Boruto is one of the latest serialized manga that is running right now with a dedicated audience and immense success in only a short period of time. The Boruto history and overview guide is going to reveal why this is the case and how it is unique when compared to most other shounen series.
After all, Boruto is in a fascinating place compared to most manga as the continuing legacy of another great series. Read on to find out more about what that franchise is, how it continues the story, what the new main characters are like, and where you are able to read and watch it right now.
Bottom Line Up Front
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is a manga and anime series that began in 2016 and 2017, respectively, as the long-awaited direct sequel to the beloved Naruto series.
While Kishimoto, the creator of Naruto, was mostly hands-off for the beginning of the project, he has since come on board and is overseeing it. The manga and anime follow Boruto, the son of Hokage Naruto, as he and his friends train and try to save their village.
What Is Boruto?
Boruto is an anime and manga series that is only a few years old at this time. What is unique about this series compared to others is that it has a legacy behind it that has instantly propelled it into the spotlight, compared to other new series that have had to build up the hype surrounding them.
The series follows the titular Boruto, who is a young ninja who is in the shadow of his father’s grand accomplishments in the world. With troubled family life and the weight of expectations upon him, he starts training as a young ninja alongside friends who also wish to protect their village.
Over the course of the series, fans are able to see Boruto grow as a ninja with his friends and fight various threats, many of which have ties to the past of Boruto’s father. At the same time, the series has a clear goal ahead of it that is made known in the opening moments, building up to show how everything got to that point in time.
Given what Boruto is built upon that came before it, there is a lot of action that readers and viewers can enjoy, with some of the best fights that are in the business right now. There are a lot of great character moments, too, featuring some emotional scenes and development that is happening across the story arcs.
Without a doubt, Boruto is a shounen that is meant for all ages and that anyone, young or old, can enjoy. This is in large part due to the comedic and goofy nature of the series with plenty of heartwarming and lighthearted moments that are happening throughout it.
However, that said, Boruto is also quite serious and features some heavy moments, even early on in the series. Since this is not a brand new world and cast of characters that we have never met before, it means that the creators do not have to waste time getting to the heart of the matters.
Even the very first scene sets up some tragedy and dark parts that are coming later in the story, and it does not take too long to start seeing some of that in action. Even still, this is a series that we would recommend to anyone since it never goes too dark or gritty like some other manga out there do.
While Boruto has only been out for a few years, it has a good number of hefty manga chapters and a couple hundred anime episodes for fans to check out. This is an ongoing series with still several years ahead of it, so this is a great time to get in there and start enjoying it alongside everyone as the new content comes out.
How Boruto Relates to Naruto
One major part of Boruto is the subtitle for the series: Naruto Next Generations. It is there in the title and all around it that this is the successor to Naruto, one of the most popular and beloved manga and anime series of all time. When it comes to the biggest series ever created, Naruto is one of them.
With a couple of decades of history behind it, Naruto is a franchise that many did not want to see it end but it had to after running for so very long. That said, it did not take long for a sequel to be mentioned and Boruto fills the unique position of being the follow-up to one of the most important manga of all time.
It is extremely rare that we get to see manga sequels like this, especially on this level, and, in fact, you could say that it is one of the first ones with only Dragon Ball Super being similar in that regard. All of the other great manga out there like One Piece and Bleach are either finished completely without a true sequel or still going itself.
Boruto is not at all a spin-off of the Naruto franchise or anything like that. If there is any concern there, worry not, as this is the true follow-up to the classic series. It has many of the same elements and characters that are throughout, revealing what is going on with them years down the line.
If you want to see what Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura, and the gang are up to these days, this is the series to follow. In the later moments, it has even brought back some of those beloved characters and featured them in some major ways. While not every character, such as Naruto himself, is painted in the best light in this series, it follows his son who is similar to him in many ways.
Boruto History: Manga
Naruto concluded its legendary run as a manga in 2014 with the anime following in 2017. Before the end of the original anime series, Boruto, the son of Naruto, was already revealed and being teased as the “next generation” of ninja and it finally began on May 9, 2016.
