Although Masashi Kishimoto created the original series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations follows up on, maybe it's not a great idea for the original Naruto creator to take over the manga from now? It was recently announced that Kishimoto would be taking the writing and storyboarding duties from Ukyo Kodachi, who had been serving as the series' writer until Chapter 52 of the series. For something as monumental of a shift such as this, there was a strange amount of divisiveness from fans as they debated the merits of such a change for the series going forward.
Because while it seems like having the original creator return to the franchise to tell the sequel's story more directly is a fantastic change of pace, the manga has been generally accepted to be the best aspect of the franchise running right now. In fact, it's gotten to the point where many prefer the manga's release to the ongoing anime. Will this creative shift have a noticeable, and potentially even negative impact on the series?
Kishimoto's former role in the production of the sequel was to help outline the ideas presented in the arc, and much like how Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama handles Dragon Ball Super's manga, Boruto was handled directly by a different set of creatives, the duo of writer Ukyo Kodachi and illustrator Mikio Ikemoto. Having these extra talents, along with the editor, has resulted in a series that doesn't have a lot of the Kishimoto quirks fans adjusted to during Naruto.
One of the biggest concerns many fans have seemed to have was how the female characters of the series, like Sarada Uchiha, will be treated going forward. Kishimoto's original series did sideline its female characters in a number of ways, and while that's a valid critique, it's not like Boruto is much better at this either as it often seems like Sarada is the only female character in the sequel.
So what is actually the core issue? Making such a major shift in the creative voice behind the series (especially so far into the sequel's run) will undoubtedly have a negative impact on the current flow of the series. While it might mean some great long term effects such as a (hopefully) tighter perspective of the story as whole, there are going to be a lot of smaller noticeable differences that could very well be off putting.
Although this is the creative mind behind Naruto, Kishimoto isn't the sole voice behind Boruto. Regardless of intent, the sequel series is no longer solely owned by Kishimoto. It's no longer a singular vision, and therefore will undoubtedly lead to speed bumps in the road ahead as one of those critical voices will be lost. That's one less person to bounce ideas off of, and one less person to double check whether or not an idea really works.
You might not notice a change at first, but little by little you'll notice how characters are acting differently than you would expect, sounding differently (at least as much as it's going to translate through Viz Media's English language release), and how some of the panelling changes. Whether that's going to be better or worse is up to you, but that's why Kishimoto should stay away in the first place.
Why make any grand changes to the Kara arc at all? Why even take this huge risk? What do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or you can even reach out to me directly about all things animated and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!