When it comes to shonen, fans are used to settling in for a long haul. The anime genre is often defined by its long-lasting titles, and you only have to look at One Piece to see why. The on-going show has more than 800 episodes to its name, and One Piece’s end is nowhere in sight. So, it is only natural to guess at how long Boruto: Naruto Next Generations will last as its first-year anniversary just passed.
Unfortunately — or perhaps fortunately — fans don’t know how long the anime will go. Despite persistent rumors, Studio Pierrot and TV Tokyo have not said a word about when the sequel might close, but that has not kept fans from being worried.
In light of the anime’s most recent arc, fans of Boruto began to wonder how far the anime will go as a whole. Its adaption of the ‘Chunin Exams’ arc catches the show up to the place Boruto: Naruto the Movie left off. Since there has been no word on the show’s next arc, some began wondering if the anime would end with less than 100 episodes under its belt, but recent ratings show why the loss of Boruto would not be a wise one for Japanese TV.
If you haven’t heard, Boruto came into a schedule shift not long ago. The anime moved from an unpopular Thursday TV slot to a primetime schedule on Wednesday. The move was done in light of Boruto’s highly anticipated ‘Chunin Exams’ arc, and it seems the gamble is already paying off for Fuji TV. With the move having gone through, Boruto finally nabbed a top ranking on the network. The top two spots on Fuji TV’s daily counter belong to sports programs, and it is Boruto in the third spot. The next anime title on the rankings list is Pokemon Sun & Moon: The Series, a vetted favorite for Fuji TV audiences. So, clearly, there is renewed interest in Boruto.
Not only is the show steady in ratings, its status as a sequel has given it renewal armor. The show is an annual one producing new episodes year-round, making it one of the last shonen titles to take on such a schedule. The only other series using such a grueling production timeline are One Piece and Black Clover, and Boruto has the power of Naruto backing it up. Between domestic and international fans, Boruto is part of the anime fandom’s global conversation, and it is widely agreed that the arcs following the ‘Chunin Exam’ saga are its best.
Fans may be concerned about Boruto given its latest arc, but there is still plenty more for the series to explore. So long as the anime is a bit behind the manga, Boruto could easily run a full 220 episodes like Naruto did before Naruto: Shippuden took over. And, if Boruto does well enough, then it isn’t crazy to think it could be broken up into a two-part sequel.
For those unfamiliar with Boruto's predecessor Naruto, it has quite a storied history. Originally created by Masashi Kishimoto, the series ran in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump for 700 chapters. The story follows Naruto, a young ninja with a sealed demon within him that wishes to become the leader of his home village. The sequel, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is set several years after the events of the original Naruto story and featuring the children of many of its key characters such as Naruto and Hinata.
How long do you think Boruto will run? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!