Boruto: Naruto Next Generations follows Naruto's son Boruto on his journey to become a shinobi. Initially released as a manga, Boruto was adapted into an anime quickly with only a few volumes being released.
It has become a popular anime, but is it good? Before I explain why Boruto is worth watching, I first want to talk about why you shouldn't go into the series comparing it to Naruto. If you are looking for more content about Boruto, be sure to check out the best characters in Boruto, and in case you missed it, licensed statues of characters from Boruto as well as Naruto Shippuden were announced at Wonder Festival 2021!
Why You Shouldn't Compare Boruto to Naruto
Is Boruto better than Naruto? Short answer: No, but I don't necessarily think the two should be compared. While it's a continuation of Naruto's story, it's told through Boruto's point-of-view. So, with that said, I don't think you should compare the two since the circumstances within them are different. That being said, you do need some knowledge from Naruto to understand some of the references made in Boruto.
In the new world of Boruto, we see Naruto and his friends living with their families in a time of peace. Konoha has seen massive growth, expanding from a small village to a bustling city. With technology advancements, things like the Thunder Rail and scientific ninja tools now exist. It's a society completely different from that of which we saw in Naruto.
It's going to be different experiencing some of your favorite characters living a normal daily life, but isn't this what they all worked so hard for? A world where kids, like Boruto, have nothing to worry about but getting the next limited edition burger or finding the next rare shinobi card. One thing hasn't changed though, Naruto is still hard at work and Sasuke is off being a lone wolf shinobi. That's not to say that everything is going to be easy throughout the whole series, because it definitely isn't as things develop and more manga canon enters the anime.
If you go in knowing that this is a whole new story, you will definitely appreciate Boruto more if you think of it as its own thing. I do have to mention though that the anime is just now getting into the main story of the manga as mentioned above. Kara has finally been mentioned in episode 157, and this is where Boruto really starts to get good, so I implore you to keep up with it since this is something you have to look forward to.
All I'm saying is give it some time, because the story really does pick up and get darker as more from the manga is introduced. Not to mention, the opening of episode 1 alone should give you an idea of what's to come later on. That being said, the manga has taken some turns that may have me second-guessing my thoughts on the series as a whole and I'll get into this more below.
Is Boruto Worth Watching?
And here's where we really get into the review. Yes, Boruto is worth watching but with exceptions, because Boruto's anime has both anime canon and manga canon, in addition to filler and mixed canon/filler episodes.
If you aren't familiar with canon, it basically means that these episodes are essential as they are part of the official storyline. I wanted to make the distinction between these episode categories, because it really plays into my review and as to whether or not I think Boruto is worth watching.
There's also the question as to whether or not Boruto's filler episodes along with the mixed canon/filler are worth watching, which I'll also get into below.
Are the Anime Canon Episodes in Boruto Worth Watching?
Since Boruto's manga picks up way later than the anime, a core storyline was created to give some much needed backstory on the characters of Boruto and their earlier days of growth. These episodes that were added to the anime's official storyline are therefore called anime canon.
With that said, are the anime canon episodes worth watching? Yes, they definitely are. They provide much-needed backstories on the characters and the different teams within Boruto.
With added character development, you are able to see why these characters are the way they are and how their relationships with their friends, parents, and teachers as well as their earlier academy days and missions have shaped them in the stories to come.
If the anime had only followed the manga's storyline, it would be similar to Naruto's anime ignoring all of the information and episodes prior to Naruto Shippuden. Grant it, there was a lot more to be told there and way more episodes to watch, but it is within Naruto that you see him grow up, build his relationships, and have battles that push him to become better.
Without the anime canon, you jump straight to an Akatsuki level threat, and you really need some build up and context before that happens. Also, the anime canon allows you to see what the characters from Naruto are up to in this new era more so than the manga, so that's really enjoyable to witness as well.
With all that said, yes the anime canon is worth watching. The following episodes are definitely worth your time in addition to the manga canon.
Boruto Anime Canon List
- Episodes 1-15
- Episodes 25-32
- Episodes 34-38
- Episodes 42-47
- Episode 52
- Episode 60
- Episodes 70-92
- Episodes 98-103
- Episode 112
- Episodes 120-137
- Episodes 141-147
- Episode 155
- Episodes 157-180
- Episodes 190-191
- Episodes 209-211
- Episodes 221-251
Are the Manga Canon Episodes in Boruto Worth Watching?
Boruto also contains manga canon, which is content that is part of the manga's story. It goes without saying that these are the must-see episodes of the entire series and they are ones you don't want to skip.
