Yes. I’m going to be picking on Boruto again. At this point, I’m half tempted to start a whole series on it!
When I last discussed Boruto, I made my feelings on it pretty clear. It’s a hollow, lifeless, loveless follow up that shouldn’t even exist. Unlike its predecessor, the story has no direction and the characters are all unlikable and unmemorable. The only positive I could say is that some of the action was downright incredible, both in terms of choreography and animation. Still, it wasn’t enough to make it worth watching anymore.
I had every intention of dropping it. I just wanted to ignore it until it ended and faded into obscurity. And for a while, I did just that.
And then this happened.
That’s right! Boruto is so desperate for ideas that they’ve started a time-travel story! Boruto is going back in time to meet young Naruto! Because that’s what this story needed!
If that doesn’t make it clear that the writers have given up, then I don’t know what will. Whatever story it is they’re telling, it’s clear that they’ve left it behind completely. “Forget the plot!” the writers screamed when they saw the ratings drop. “Just shove in as much Naruto fanservice as possible! Maybe then people will watch it!”
This makes me remember the first scene of Boruto: episode one. Many years down the line, some guy kills Naruto and desimates the Hidden Leaf village. When we join Boruto in this scene, he is a much older and more rugged ninja. He’s facing down a powerful ninja, assumedly Naruto’s killer. It’s an interesting story hook that serves as a decent gut punch to long-time fans of the series and sets a dark tone.
Which they completely drop. But that’s beside the point. The question is: what the actual fuck does Boruto going back in time and meeting a young Naruto have to do with that plot?!
This series has completely flown off the rails. It has no structure, no plan, nothing. They’re just treading water until the ratings drop far enough to bring the show to a close. Whatever vision driving this series has been completely forgotten.
Part of what made the original Naruto so addictive is that it had clear structure and an end in sight. Each arc led into the next with clear, lasting consequences, and each of them directly built up towards the end: saving/stopping Sasuke, defeating the Akatsuki, stopping Madara and Obito, and so on. It was a tightly woven story, even with the many plotholes that littered it.
Boruto is not a story. The arcs aren’t tightly woven together and whatever end goal there was is now lost. It has no substance whatsoever. It is, at its core, Naruto fanfiction.
Bad Naruto fanfiction, I might add.
Think about it. Boruto as a character is the living embodiment of a fan-fic character. He’s the son of a popular ship (Naruto X Hinata). He’s absurdly powerful for his age, managing to keep up with Naruto and Sasuke, who have spent their entire lives training and becoming stronger. Everyone around him loves and respects him, even though he’s kind of a piece of shit. He has no clear character flaws, his personality is basically a carbon-copy of Naruto, and his problems are short-lived and easily solved. If they even exist at all.
And now he’s gone back in time. Because why the fuck not?! Boruto is the chosen one, a super special ninja with a super special eye and super ninja skills because he is really cool! Why wouldn’t he go back in time to protect a young Naruto? It’s a job that only he could do, as the super special ninja with a super special eye and super ninja skills because he’s so cool!
Ugh… even joking about it is enough to give me a headache…
It’s safe to say at this point that the Naruto franchise is a dead horse. It had its time and it was great in it. Now the series is being dragged out and beaten until the last bit of Yen comes spilling out of the decaying corpse.
Just think. This series used to be one of Shonen Jump’s biggest properties! It was among The Big Three! It was what introduced countless people to anime! It used to be a show that people talked about every week with love and fanfare!
And now it’s this. A time travel fanfiction. A lifeless cash-cow. A hollow shell of what it used to be. This is what has become of one of the biggest kings in Shonen history.
What a sick fucking joke.