Longstanding and successful anime series always have great and dedicated fans discussing their beloved characters for years after it’s finished. Naruto is one of those series, and when it officially ended in 2016, fans were happy it finished well and, simultaneously, sad that their favorite series had ended. However, Kishimoto decided to create a sequel series to Naruto and presented us with Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, which follows a new generation of shinobi, including Naruto’s son, Boruto. The anime series already has over 200 episodes, so we decided to discuss when Boruto gets good and from what point you should start watching it.
The Chūnin Exams Arc is a great starting point for the series. We witness Naruto, Sasuke, and Boruto fighting Momoshiki, and the arc that we saw in Boruto: Naruto the Movie, is one of the better parts of the series. However, we suggest watching the whole series because if you skip arcs/episodes before Chūnin Exams, you won’t understand the tension and buildup to the main conflict of the series – the danger that the notorious Ōtsutsuki clan poses for the Ninja World.
We will discuss this topic more by explaining the series’s premise, its pros and cons, and analyze why some fans insist on skipping some story arcs of Boruto. Furthermore, we will explain our answer and conclude this article. If you are interested in this Boruto topic, stay with us until the end of the article.
Overview of Boruto: Naruto New Generations
One of the interesting things about the Boruto series is the difference in the number of chapters/episodes manga, and anime series have. Of course, filler arcs exist in Boruto anime as well, but in fewer numbers than in the Naruto series. Manga has 77 chapters released today, while the anime series has 284 episodes released today. The reason for so many more episodes than manga, Boruto anime adapts separate stories, like Sasuke’s story, Sakura’s story, and more. Those are considered fillers that expand on characters and “fill” in blanks, especially during time skips.
Boruto: Naruto Next Generation has 26 released story arcs:
- Academy Entrance Arc
- Sarada Uchiha Arc
- School Trip Arc
- Graduation Exams Arc
- Genin Mission Arc
- Byakuya Gang Arc
- Chūnin Exams Arc
- Chōchō Arc
- Mitsuki’s Disappearance Arc
- Parent and Child Day Arc
- Jūgo Arc
- Steam Ninja Scrolls Arc
- Konohamaru’s Love Arc
- One-Tail Escort Arc
- Time Slip Arc
- Mujina Bandits Arc
- Kara Actuation Arc
- Vessel Arc
- Kawaki Arc: Kara Clash
- Kawaki Arc: Ōtsutsuki Awakening
- Chūnin Re-Examination Arc
- Great Sea Battle of Kirigakure Arc
- Kawaki & Himawari Academy Arc
- Labyrinth Game Arc
- Sasuke Retsuden Arc
- Code Arc
Boruto starts quite dark – the scene is set in the future, where Kawaki and Boruto are standing on the ruins of Konohagakure. Kawaki tells Boruto he will send him to where he sent his father. The series then pans back to the present, where a new generation of Konoha is entering the Academy. The series showed from the beginning where the storyline will lead us to, which is an excellent usage of in-media res storytelling technique.
The conflict will lead us to that flashforward scene so fans can stay engaged. The Boruto series is different because anime has much more content than manga – 18 volumes with 77 chapters released today. Boruto anime adapted its novels and special stories and included them as fillers in the series, hence why anime has almost 300 episodes.
Regardless, the show starts with a surprise and slowly tells us how Ninja World has changed since the end of the original series. The peaceful era during Naruto’s reign as Hokage is in full force, and a new generation of Konoha’s children is put in the spotlight. Because of the slow start of the series, fans accuse Boruto of being too stale and boring in the beginning.
We slowly progress with the new generation while they are trying to figure out the world they live in and become shinobi. We learn what happened with the characters from the original series, which leads us to Sarada Uchiha Arc. Now, this storyline’s main theme makes sense, but its start seems silly. Sarada hasn’t met her father since she was a baby, and Sakura seems really reluctant to talk about Sasuke. Sarada sees Team Taka’s photo in her house and proceeds to zero in on a mysterious woman, Karin.
She has glasses like Sarada, and the girl starts questioning Sakura’s motherhood. All in all, the reason why Sarada started looking for her father is quite silly, but in the end, the whole arc ended up being interesting. We saw firsthand how the Uchiha family functions, Sakura’s epic fight with Shin Uchiha, and Sarada activating her Sharingan.
This arc is great for the fans of the original show to see what happened to characters like Orochimaru, Yamato, Team Taka, and Naruto and the Uchiha family dynamic.