The original creator of the Naruto manga, Masashi Kishimoto, was approached about making a sequel from the publisher, Shueisha, however, he was not interested in doing so at the time. That said, he was not against handing off his beloved series to someone else to take over.
And that is exactly what happened with the Boruto series where Kishimoto’s assistant, Mikio Ikemoto, took over as the main artist. At the same time, the writer was chosen to be Ukyo Kodachi, who was the writer for one of the Naruto light novel spin-offs and the Boruto movie (more on that film in a bit).
In the end, the duo of writer Kodachi and artist Ikemoto took over the new sequel series and the first chapter of Boruto came out about two years after the conclusion of Naruto. Like its predecessor, Boruto was featured in the Weekly Shonen Jump magazine with each chapter, but this ended in 2019.
From that point forward on July 20, 2019, the manga chapters are being serialized in V Jump magazine in Japan with the localized English chapters being released soon after. At this point in time, there are around 66 chapters that have been released over the last few years.
While that may not sound like a lot of chapters in almost six years of publication, especially compared to the 700 that Naruto had, it is worth mentioning that the handling of these manga chapters are a bit different in Boruto. Each chapter is fairly bloated, with more than double the amount of content in a normal Naruto chapter.
In that way, the 66 chapters are stacked and there is a lot of story that is covered in them so far. Enough, in fact, that there are already 16 volumes of the manga that have been published, with about four chapters featured in each volume. Unfortunately, the last few volumes of the manga have not been released in English yet, but the individual chapters are available online.
What is interesting is that Kishimoto is now stepping in to become the main artist for the series moving forward. He has already drawn the last dozen or so chapters that have happened and it seems that the original Naruto creator will be involved with the rest of the series from now on.
Boruto History: Anime
Interestingly enough, there are some who could argue that the anime of Boruto is more important than the manga in this case. After all, the actual start of Boruto was in anime form as Boruto: Naruto the Movie in 2015. This was a film that was, technically, set in the original Naruto series but as a sequel.
It came out before the original Naruto Shippuden anime was over but after the manga concluded. It featured a story that was overseen by Kishimoto himself and characters created by him. This anime movie was a preview of what was to come with the sequel series.
While the manga started out as a recreation of the film’s content, the actual anime was a bit different when it came out with the first episode on April 5, 2017. Created by the anime studio Pierrot, who also made Naruto, the series began with a story arc prior to the events of the movie and built up to that and later arcs.
The anime adaptation has been running weekly since its beginning in 2017, with more than 230 episodes and counting at this time.
Boruto follows a group of young ninjas who are training to protect the village from future threats. Among these is the titular hero of the manga series, Boruto, who is the son of Naruto. He is similar to his father in appearance but differs considerably when it comes to almost everything else.
He has a different personality and goals in life, much of which is revolving around the fact that he is not a fan of his dad. Though Naruto was alone growing up, he neglects his family much of the time and spends more of his focus on being the Hokage, resulting in some father problems for the young Boruto and his appreciation for Sasuke, instead.
Early in the story, Boruto eventually joins his own ninja group and that includes the leader, Konohamaru Sarutobi. Konohamaru is the grandson of the 3rd Hokage and sees Naruto as his idol. He wants to be like him to the point of using many of his ninjutsu abilities and wanting to become the next Hokage.
Also in the ninja team that Boruto is part of is Sarada Uchiha. The daughter of Naruto main characters, Sasuke and Sakura, Sarada is a mix of both of them in personality and abilities. While she struggles with her heritage in the past, she does love her family and dreams of someday becoming the next Hokage.
The final member of the initial ninja team is Mitsuki, whose past is a bit of a mystery. While not going into spoilers about who he really is, his powers include extending his body parts in battle and he is a thoughtful member of the team who keeps his friends in check.
A later member of the main cast is Kawaki who is shown in the very first scene for the series.
It would not be a Naruto sequel without a whole lot of villains and secret organizations involved, and that is definitely featured in Boruto. In fact, some of the villains even have ties to Naruto, as seen in the case of the Otsutsuki.
