If there is one thing anime fans love, it is a good throwback. Over the years, series such as JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and Gintama have paid homage to all kinds of anime, and sequel series tend to do the same. So, it isn’t surprising to see how often Boruto throws a nod to Naruto, and it did so again during the Chunin Exams.
If you caught the latest episode of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, it gave fans a look at the Chunin Exams’ latest match. After beating Shikadai while using a Scientific Ninja Tool, Naruto’s son made way for his teammate to enter the ring. Mitsuki was pitted against Shinki, the adopted son of Gaara. And, as you can guess, the fight got intense.
With Shinki as an opponent, the Team 7 ninja went all out. Fans watched as Orochimaru’s son disappeared from the battle field only to pop back up from underground. Mitsuki grabbed Shinki’s ankles, leaving him to follow through his Earth Release jutsu, and fans were struck by how close the scene matched one from Naruto.
After all, the original anime pulled out a similar move during its Chunin Exams.
Years ago, Naruto Uzumaki was the first to use the underground technique in the Chunin Exams. When the boy was pitted against Neji Hyuga, their fight ended when Naruto took out the Byakugan user with a surprise attack. Naruto dug a tunnel underground with broken fingernails to send a flying uppercut to Neji. The surprise attack defeated the Hyuga, but it doesn’t look like Mitsuki was as lucky.
Sadly, the Leaf ninja chose to forfeit his match after Shinki tried to make him use his Sage powers. Mitsuki knew revealing such a power would likely lead to his expulsion from the village, so Mitsuki decided a victory against Shinki wasn’t worth him being separated from his comrades.
For those unfamiliar with Naruto, it has quite a storied history. Originally created by Masashi Kishimoto, the series ran in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump for 700 chapters. The story follows Naruto, a young ninja with a sealed demon within him that wishes to become the leader of his home village. The sequel, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is set several years after the events of the original Naruto story and featuring the children of many of its key characters such as Naruto and Hinata.
Did you catch this subtle throwback? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!