Naruto fans saw a subtle homage to the old series in a recent poster for Boruto: Naruto Next Generations.
The image showed Boruto standing between Mitsuki and Sarada. The Hokage's son punches his right fist into his open left palm with a cocky snear on his face. On one side of him, Sarada looks poised for a fight, while on the other Mitsuki looks calm and confident.
The image perfectly matches one of Naruto's original Team 7. In the original, Sakura stands in for Sarada while Sasuke replaces Mitsuki. The comparison is completely spot on -- even down to Naruto's jacket. While his is ripped and ragged, Boruto's flutters in the wind because it is baggy and unzipped.
The side by side posters got a lot of attention on the Naruto subreddit. The post picked was 95% upvoted, and it sparked a lot of conversation in the comments section. While many were touched by the subtle homage, others felt it represented a little creative laziness.
"Must we make every scene with the new Team 7 somehow parallel to an older one?" one person wondered.
"One team saved the world. The other... finished school," added another.
While the teams are visually parallel, fans had a lot to say about how they lined up personality-wise.
"Sarada may be a girl like Sakura but she is the Sasuke of the group," asserted one person.
"Sarada isn't into [Mitsuki] like Sakura was with Sasuke," someone pointed out. "[It's] the other way around for her([she] likes Boruto.) Mistuki might be full on gay or bi. He loves Boruto, confirmed."
As many fans pointed out, the show relies heavily on parallels and archetypes in its storytelling. Naruto was largely about the passing of the torch from one generation to the next, with the students taking and switching around the powers and personalities of their teachers. So far, Boruto has not tried to get away from this theme. The show follows Naruto's son, who hates living in the shadow of his famous father. This drives him to become act nearly the same as Naruto did when he was young, but for the opposite reasons.
On Thursday, a momentous episode of Boruto will premiere. Titled "Father and Child," it is expected to be the climactic showdown between Momoshiki and Naruto and Sasuke, as Boruto looks on. The episode will also likely confirm the fate of Killer B, who many fans think is dead.
Here's the official synopsis:
"What will Naruto and his comrades do about Momoshiki, who's attained even more power!? While Boruto is watching over them attentively, Naruto and Sasuke manage to corner Momoshiki with their tremendous strength! However, an intruder appears…!?"
The episode will be available on Crunchyroll and Hulu starting on Thursday, July 19th.