Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is quickly coming to the end of its epic Time Travel arc, which has brought Boruto and Sasuke back to the Hidden Leaf Village of the past, to defeat a powerful villain (Urashiki Otsutsuki) who tried to steal Nine-Tails from a young Naruto, during the interim between the original Naruto series and Naruto: Shippuden. Now Urashiki has been defeated, and as the next episode previews have already shown (at the time of writing this), Boruto and Sasuke are looking to make the trip back home to their own time. However, Boruto maybe shouldn't be so quick to abandon this time travel thread - as it's easily the best thing the anime has going for it!
The major intrigue of Boruto's Time Travel arc has been the anime's ability to fulfill the major promise of the series: uniting the new and old worlds of the Naruto Saga. It's been nice to see how the adult versions of Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura, Shikamaru, etc. have grown and evolved and struggle to lead the next generation of Shinobi; at the same time, fans still hold a lot of love for the younger versions of those same characters. Boruto's Time Travel Arc has allowed fans to revisit the Naruto the first knew and loved, along with fan-favorites like Jiraiya, all depicted in nice modern animation styles. Moreover, the Time Travel Arc has also helped make the case for Boruto as a character, by literally and figuratively setting him alongside a young Naruto, to reveal just how similar they really are. It's become a lot harder for fans to hate on Boruto, after that.
In short, the Time Travel Arc has been a big win-win for both the Naruto / Boruto sides of the franchise, and there is still such a wide divide between the actual main canonized story of the Boruto manga and the more meandering material of the anime, sticking with a filler arc concept that actually excites the fanbase seems like no-brainer. Plus, given how the main storyline of the manga (the mysterious Kara group) connects to the history of the Shinobi world and its Otsutsuki, the Boruto anime could use another Time Travel stop to actually set the stage for that story.
Stories like the saga of Minato Namikaze, or the backstories of Kaguya, Isshiki, Hagoromo and Hamura Otsutsuki all loom large in the Naruto saga, but haven't been able to take center stage in the way that a second Time Travel Arc could provide. Revisiting any of the Great Shinobi Wars; or the time period between the end of Shippuden's events and the beginning of Boruto, could be equally rich. Or another thought: How about Boruto's return trip giving him and Sasuke (and us fans) a preview of that "Teenage Boruto" future? How great would that be?
The bottom line is: why try to fix something that's working? What kind of second Time Travel arc would you like to see? 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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