I was shocked to find out that Boruto was being released in the United States. I was even more shocked when I found out there was a theater just 45 minutes from me that would be showing it. So Sunday (10/18/2015) I ventured out all by my lonesome for what I expected would be an amazing experience. I wasn’t wrong…
I do need to state that this was my first experience watching anime in a real theater, so that will likely skew my opinion some. I also wasn’t expecting the movie to be subtitled, although I should have seen that part coming. I don’t mind subtitles. I watch a lot of anime with them and it is tough at times to follow the action while reading. But nothing could shake my excitement as I settled into the comfy seat, dead center, 4 rows down from the top in the nearly empty theater. I was ready, large Cherry Coke in one hand and Twizzlers in the other as the opening montage took me quickly through the history of the series. The first fight scene between Sasuke and Otsutsuki Kinshiki sets a fantastic precedent for the movie. We find Sasuke in another dimension, fighting an extremely powerful member of the Otsutsuki clan. Sasuke is still in possession of the 9 Tomoe Rinnegan, as well as the eternal Mangekyou Sharingan but instead of immediately utilizing the advanced abilities these gifts grant him, we are given is a fast-paced skills battle. This is a fantastic move on Kishimoto’s part. High intensity skills battles are far more entertaining in my opinion, and much easier to maintain from a development standpoint.
As the story progresses a central theme becomes very apparent. There are consistent comparisons between the “old” and “new” ways of the shinobi world, which very much mirror the world we live in today. Naruto’s tattered, dirty, old jacket stands in stark contrast to the shiny, well-kept dress of the ninja of Boruto’s age. Boruto himself is no exception. While he is a stand out in terms of natural ability, he lacks the work ethic and conviction we saw in Naruto from episode one. He is more interested in shortcuts to gain power and respect than attaining them through hard work and perseverance. I couldn’t help but think there was a message here to the youth of today (and even millennials) who believe things in life should just be handed to them…but I won’t dive any deeper into that for now. Naruto, as you would expect attempts to set his son straight, but being a semi-absent father, the message isn’t well received through the majority of the movie.
One thing I did find surprising was the character development of Sasuke. I’ve never really been a huge fan of Sasuke. From the beginning I found him to be an annoying, emotional wreck of a character whom I just never identified with. But he has transformed from a whining emo into a strong, silent protector of the Will of Fire. Not only that, but he is now a bonafide team player, and the scenes where he and Naruto fight side by side are by far the most exciting of the movie. He even imparts fatherly advice throughout the film to both Boruto and Sarada, again emphasizing the need for hard work and struggle to become the person you wish to be. I found Sasuke advocating hard work a little funny, given that he was handed the majority of his power ups throughout the series (the Curse Mark, the Eternal mangekyou Sharingan, and the Rinnegan) but that doesn’t mean he can’t appreciate the hard work Naruto has done. 🙂
Overall I found the movie to be absolutely excellent, and I couldn’t have asked for more. The Will of Fire is alive and well, and I hope the rumors of a Boruto series are true so that I and future generations can enjoy this remarkable story for years to come. Check out the official trailer below: