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Boruto Uzumaki

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Boruto Uzumaki
Naruto, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations character
A picture of Boruto Uzumaki wearing a white and gray outlined shirt with a black and red outfit.
Boruto as designed by Masashi Kishimoto
First appearance
  • Naruto chapter 700: Naruto Uzumaki!! (2014)
Created by Masashi Kishimoto
Voiced by Japanese
Kokoro Kikuchi (The Last: Naruto the Movie)
Yūko Sanpei
English
Amanda C. Miller (Boruto: Naruto the Movie and Boruto: Naruto Next Generations)
Maile Flanagan (Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 and The Last: Naruto the Movie)
Notable relatives Naruto Uzumaki (Father)
Hinata Uzumaki (Mother)
Himawari Uzumaki (Younger sister)
Hanabi Hyuga (Maternal aunt)
Minato Namikaze (Paternal grandfather, deceased)
Kushina Uzumaki (Paternal grandmother, deceased)
Hiashi Hyuga (Maternal grandfather)
Hizashi Hyuga (Maternal granduncle, deceased)
Neji Hyuga (Maternal 1st cousin-once removed, deceased)
Ninja rank Genin
Ninja team Team Konohamaru

Boruto Uzumaki (Japanese: うずまき ボルト, Hepburn: Uzumaki Boruto), originally spelled by Viz Media as "Bolt",[1] is a fictional character created by manga author Masashi Kishimoto who first appears in the finale of the manga series Naruto as the son of the protagonist Naruto Uzumaki and Hinata Hyuga. He later appears as a significant role in the 2015 anime film Boruto: Naruto the Movie where he is training as a ninja to surpass his father, the leader of the ninja village Konohagakure. Boruto also serves as a protagonist in the manga and anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. In the manga, it starts off with the retelling of the Boruto film, while the anime begins with his childhood in the ninja academy where he meets his future teammates — Sarada Uchiha and Mitsuki — as well as his teacher, Konohamaru Sarutobi.

Despite Boruto's physical designs being similar to Naruto when he was young, their personalities are developed differently. Boruto's relationship with his father reflects Kishimoto's relationship with his children. In the Japanese version, Boruto is voiced by Kokoro Kikuchi in The Last: Naruto the Movie and by Yūko Sanpei in all subsequent appearances. Sanpei enjoyed doing the work of Boruto's acting, finding him endearing. In the English version, he is voiced by Amanda C. Miller.

Boruto's character has received mixed critical responses. His relationship with his father has been criticized due to reviewers finding the concept overused in the Naruto manga. In Boruto: Naruto the Movie, his development was praised due to his action scenes and how he understood his father's actions.

Creation and conception[edit]

Masashi Kishimoto created Boruto in 2013 when the manga Naruto was at its climax. The motivation for the creation was him wanting Naruto Uzumaki to become a father when the manga ends.[2] In the finale of Naruto, Boruto makes a prank in the mountain of Konoha that shows all its leaders, the Hokages. Kishimoto wanted Boruto to act like his father, but at the same time, have differences between each other. Despite not wishing to reveal much about Boruto due to developments of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, he added that Boruto is not as direct as Naruto.[3] Boruto's first name is a reference to the character Neji Hyuga as an homage to his death in Naruto while protecting both of Boruto's parents.[4] In Boruto: Naruto the Movie, Kishimoto developed Boruto and Naruto's relationship from his relationship with his sons.[5] He wanted the film to depict the father and son relationship between Boruto and Naruto.[2] The film's theme song, "Diver" (ダイバー) by Kana-Boon, serves as a reference to Boruto. One of the singers of the band stated that it reflects how the character constantly changes from the beginning to the end of the story.[2]

Boruto's mentorship by Naruto's rival and best friend Sasuke Uchiha was influenced due to the latter having few appearances in the Naruto movies. Kishimoto decided that he wanted Sasuke to have a major role in Boruto: Naruto the Movie, which he wrote. In the film, Sasuke becomes the teacher of Naruto's first son, Boruto, inspired by Piccolo from the Dragon Ball manga series by Akira Toriyama. A former enemy of Dragon Ball protagonist Goku, Piccolo becomes the teacher of Goku's first son, Gohan.[6] Boruto anime and film director Hiroyuki Yamashita said that when first seeing the character in Sarada Uchiha's spin-off, he liked his character. In the making of the Boruto film, Yamashita said some scenes regarding to Boruto were removed due to time constraints such as one of the character's interactions with his father as well as another interaction between Boruto and Sarada. A difficult scene for the staff was the use of Boruto's Rasengan (螺旋丸, lit. spiral sphere, English manga: "Spiral Chakra Sphere") technique which had to disappear shortly after being used and then appearing again in an attack. The scene in which Naruto passes his son all of his chakra to increase his Rasengan was carefully storyboarded in the film.[7]

