The Manga Review: Boruto Naruto Next Generation Volume 2

The torch of Naruto has been passed from Masashi Kishimoto to Mikio Ikemoto and Ukyo Kodachi with the start of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations volume 1. It has established who Boruto is, why he hates shinobi, and his willingness to do anything for praise.  This puts Ikemoto and Kodachi in a perfect position to take the torch that has been handed to them and turn it into a blazing fire with volume 2 of Boruto: Naruto Next Generation.

Summary:

With the Chūnin exams going on Shikamaru comes by to inform Naruto that both of their sons have passed the second round. Not wanting to show favoritism to any one villager Naruto waits until Shikamaru leaves to celebrate his son’s success for making it this far. Naruto them chooses to meet with Sasuke, who is waiting for the Kaguya scroll to be decoded. As the two are waiting they begin to talk about how Sasuke is training Boruto and how the essence of a shinobi will never change despite the time.  Meanwhile, Boruto returns home and is congratulated by his mom and sister and goes straight to his room. Once there he begins to think about if he should continue to use the Kote in the third round of the Chūnin exams. He is debating as Naruto knocks and enters to tell his son how proud he is of him and that he should not lose to Shikamaru’s son Shikadai. This, for Boruto, sways him into using the Kote, in the advancing rounds as he appreciates the attention and praise he is receiving from his father. On the day of the third phase, which is one on one fights, Boruto is matched against Yurui. Initially the 2 exchange blows, but as the match goes on longer Yurui is slowly gaining the upper hand with his jutsus. Rather than finding a way to counter it, Boruto chooses to use the Kote to copy Sasuke’s shurikenjutsu to win the match. Meanwhile, Sarada, Shikadai, Mitsuki, and Araya all win their matches fairly. As a result of this Boruto is scheduled to face Shikadai in his next match. During this fight Boruto produces several shadow clones but they are all stopped by Shikadai’s shadow jutsu. Given no other option, as Boruto doesn’t want to lose, he releases several small scrolls that produce shadow clones out of Shikadai’s reach. This forces Shikadai to forfeit the match as he doesn’t want to be bothered with the task of fighting more clones. As Boruto is being declared the winner Naruto realizes that Boruto was using the Kote and disqualifies him from the Chūnin exam as he cheated.  Seconds later Kinshiki, from the Ōtsutsuki clan, attacks the Chūnin exam arena. Immediately Temari, Sakura, Gaara, and Kankurō begin to protect and evacuate the spectators in the arena. At the same time Naruto instructs Boruto to leave as he is attacked by Momoshiki, another member of the Ōtsutsuki clan. Seeing his father attacked, Boruto attempts to use his Kote against him which is only absorbed. Meanwhile, Sasuke has saved his daughter, Sarada, from danger and informed Naruto that Momoshiki and Kinshiki are from the Ōtsutsuki clan. They are looking to turn the tailed beast into chakra pills that extend life and grant the user power. The truth is revealed and Momoshiki throws an attack, made up of all the jutsu’s he absorbed. This is blocked by Naruto who enters his Tailed Beast Mode to take the full force of the attack. Several hours later Boruto wakes up in the hospital to learn that his father has been kidnapped and angrily tosses away the Kote. Boruto eventually sneaks into the Hokage’s office and puts on his father’s old jacket and considers himself a loser. Eventually, Sasuke finds him and tells him how similar he is to how his dad was growing up. This prompts Boruto to ask him what his dad was like growing up. Sasuke, sensing that Boruto is starting to overcome his weakness, tells him that he can ask his dad himself. As Sasuke is leading a rescue mission with the 4 Kages, invites Boruto to join and he accepts. Meanwhile, Momoshiki is slowly draining Kurama’s chakra from Naruto, realizing how difficult the task is. Naruto is holding out Chōjūro and Darui along with Boruto successfully free Naruto as they are joined by Gaara and Kurotsuchi. Sasuke then explains that Boruto is starting to become a shinobi and has realized some of his errors. This prompts Naruto and Boruto to have a father-son moment where they connect to one another with Boruto wanting to know more about his father’s past. Meanwhile, Sasuke, Chōjūro, and Kurotsuchi face off and imprison Kinshiki from helping his partner. Gaara provides support for Darui to face off against Momoshiki. This provides enough time for Naruto to regain some of his strength so that he may enter the fight. Upon realizing that his partner has been immobilized, Momoshiki turns Kinshiki into a chakra edible and eats him to gain more power which appears in the form of a third Rinnegan on his head.

Significance:

Boruto: Naruto Next Generation is the impetus to launch Boruto’s journey to find his shinobi way. Prior to the Chūnin exam Boruto hates Shinobi due to the lack of attention his dad (Naruto) has for him. Craving that attention from his father Boruto is willing to do anything to get it, even use a device, the Kote, that has been banned. While in the third round Boruto gets caught using the Kote and is disqualified from the Chūnin exam. Before he can be lectured to Naruto is attacked by Momoshiki and Kinshiki. While Naruto is fending off his attackers he protects the village by allowing himself to be kidnapped. This kick starts Boruto’s journey to find his shinobi path as he begins to reflect upon his wrong doings.  He realizes that his dad is a true shinobi in both strength and attitude, which makes him wonder how he found his path. This is the first time that Boruto is looking to his dad as a role model rather than a flawed human. With Sasuke asking Boruto to join him and the other 4 Kages on a rescue mission to save Naruto, it only confirms that Boruto’s view of shinobis has changed. Furthermore, this change is clear when Boruto sees his dad and asks him to tell him the stories of his past. Boruto is acknowledging his father as a role model and somebody to look up to instead of somebody to hate. This is a big step for Boruto as he is beginning to find his own shinobi pathway, like his father did when he was a kid.

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