Kaguya was a major part of the Naruto franchise at the very end of it and this is something that continues onward in Boruto with the Otsutsuki clan who are not finished just yet with their plans for the ninja world. Among them include a few great villains that are featured in the manga.
And then there is the major evil organization known as the Kara who is, in some ways, similar to that of the Akatsuki from Naruto. They are a group that is trying to find The Vessel and get it back. In the process, they are evil ninjas who will do whatever it takes and their many members end up opposite the heroes of Boruto in the story.
Where to Read and Watch Boruto
If you are intrigued by the premise of a shounen series that is the sequel to Naruto, there are lots of places to read and watch this ongoing manga and anime. Starting out with the manga, there are a few different places to read it, depending on whether or not you want to enjoy the physical copies or the digital version.
If you prefer the physical copy of the manga book in your hands to read, then there are a few different places to look for purchasing it. There are online retailers like Amazon and others where you can purchase the volumes online to ship to your home.
Alternatively, you can head to your local bookstore and pick up copies that are available there. As one of the most popular series out these days, this should not be too much of a problem. You may even be able to find it at your local school or public library if you would rather not spend any money on it.
The only issue with reading the volumes of the Boruto manga is that you will have to wait sometime to get the latest chapters. If you want to be in the know as soon as chapters come out, you will want to read the digital ones on the Viz Media website that come out soon after releasing in Japan.
For those who would like to watch the anime adaptation, instead, there are a couple of places that you can do so. You are able to watch the new episodes of the anime in Japanese with English subtitles on Crunchyroll soon after they air in Japan. You do not need an active subscription to watch some episodes, either, as you can watch them with ads.
However, the most recent episodes will require a subscription and for watching without ads. If you prefer the English dub, which may be preferable to Naruto fans who grew up with that version, you can watch the new episodes through Toonami on Adult Swim.
Manga vs Anime: Which is Better?
A debate that is eternal whenever any series is happening with a manga and anime version is which one is the better option. Normally, this does not matter as you can just pick the one you prefer and that is it, but there is a unique situation with Boruto where the manga and anime are happening at the same time.
They started fairly close to one another and deal with their respective story arcs in very different ways. Whereas Boruto the manga is fairly brisk and fast in going through the arcs, the anime is much slower and takes its time adapting the events that happen in the manga.
There are plenty of new story arcs seen in the anime that are not the manga, but this “filler” content is usually pretty good. I would even go so far as to say that it is better than most of the “filler” arcs that were in Naruto during its run.
In comparison, the manga feels like a summary at times with how little detail it can give in certain areas. Personally, I would say that this is a rare occasion where the anime version is the superior one. It allows for more room to breathe, the ability to meet other characters, and better development.
The fights are also given more time to shine, allowing for some great action that is more brushed over in the manga. There are even certain major story moments that are slightly different in the anime compared to the manga version. While the changes can be at especially important moments, they are still telling mostly the same story.
While I would think the opposite when comparing the anime to the manga with Naruto, I think the anime in Boruto is the better option overall. That said, I think it is good to read the manga, too, to see where the story is going in the future and how it handled everything.
What Manga Chapter to Start With for Anime Fans
In the event that you are someone who watches the anime and catches up (somehow) to the more than 200 episodes that have already aired, you can continue seeing where the story is going by reading the manga. So far, the manga is greatly ahead of the anime that has only adapted so many chapters so far, due to the filler content it has.
If you want to pick up from where the manga is, we recommend starting around Chapter 37 of the manga. There are at least 30 chapters that the manga is ahead of right now compared to the anime including an entire arc that it is in the middle of right now.
This will allow you to see where the anime is going next and compare the two methods of handling the plot and characters.
Question: Should you Watch Naruto Before Boruto?
Answer: Boruto, as we already mentioned, is a direct sequel to Naruto. In that way, you will get the most out of the series by already knowing the older characters and their stories. That said, you do not, technically, have to read or watch Naruto prior to checking out this series.