The Sarada Uchiha arc is a good starting point to watch the series, which is followed by more Boruto-centric story arcs and missions. What Boruto does well is the attention to supporting characters. Some fans like that the series moved away from the “bad habits” of Naruto Shippuden, where it included a lot of fillers that, in the end, weren’t canon and didn’t have any value to the main story.
These “side arcs” in Boruto aren’t fillers, but parts of the Boruto series, which are used for propelling Boruto and other characters’ stories. Anime has much more content than manga, making the series quite slow, so when the anime gets to the Chūnin Exams arc, Boruto became much more enjoyable.
Boruto: Naruto the Movie plot was finally adapted to anime, and it was absolutely amazing. Funnily enough, Chūnin Exams arcs in Naruto Universe are always the best parts of the story, and this one didn’t disappoint. The threat of the Ōtsutsuki clan is finally present in the Boruto anime, and the epic fights of Naruto and Sasuke against Momoshiki are amazing. The main fight is probably one of the best-animated fights in Naruto Universe ever, which proves how much effort the creators put into this anime.
This arc is also significant for Boruto’s character, who finally progresses and develops into a proper series protagonist. Momoshiki arc kickstarts the tempo of the series tenfold and only gets better and better.
Even the following arcs that include more supporting characters and side stories are connected to the main storylines. Ōtsutsuki danger looms above the Ninja World, and one teenager changes everything for the Uzumaki family. The appearance of Kawaki is the moment the Boruto series gets really interesting because this character is the one that is fighting Boruto in that infamous flashforward scene.
Kawaki is a fantastic character whose interactions with other characters only accelerate the development of their characterization and the main storyline. Naruto and Boruto’s characters develop steadily near Kawaki, leading to massive conflicts and fights against Jigen, Boro, Isshiki, and Code. Boruto actually dies (!!!) during the battle against Code but survives because of his Kāma and Momoshiki Ōtsutsuki. Naruto and Sasuke get battered in the fights and lose important parts of themselves, and Kawaki is conflicted about what to do.
Anime is currently adapting Sasuke’s story, the light novel released a few months ago, but we can expect the continuation of the main storyline soon, where we will see the Code arc in full swing.
However, the main question still stands – when does the Boruto series get good? Let’s find out!
When does Boruto: Naruto Next Generations become good?
After an exhausting analysis of the whole series, Boruto starts being good during the Chūnin Exams arc. The series gets to where Boruto: Naruto the Movie was set, and we see new generations of shinobi fighting for the title of a Chūnin.
Boruto’s character goes through much-needed development and finally becomes the main protagonist of the Boruto series. Naruto, Sasuke, and Momoshiki create the best-animated combat scene in a very long time, and Boruto’s life is changed forever after he gets marked by Kāma and Momoshiki Ōtsutsuki. That moment makes the stakes much higher, and the risk the characters need to invest in saving Boruto and the whole Ninja World increases tenfold.
However, that doesn’t mean you should skip every single episode to that point of the anime because you probably won’t understand every plot point or event that preceded the interesting parts of the series. Every story has an intro, and Boruto isn’t different.
Chūnin Exams arc only propels the storyline forward, leads us to the appearance of Kawaki, an essential character in the series, and moves us closer to the flashforward scene from the beginning of the anime.
Despite the popular opinion that Boruto is a bad series, that simply isn’t true. Naruto series faithful accuse Boruto of being a repetitive show that copies plots from the original series and develops characters that are actually the same as the original characters from Naruto.
I can partly agree with that notion since Kishimoto loves his parallels and similar storylines, but the more the series goes on, the more interesting it gets. Moreover, Boruto is far different in storytelling from Naruto Shippuden, which has over two hundred filler episodes that mostly don’t apply to the main storyline – everything Boruto releases is canon to the story.
I would even argue that creators learned from Naruto Shippuden’s mistakes and applied some fixes to the sequel, which makes the series more engaging.
The issue I have with Boruto anime is simply boredom with some parts of the series that are usually side stories and the Naruto fatigue. Since 1999, Naruto Universe has been part of our lives non-stop, and someone who grew up with the series will find Boruto too much.
However, despite some fans claiming the storyline doesn’t make sense, Boruto is good at articulating plot points that are fluid and strongly connected to the main storyline. If someone new starts watching the anime, they will soon catch up with the plot quickly. Personally, manga series are better, but the animation quality makes a good case for Boruto: Naruto Next Generations to be watched and appreciated more.
The series is currently on Code arc, which is exciting and really good, and an indication of how close we are to that infamous Kawaki and Boruto encounter in the future.