good when Boruto just talks with her. I know the “Talk-no-jutsu” is memed in original Naruto but Sumire becoming a good girl after just small talk with Boruto is bullshit. Naruto fought Gaara and Nagato before eventually convincing them but Boruto just had to have a little talk.
Naruto made Gaara understand that he isn’t alone which changes Gaara character. Surely her resolve should have been higher. Naruto and Nagato have a idealogical conflict and Naruto had to convince that his ideology is more valid than Nagato.
Now consider Sumire’s scenario, her whole life was for this single purpose and Boruto who had zero real problems in his whole childhood and who cannot relate to what Sumire had gone through changes her heart with no effort. There should have much more consequence for her actions. After all this happened she returns and everyone accepts her and also on a personal level she has no change. Sumire is the worst antagonist in the whole series.
If Sumire is the worst villain in the whole series, Boruto is one of the worst main character ever in an anime. It may feel like Boruto get unwanted criticism and people just go with trend. But every criticism is completely valid. The show is 150 episodes old and he still remains an annoying character let alone being a enjoyable MC.
His relationship with Naruto: People defend Boruto and his annoying attitude towards Naruto as him being just a naive 12 year old. But first let me put something in perspective, their world doesn’t equate to ours. Also the World war in their world ended just one decade ago and Naruto is head of one of the most places in their world.
Boruto sees Sumire and Nue nearly destroying Leaf before graduating. After becoming Genin he witnesses a coup in Mist village by New Seven Ninja Swordsman, witnesses domestic violence caused by Byakuya Gang in Leaf village and later encounters Zetsu, after which Konahamaru clearly explains to him about dangers of Kaguya and the whole war. These all happened till episode 52 and in episode 54 he throws a tantrum that Naruto couldn’t attend Himawari’s birthday. Like seriously?
Him being just a 12 year old as an excuse for his annoying behaviour doesn’t hold since he himself experiences many times how dangerous the outside world is. I won’t even talk about his character post Chunin exams arc after they defeated Otsutsuki as he doesn’t change one bit and he remains the same.
There is absolutely no reason for him to be part of all the important events in the world. In Original Naruto, Naruto was a Jinchuriki who was chased by Akatsuki and Sasuke was the only survivor of his clan. They both had legitimate reasons for the focus of the main antagonists to be on them in the series and this is the reason Sakura was never convincing because she looked so out of place. Sure Boruto gains some mysterious powers from Momoshiki but there is no reason for him even to be there to fight Momoshiki in first place.
His design: His power design is awful and looks like it came straight from a fan fiction. He has an unique Dojutsu, learns Rasengan with no difficulty which disappears for no reason. Yet he still needs to cheat to beat Shikadai and he never faces consequence for this act. Also why does every characters in the series keep commenting that he reminds them of Naruto which he clearly isn’t.
Original series worked because Naruto was an underdog and has nothing going for him. On the other hand, Boruto has huge genetic advantage, is intelligent, is overpowered and has no clear goal. To sum it up, he is a privileged 12 year old who throws tantrum and the type that nobody ever liked in the history of visual medium. In Manga he is less annoying but still remains one of the least interesting main character ever.
The list of worst characters might have come as a rant. I think many might have varied opinions on the list above. Do comment your opinions below in the comments section.