Boruto's teenage appearance was made in a rush. As a result, Mikio Ikemoto believes that once the series reaches this moment, the design will change drastically.[8]

Design[edit]

In designing the character, Kishimoto intended Boruto to be similar to his father but at the same time avoided facial similarities in the eyes and cheeks due to the fact Naruto had the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox, Kurama, sealed inside him unlike his son. Additionally, he gave him a simpler costume than Naruto's original one that would yet remain the symbol of the Uzumaki clan. The author purposefully let Boruto wear his clothes casually by making him wear his jacket unzipped since he found it suitable for the character's personality.[9] For the finale of the manga, Kishimoto originally intended to give Boruto the Byakugan, an eye technique which he would inherit from his mother Hinata Hyuga. However, the author forgot about it and instead gave him an unknown eye technique (it allows him to see chakra, an energy source within ninjas to perform jutsu) which is often shown on Boruto's right eye.[10] During July 2017, one of the animators from Boruto: Naruto Next Generations revealed Boruto's eye is called Jōgan (浄眼, lit. "Pure Eye") and that its powers are related to the Byakugan and Naruto's ability to sense negative emotions. However, the animator refrained from explaining more about since the Jōgan would be explained later in the series.[11]

In the first few pages of the first chapter Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, an encounter between an older teenage Boruto against another one named Kawaki was briefly shown as a flashforward.[12] The purpose was to attract more fans so they could look forward to the battle as it has a chaotic state to it.[3] The battle against Kawaki was shown instead in the first chapter rather than Sasuke's one against Kinshiki Otsutsuki from the Boruto film to generate a different impact within the fans despite sharing the same storyline. Boruto's teenage design was first illustrated in little time. As a result, Mikio Ikemoto stated that once Boruto reached this moment, the older protagonist's design might change.[8]

Due to the staff of the Naruto anime referring to Naruto and Sasuke as "legendary characters", anime developers Pierrot aim to carefully portray Boruto and his friends, the "new generation", as the new protagonists. They also seek to have them developed as the previous generation.[13] However, Kishimoto is concerned about how Boruto and his friends could reach Naruto and Sasuke's strength as he finds it repetitive.[14]

Voice actors[edit]

Yūko Sanpei and Amanda C. Miller, the actresses who voiced Boruto Uzumaki in Japanese and English, respectively

In the Japanese version, he was voiced by Kokoro Kikuchi in The Last as a toddler; for the Boruto film and anime, he is voiced by Yūko Sanpei.[15][16][17] Sanpei has been a fan of the Naruto manga series ever since she was young. While identifying herself with Naruto Uzumaki's character, the actress noted the bond between her and Naruto became stronger when learning she would voice her son. As a result, once learning she got the role for Boruto's character, Sanpei bought the entire Naruto manga series despite already having it to prepare for the Boruto film.[18] Sanpei was thankful for being offered this position and joked about how Junko Takeuchi became a "father" as her voice role was Naruto. Initially, Sanpei recalls having difficulties voicing Boruto; when she received her script for the film, she began to understand Boruto's concept as the boy who loves his father dearly, which helped her voice the character better.[19] Please with the film Boruto, Sanpei asked Kishimoto to make another one which resulted in Kishimoto asking her to let him rest for another one.[20]

In the English version, he was voiced by Maile Flanagan in The Last: Naruto the Movie film as a toddler and Amanda C. Miller in the Boruto film as a teenager. Boruto is the first main character Miller has ever voiced. While enjoying the work she does as Boruto's English voice, she stated she felt stress about it due to how important her character is considering his role in the story. Miller and the other Boruto English voice actors felt honored to play the characters based on how large the franchise is.[21]

Appearances[edit]