It does enough by starting out with a new cast of characters (who are related to older ones) that you can enjoy the series without having any ties to the original. That said, it does reference and even follow-up on some of the arcs and characters from the original Naruto series, especially as time goes on.
I think that someone can definitely enjoy this series without seeing the original Naruto but you are doing yourself somewhat of a disservice since some of the more impactful moments recently in the series lose a little bit of their weight. I think you should check out Naruto first or at least understand a summary of the events prior to the start of Boruto.
Question: Why is Naruto Weaker in Boruto?
Answer: From the observations that we have had in Boruto of the 7th Hokage and former protagonist, Naruto, it is seeming more and more likely that he is a bit weaker than he was in his own series. This is even stranger since he has reached the highly coveted role that he always dreamed of.
However, there are a few possible reasons behind why he is a bit weaker at times in Boruto, at least at first. For one, there is the fact that the village and world at large have enjoyed a fairly long era of much-deserved peace following the events of Naruto, meaning that some ninja may not have been training as much.
This could adversely affect Naruto since he is not required to be at the top of his game anymore and he is involved in more political and administrative duties these days. At the same time, there are also some spoilery events that happen later in the Boruto manga that could show that Naruto is understandably weaker than he was in his original series.
Question: Is Boruto Set in the Past?
Answer: Like Naruto, there is not a determining period of time from which we know where Boruto takes place. That said, it does seem to be an alternate form of Earth and one that has technology that is growing and starting to more resemble what we have today.
To answer the question, we do not know if Boruto is in our past but we do know that it is many years after the events of Naruto and there are tricky timeline stuff thrown in there. For one, the opening scene of the manga and anime shows a moment that has not happened yet where Boruto is much older.
In a way, that fight that we see is the “present-day” and everything that is happening in the series right now is sort of “set in the past”, showing the events that lead up to that scene. That said, there is also a story arc in the series, and one of the best ones at that, that has to do with the past that I will not spoil too much. So, this is a somewhat complicated question to answer, but Boruto is at least not set in our Earth’s past.
Question: Who is Boruto’s Real Father?
Answer: This is a question that is asked a lot but Boruto’s father is, indeed, Naruto Uzumaki. There are no other indicators at all in the series to question otherwise that we have seen to date. As such, it is abundantly clear at this time that Naruto is actually Boruto’s real father.
Question: Who did Boruto Marry?
Answer: While the first scene in Boruto reveals the future, or present depending on how you want to look at it, with an older version of him, it does not reveal who he will eventually marry. Or, if he even gets married to anyone in the first place.
Of course, that does not stop the fandom from trying to piece together who he will inevitably marry in the end. While we do not know the answer to this question at this time, there are a couple of main candidates that Boruto could marry in the future.
Possibly the most popular one that many fans want to see happen is the fellow main character, Sarada Uchiha. The daughter of Sasuke and Sakura Uchiha is a promising perspective and interesting twist for the eventual wife of Boruto. After all, this would literally make Naruto and Sasuke legally family, which is something that they have always spiritually been in a way.
It helps, too, that they are on the same team and spend a lot of time together on missions and in training as fellow protagonists. That said, she is not the only option and, if Naruto taught us anything before, the love interest for the titular hero may not be someone who is one of their direct teammates.
The other major option is Sumire since the two seem to have some interest in one another and there are similarities between Sumire and Hinata. That said, this may be too obvious and the writers may not want to go this familiar route again. Another that some fans mention is Yodo given the possible romantic interest there, but this relationship would need a good bit of time to blossom, so we will have to wait and see for now.
Boruto Spin Off History and Overview: Conclusion
Boruto is a highly recommended manga and anime series for those who enjoyed Naruto before it. That said, as we mentioned in the frequently asked questions section, we do recommend for most people to check out Naruto first if they can before reading and watching this series.
If you are someone who has never read or watched Naruto before, you are in the right place, as we have already created a detailed look at the Naruto history and overview. Be sure to check that out as the best place to begin with this franchise if you want to know everything that happened prior to the events of Boruto.