Later this spring, a new kind of Konoha will be introduced to fans of Naruto. TV Tokyo is set to host the premiere of Boruto: Next Generations in April, and the spin-off will follow after Naruto Shippuden. Of course, the shonen franchise has been a staple for anime enthusiasts for years thanks to its overwhelming popularity. There are plenty of diehard Naruto fans who are unsure if the sequel anime is something to be excited over or if it will do their shinobi justice.
But, if you ask Boruto's chief director, the new series will do that and more.
Recently, the staff for the spin-off anime was confirmed in the newest issue of Weekly Shonen Jump. In the magazine, director Hiroyuki Yamashita and chief director Noriyuki Abe spoke about their work on Boruto: Next Generations. The pair talked about having the new anime live up to its predecessor's legacy, and Abe stressed the show would not let longtime fans down.
"I've inherited the epic tale of Naruto and the souls of its gigantic cast of characters. And, at the same time, I awakened myself to this new era and this new protagonist's story," Abe said.
"This is honestly very difficult, but at the same time, it's worth the effort. I'm getting numb. The entire staff is mobilized to make this interesting and fun. You can expect great things. I will never betray my fellow Naruto fans, of course."
Yamashita echoed the chief director's thoughts, saying, "There are two types of viewers: the people who expect great things from Boruto and the ones who are new to the series. If they both feel [like] they want to watch over him, that would make me happy."
Of course, the two directors are not the only ones concerned about how Boruto will be received by old fans. Last year, creator Masashi Kishimoto admitted he was worried Konoha's new generation of ninjas were too similar to those who came before them.
"If the characters aren't similar, if they aren't a little clone-like, it can be hard to express who they are," he said. "And I have some who are pretty much clones. Shikadai is a lot like his dad. And some of the new characters are a combination of their parents, like Cho-Cho. With manga, sometimes you're going to get archetypal characters like that."
Boruto TV Anime Comments from Director Hiroyuki Yamashita & Chief Director Noriyuki Abe. pic.twitter.com/42qvQDHdwN— YonkouProductions (@YonkouProd) February 23, 2017
Continuing, Kishimoto also said the scale of Boruto would be very different from Naruto. "For Boruto, because of everything that's already been done with Naruto, you can't help but have some things that will be repeated. So I worry about the story being too similar. And with Naruto and Sasuke becoming so strong and battles getting bigger and bigger, now you have kids fighting so the scale is gonna feel smaller," he said.
"I don't want it to feel lacking, so the focus needs to be on expressing things differently or coming up with new ideas. Those issues concern me."