Boruto is a child who attends Konoha's ninja academy, inheriting his paternal families' short blond hair, blue eyes and "Believe it!" (だってばさ, dattebasa) verbal tic. He also inherits his maternal families' Gentle Fist technique despite not inheriting the Byakugan unlike his sister, Himawari Uzumaki. Like Naruto, Boruto commits mischief to get attention, but for different reasons. Due to his father becoming the Hokage (the leader of Konoha), he does not spend any time with him as he used to. From defacing the Hokage Monument during the events of the series epilogue of Naruto, his father stops him and explains that he needs to care for their village.[22] He makes a brief appearance in Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring, where he gives a meal to his comrade Sarada Uchiha to pass on to his father; she becomes motivated to become the Hokage after the day she had.[23]

While the movie and manga open to Boruto after his graduation from the Ninja Academy, the anime adaptation shows him when still attended the school. Boruto's Hyuga lineage allowed him to manifest an "Eye Technique" that allows him to fully use his Gentle Fist fighting style while also seeing people's contaminated chakra.[24] This enabled him to solve the mystery of a "Ghost" corrupting fellow villagers alongside his friends and older ninjas to find the culprit. Boruto and his friends take a trip to the village of Kirigakure, befriending the young ninja Kagura Karatachi while stopping a coup by those wanting to revive their village's horrific Blood Mist traditions.[25] Boruto later graduates and forms the new "Team 7" alongside Sarada and Mitsuki under the leadership of Konohamaru Sarutobi.[26][27] Together they start performing multiple ninja missions.[28][29] He is also present in two original video animations where he indirected caused his father to be knocked out after accidentally breaking Himawari's doll and another one where Team Konohamaru is sent to stop an apparent thief.[30]

In Boruto: Naruto the Movie, and its retellings, Boruto joins the Chunin Exams while gradually becoming frustrated by Naruto putting the village ahead of their family.[31] Boruto ends up meeting his father's best friend and rival, Sarada's father Sasuke Uchiha, and managed to become his apprentice after learning to use the Rasengan while accidentally creating new variation of it. But when the exams commence, Boruto cheats through the second phase with a device that uses ninjutsu due to his lack of training in traditional abilities. After his father disqualified, Boruto vents at his father before watching him being captured by Momoshiki Otsutsuki while protecting their village from the alien's attack. Boruto realizes the error of his ways and joins Sasuke and the Kage to save Naruto. With the help of Naruto and Sasuke, Boruto defeats the enemy Momoshiki with his Rasengan. Although he resented the Hokage position, Boruto becomes resolute to become strong to protect his village's leader in the same way as Sasuke and entrusts Sarada to be a future Hokage instead of himself.[31] Boruto also reprises his role in the novel adaptation of the movie,[32] as well as part of an omake from the manga Sasuke Uchiha's Sharingan Legend where he trains with the title character.[33] But as revealed in the manga Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, Boruto was branded by a dying Momoshiki with a "seal" in his right hand known as "Karma" (, Kāma).[34]

After recovering from the Momoshiki incident in the Boruto anime, Boruto keeps practising in missions with his friends. However, Mitsuki disappears from the village and goes with two teams to find him and prove his innocence. In order to prove it, Boruto makes a summoning contract with a giant snake known as Garaga who becomes his ally while facing his ideals.

In the manga, after the Momoshiki fight, Boruto becomes a bodyguard to the Fire Feudal Lord's son Tentō Madoka, befriending the boy while teaching him ninjutsu.[35][36][37] Boruto later learns the existence of a group of ninja known as the Kara while he and his team meet a former Kara member named Kawaki, who becomes his enemy as revealed in the series opening scene where the two are older and Boruto can consciously control his "Eye Technique".[12]

