Boruto Sees Shukaku Declare Him Better than Naruto

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations has been an interesting sequel in premise. While not always as intriguing in practice, the series first drew fans in by starting out as a story about how Boruto wants to get out of his hero father's shadow. Many of the series' multiple arcs have shown examples about how Boruto differs from his father in key ways, and much of the time this is done by having direct connections with characters from the original series who can outright compare the father and son duo.

The latest, and most prominent, example comes with the newest Shukaku focused arc which sees the One-Tailed Beast outright declare Boruto is better than his father Naruto after seeing him do battle in the latest episode.

Shukaku has been openly attached to Boruto after figuring out that he's Naruto's son, and hasn't been shy about his confidence in that Boruto will be able to protect him. When Boruto and Shinki have a disagreement that leads to Boruto running back to help Temari and Shikadai in their battle against a puppet pursuer, Shukaku takes Shinki to watch the battle from the sidelines.

It's here that Shukaku tells Shinki that he "said he's like Naruto, but he's more skilled and smarter. Seems like he's not that reckless after all." This is in reference to the fact that Boruto wants to help his allies more than finishing the mission like Naruto would, but this is also a reflection of just how more Boruto has grown in his ninja skills than his dad did at the same age.

This comparison is most likely between the younger Naruto and the current Boruto, so the statement is apt. Boruto has been gifted with the jutsu he can use, and has been more adept at fighting than his father was at the same age. It's what made Boruto stand out so much initially from his father. But this could also be arguably suited to the current Naruto as well.

Due to Naruto's massive amounts of chakra and other gifts, he never really had to fight strategically. Covering for the flaws in his ninja skills with raw power, one could argue that he's never had the need to cautiously approach his battles. Boruto's had to cultivate his skills in a much different matter, and this might be "smarter" as Shukaku posits.

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Then again, Boruto's got a lot of flaws that make him far inferior to his more experienced father. Even Shukaku says he's not an expert on how people think, so he might be far off from the truth. Still, this is a fun way to open the door for debate!

Originally created by Masashi Kishimoto for Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump in 1999, Naruto follows a young ninja, with a sealed demon within him, that wishes to become the leader of his home village. The series ran for 700 chapters overall, and was adapted into an anime series by Studio Pierrot and Aniplex that ran from 2002 to 2017. The series was popular enough to warrant a sequel, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations which is set several years after the events of the original Naruto story and features the children of many of its key characters such as Naruto and Hinata.