Boruto Badly Needs a Relaunch

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations has managed to become a successful continuation of the Naruto saga, despite early skepticism about the series and its central protagonist. If nothing else, Boruto has managed to get fan support behind it for its vision of the adult lives of Naruto and his friends, showcasing how the characters have grown up (in both personality and power) in some touching and/or exciting ways. However, despite Boruto managing to find its footing and justify its own existence, there are still some pretty big problems with how the series is progressing. That's why Boruto badly needs a relaunch... and soon.

WARNING: Don't read below if you are worried about any SPOILERS for the Boruto anime and manga! Make sure you're all caught up first!

A new report has come out of Japan, detailing the current anime ratings. As it turns out, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is doing well on the anime front, but when it comes to the manga source material, the analaysis isn't nearly as positive. According to TV Tokoyo, the Boruto anime is second only to the main Naruto series when it comes to profitability, however, the Boruto manga has been tanking hard, with every subsequent new volume. In fact, the latest volume of Boruto's manga has barely touched 150K after 4 weeks of release. Needless to say, that's not a very good sign that Boruto's manga will be in it for the long run, which is a shame as the manga's current story arc has been getting rave reviews (especially from longtime Naruto fans) for its epic levels of action and game-changing mysteries. In fact, so much of what's happening in the Boruto manga right now is crucial for pushing the series (and entire Naruto mythos) forward in significant ways that cannot be ignored.

So what's to be done with Boruto, now that its anime and manga are so out of sync? Well, the most mutually beneficial thing may be (if you haven't realized from the headline) giving Boruto a relaunch that solves that very problem.

Naruto set the blueprint with the break between its original series and the Naruto: Shippudensequel series - and it's a blueprint Boruto should follow. Ending the current volume of the anime and launching a second would give the manga a similar chance for a new start - a new start that syncs the storyline of the books with that of the anime. As for the anime: while Boruto is popular and profitable enough, the series also hit a slump in 2019 with an excessive run of filler arcs, as the manga was moving too slow with the substantive story material for the anime to delve into it. Boruto's anime has managed to beat the odds and pull itself out of that slump without the manga's help, launching an exciting time travel arc in which Boruto and Adult Sasuke go back to the time between Naruto and Shippuden to save Young Naruto from an Otsutsuki threat. That arc has opened the door to a perfect stopping point for both the manga and anime, and it's one that shouldn't be missed.

By the time the Boruto anime gets done the time travel arc and returns Boruto and Sasuke to the present, the manga will arguably be far enough along in its current "Kara Arc" for the anime to jump right into that arc (after a transitional filler episode or two, of course). The manga can finish out the Kara arc and go on hiatus, while the anime stretches its Kara Arc into a longer storyline. When that's done, the anime could end this volume of Boruto, and go on hiatus until a new anime series is launched. Hopefully, that new series would up the animation and style quality, and would start fans off at the same crucial point: the start of the "Teenage Bortuo" time jump. Boruto painted itself into a corner by starting off with a major flash-forward sequence that sees an older (teenage) Boruto battling teenage Kawaki, the pivotal character of the Kara Arc. Now the series has to honor that early promise of epic action to fans, an starting a new installment of the series more directly focused on that time period and storyline would be a clean and exciting new jumping-on point.

Moreover, one of the biggest problems right now is that the Boruto manga only comes out once a month (at best pace), while the anime has been keeping steady at once a week episodes. At the rare times that the manga and anime sync, the latter burns quickly through the content of the former, unlike a lot of anime, which stretch the source material content out into longer TV episodes. There's no two ways about it: the Boruto manga needs to pick up the pace, so perhaps a nice hiatus would give the mangaka team of Ukyo Kodachi and Mikio Ikemoto time to get a good headstart, or perhaps the creative team could be expanded to help the manga up its pace. That faster output, plus more strategic use of filler material (which should be easy since the anime has established so much more of Boruto's world and supporting cast), would keep the anime and manga more closely tied and relevant to one another, with a clearer shared destination in mind.

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Are you ready for the next era of Boruto to begin soon? Are you checking out the anime and manga or just one of the two? Let us know in the comments!

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.

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