Earlier this week, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations released a new episode and brought its ‘Hidden Mist’ arc to a climax. The episode followed Boruto Uzumaki as he went up against his friend Kagura, and it ended with the ninja-in-training fighting against Shizuma Hoshigaki with his classmate Mitsuki. Amongst fans, Boruto’s 31st episode is said to have set a bar for what the show already, but it has also made them ask another question:
Does Boruto need to retcon how its Naruto film handled its ‘Chunin Exam’ arc?
A few years back, Naruto rolled out its final film before Pierrot ended the anime. Boruto: Naruto the Movie introduced the younger Uzumaki to the world, but fans are not sure if the film’s characterization of Boruto still makes sense...
If you have seen the Boruto film, then you will know the Uzumaki boy is not painted in a great light. The hero comes off as brash and holier-than-thou as he grapples with one massive inferiority complex.
As the Hokage’s son, Boruto has come to distain his dad as Naruto puts his job before his family. The tension between Boruto and Naruto prompts the younger to act out, but it also frames him as lazy; Boruto is always looking to take the easy way out, and the boy chooses to forego training and use illegal Scientific Ninja tools to show his father up.
A few years ago, the Naruto film did a great job characterizes what fans knew of Boruto; The kid had a chip on his shoulder and acted to contrast Naruto’s legendary rags-to-riches story of power. However, much as changed since the movie dropped, and Boruto has become a character whose far more than just a foil to Naruto.
The Boruto anime has gone to great lengths to show fans what kind of boy its titular hero is. The anime has seen Naruto train diligently at the Academy even if he gets cocky at times, and his strategies are years ahead of where Naruto was as a child. In the anime’s latest episode, fans watched as Boruto - an Academy student - fought two Chunins from the Hidden Mist and win. The ninja has a handle on Shadow Clones, Gentle Fist, Taijutsu, and Elemental Techniques like wind and lightning.
Oh, and you cannot forget that the anime has also already introduced Boruto’s mysterious bloodline limit.
The Naruto movie minimized how powerful Boruto really was, but the hero’s anime has not shirked the topic. Having the Uzumaki use an illegal ninja tool during the Chunin Exams because of lacking power just doesn’t make sense anymore, but there is a way for Boruto to retcon the arc.
Boruto is way stronger in the anime series than his film, but there is still one thing about the hero that has stayed the same. The boy still holds a massive grudge against his dad, and Naruto could be just the ticket to reframing the Boruto arc.
The ‘Chunin Exam’ story takes a turn when Naruto forgets his daughter’s birthday and Sasuke seems disinterested in training Boruto. The boy comes face-to-face with two crushing rejections, and Katasuke comes in at the right time to have Boruto use his Kote in the exams just for fun. The ninja uses the tool to give himself the validation he never got from Naruto, and that is what Boruto needs to focus on.
Rather than using the Kote for power, Boruto needs to stress how the tool gives its titular hero a way to stick it to Naruto. The boy is already plenty strong, but he has yet to find a way to mediate his anger towards his father. The ‘Chunin Exam’ arc can be expanded to delve deeper into Boruto’s mind and how being jaded makes him more susceptible to manipulation. The Kote isn’t something Boruto needs to use to prove he’s strong, not anymore. The ninja’s solo series has already done that in spades.