Outside manga and anime, Boruto also appears in the fighting game Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4, first only in the ending and playable in the expansion pack Road to Boruto.[38] Following Momoshiki's defeat, Boruto can fight against Naruto. Although Boruto loses, his father states he is proud of how much he developed his skills, pleasing Boruto.[39] He is set to appear in the video game Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker as a playable character,[40] as well as Naruto x Boruto: Ninja Voltage.[41] He is also featured in the Boruto light novel.[42]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception to Boruto's character has been generally mixed. Upon first seeing him Ramsey Isler from IGN found him too similar to his father.[1] On the other hand, Andy Hanley from UK Anime Network said despite his similar design and actions to his father Naruto, Boruto is not like him and has a different personality. Amy McNulty from Anime News Network and Hanley enjoyed Boruto's relationship with his father Naruto due to the differences in their childhoods and how that becomes the focus of the film Boruto: Naruto the Movie. McNulty also liked how Boruto develops as he became afraid of his father's fate during an attack from the antagonist. She praised Amanda C. Miller's role as Boruto's English actor, but feeling the voice often sounded more feminine than his Japanese counterpart.[43][44] Christian Chiok from Japanator enjoyed Boruto's character development, his relationship with his father, and how heartwarming it becomes in the movie.[45] Alexandria Hill from Otaku USA enjoyed Boruto's fight against the film's villain and his team-up with Naruto and Sasuke.[46] Chris Zimmerman from DVD Talk noted how the writers fairly conceived Boruto's poor relationship with his father and how it improves during the climax of the film.[47] Rebecca Silverman from Anime News Network praised how the writers manage to develop Boruto's angst without coming across as "teen whinning" and how Sasuke Uchiha decides to train him upon seeing his similarities with his father.[48] Leroy Douresseaux liked how Boruto's character has already started development by the second volume of the series.[49]

McNulty expressed joy in how the viewer of the Boruto anime gets to see Boruto's days in the ninja academy which Naruto briefly showed and how Boruto does not have the same behavior as his father when being a child.[50] While noting that Boruto has still to fight enemies possessed by "shadows" in the anime, Anime Now writer Sarah Nelkin found this more lighthearted than Naruto's actions in the first series such as his final fight against Sasuke Uchiha where both became friends after nearly killing each other.[51] Upon the build up of the anime's first story arc, McNulty praised the fight between Boruto, Mitsuki and Sumire was praised for its animation with the reviewer also noting how Boruto inherited his father's ways of seeing on the good parts of his enemies in order to avoid violence.[52] Viz Media senior director Kevin Hamric referred to Boruto described his differences with his father such as his lack of desire to become the village's leader and instead do other activities like playing video games. However, Hamric said he initially has the desire to surpass his father.[53] Denki Kaminarimon's voice actress, Chihiro Ikki, said she liked how Boruto protects Denki from bullies in the series' beginning having once being bullied when she was younger. In regards to the flashforward with the destroyed village, Ikki said she had no idea what was going on but expects Denki will be in that future to aid the older Boruto to protect the ninja world from the antagonist threatening it.[54]

While the character development was met with praise, other critics seemed to felt otherwise. Richard Eisenbeis from Kotaku was critical to Boruto's development, as he felt that his bond with his father at the end of the Boruto film was unthinkable and weak.[55] Thais Valdivia from Hobby Consolas stated that while viewers of the film may initially dislike Boruto's personality, his character arc helps to make him more appealing adding his fight alongside Naruto and Sasuke as one of the highlights.[56] Chris Beveridge from the Fandom Post disliked the large focus between Naruto and Boruto's relationship on the first chapter of the Boruto manga. Nevertheless, he enjoyed the foreshadow of an older Boruto on a fight against an unknown character.[57] For the anime, Beveridge remarked Boruto's characterization which he felt was superior to the one from the manga.[58] Sam Stewart from IGN felt Boruto's personality was "far less enthused" as the reviewer commented he found the character's dislike toward his father misguided and finding types of stories too common in fiction.[59] In a review from the manga, Nick Smith from ICv2 found Boruto as the weak part of the series due to his personality that contrasted the Naruto in the original Naruto series. He also said "The politicking within the power structure surrounding Naruto and Boruto becomes more interesting than Boruto himself" and as a result expected Boruto to change in upcoming chapters to make the series more appealing.[60] However, Melina Dargis liked how Boruto realizes his father's goals and joined Sasuke and the Kages in order to save Naruto. Additionally, Dargis noted Boruto's early strained relationship with his father as well as his use of technology to fight might reflect on modern audiences who might understand his character more as a result.[61] As the character developed, Stewart enjoyed Boruto due to his childish personality as he starts acting like a hero from an action film he just watched worrying his family in the process. Additionally, the reviewer liked how Boruto's mysterious "Eye Technique" started making references to a previous Naruto film.[62] While comparing Boruto's traits to main characters often seen in other manga series, McNulty felt that Boruto's growth across the anime series helped to make him more likable.[63] Theatergoers for the Boruto film were given two different types of fans with one of them using Boruto and Naruto's images.[64] Boruto's entire clothing is also being sold as merchandising.[65]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]