The efforts of Naruto Uzumaki and his friends during the Fourth Great Ninja War brought the world into a time of peace and prosperity. During these peaceful times, Naruto finally achieved his dream of becoming Hokage, succeeding his sensei, Kakashi Hatake, in the role, and he even took Hinata Hyuga’s hand in marriage.
Naruto’s era has come to an end, and it is now time for the spotlight to shift to a new generation of shinobi, one with their own ideals and adventures to experience. At the center of this new generation is the Seventh Hokage’s own son, Boruto Uzumaki.
Boruto: Naruto the Movie is the first of many stories that will follow the ninja escapades of our titular character. For this particular film, Boruto and his teammates, Sarada Uchiha and Mitsuki, are preparing to partake in the annual Chunin Exams. Along the way, Boruto, Naruto and Sasuke Uchiha must deal with remnants of the past that desire to bring ruin to the world.
Boruto is initially against the idea of the Chunin Exams, as he believes that they will be a waste of his time. But after being spurred on by the idea that his efforts in the third round of the exam will be viewed by the Five Kage, his father included, he gets pumped up about the opportunity to display his skills.
Boruto has somewhat of a love/hate relationship with his father. Ever since he became the Hokage, Naruto has had much less time to spend with his wife and children. This has caused Boruto to resent the position, and he is completely against the idea of following his father and grandfather’s footsteps (no matter how many times Mitsuki suggests it).
Boruto’s stated goal is to take his own path and surpass his father, but subconsciously, he really wants to earn his father’s respect and attention, which is why he wants to be successful in the Chunin Exams.
It would’ve been easy for Boruto to be a boring, protagonist’s child character, but I really feel like they did a good job with his portrayal. He’s very similar to Naruto, but different in a number of key ways. I like to describe Boruto as being a fusion of Naruto’s personality, with the skill of his grandfather, Minato Namikaze. He’s a brash and arrogant loudmouth, but unlike Naruto in his early years, he’s got the skills to prove it.
As a Genin fresh out of the academy, Boruto was able to perform Wind Style, Water Style and Lightning Style techniques, as well as his father’s signature Shadow Clone Jutsu, all with very little training. This has caused Boruto to become lazy, a complete antithesis of Naruto’s attitude of hard work over natural talent.
Even when he’s playing video games, Boruto uses cheats and mods to make the game really easy. And the few times that he does work hard towards something, he gets frustrated when it doesn’t come to him naturally, two great examples being his Shuriken and Rasengan training.
But the best example his when he is caught cheating during the Chunin Exams. The third round of the exam is a series of one on one bouts between the remaining shinobi. During a few of these matches, Boruto is pushed into a corner, and he uses and illegal ninja tool that stores various jutsu in order to win. Naruto eventually discovers him using this tool, leading to one of the film’s more emotional scenes.
Through the tutelage of Sasuke, whom Boruto requested to train under for the exams, Boruto is able to recover from his loss, learn the value of hardwork, and help his father and teacher defeat the film’s antagonist.
Boruto: Naruto the Movie is beautifully animated. It was produced Studio Pierrot, the same team that has always worked on the Naruto anime series, as well as Bleach. I’ve loved the art style evolution that the Naruto anime has gone through over the last couple of years. It’s soft, fluid and colorful, and I honestly get a kick out of just seeing the characters talk and emote.
Although there are very few fight scenes in the film, the ones that they do give us are extremely well done, special mention to the choreography in the final fight scene. My only real complaint with the film overall are Boruto’s fight scenes. They look nice, but there’s so much more that could’ve been done with them.
For starters, his Chunin Exam matches should’ve been much longer, giving us a chance to see the results of his Shuriken and Rasengan training (to be fair, there is a moment where Boruto references his Shuriken training). I know we are going to get plenty of moments of Boruto action in his manga and anime series, but it would’ve been nice to see his skills in his debut.
Boruto: Naruto the Movie is a pretty solid start to the Boruto era. It introduces us to the new generation of ninja, as well as the influence that characters like Naruto and Sasuke have on them. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention this, but the English dub is really good!