They do a particularly good job at following the manga and doing it justice. These episodes are a must watch as they are highly pertinent to the story and they are also the best episodes you'll see in the entire series.
Boruto Manga Canon List
- Episodes 19-23
- Episode 39
- Episodes 53-59
- Episodes 62-66
- Episodes 148-151
- Episodes 181-189
- Episodes 193-208
- Episodes 212-220
The rest of Boruto's episodes are either mixed canon/filler or filler episodes.
Are the Mixed Canon/Filler Episodes in Boruto Worth Watching?
Mixed canon/filler episodes are not needed to understand the full story, but provide some extra insight into the characters and their lives. They include some canon, so I think they are worth watching if you have the time. The mixed canon/filler episodes in Boruto are as follows:
Boruto Mixed Canon/Filler Episode List
- Episode 18
- Episode 24
- Episode 51
- Episode 61
- Episodes 93-95
- Episodes 106-111
- Episode 127
- Episode 192
Are There Any Boruto Filler Episodes Worth Watching?
As far as the filler in Boruto goes, I personally would say most of it's not worth watching. And for some of you, you may not want to watch any of it depending on what you are into.
These filler episodes are character or team-specific episodes, and they mainly focus on characters that I'm not particularly interested in, like Denki or Wasabi. They also involve random missions they go on that aren't pertinent to the main story.
Now with that said, there are filler episodes, like "Shikadai's Decision" (ep. 97), "The Little Roomate" (ep. 104), and "A Wound on the Heart" (ep. 105) that I personally enjoyed, because they focused on characters I like.
If a particular character or team interests you, definitely check out their extra episodes, but if you are just interested in the main story, I'd skip all of the following filler episodes:
Boruto Filler Episode List
- Episodes 16-17
- Episode 33
- Episodes 40-41
- Episodes 48-50
- Episodes 67-69
- Episodes 96-97
- Episodes 104-105
- Episodes 113-119
- Episodes 138-140
- Episodes 152-154
- Episode 156
Boruto Anime vs Manga
Boruto's manga was originally created and supervised by Masashi Kishimoto with art by Mikio Ikemoto and writing by Ukyo Kodachi. But this is about to change, because Naruto's official Twitter account just announced that Masashi Kishimoto will be taking over the writing for Boruto starting with Chapter 52. With that said, everything that releases from then on in Boruto's manga will be based on drafts written by Kishimoto. Up until this point, the only other thing that Kishimoto himself has written in regards to Boruto is Naruto The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring, which is the spin-off manga that introduces this new generation of Naruto and is the precursor to Boruto.
The anime has yet to reveal much from the manga, so it's really much too early to judge it. But from what I've seen thus far from the anime, they have done the manga justice. The main villain of the story is just now starting to enter the story in the anime, and I'm really excited to see what's to come.
All I can say is that it is difficult to compare the two, because the manga starts off further in the future than the anime does. As a whole though, the manga's story is much more interesting, but they are just now starting to get into the thick of things within the most recent episodes of Boruto's anime; However I will say that with some of the recent reveals in the manga, I'm not 100% happy with how the story of Boruto is developing. I really hope the anime takes more time with and adds more weight to certain emotional and major events that occur within the more recent chapters of Boruto's manga.
I was enjoying it but some things have occurred that are making me second guess the direction it is heading in. Up until now, the manga was better than the anime, but now I'm hoping the anime fills in some of the gaps and adds more to some of the recents events of the manga that I felt were somewhat rushed for how pivotal of moments they were.
Final Thoughts: Is Boruto Good?
Even though I have my qualms about the future of the series, I still think Boruto is worth watching. Not just because it is within the Naruto universe, but also because it's a whole new telling from Boruto's point-of-view and it has some shining moments, battles, and characters. You get to see how these new generations live, and of course, we get to continue seeing our favorite characters from Naruto develop.
You'll witness odd things like Kakashi and Might Guy going to enjoy retirement at a hot spring, but you'll also see Naruto and Sasuke in some pretty amazing fights. Most notably, you'll grow to love some new characters, while continuing to love the ones you are already familiar with.
From what's been shown so far in the anime, people are afraid Boruto is going to cheapen Naruto, but the anime is just now getting into the best parts of the manga. With that said, it will all depend on how the story develops in the manga, and so far as mentioned in the comparison of the manga vs the anime, I have my concerns. Usually I'm not one for adding to the story, but with the way that the manga is developing I'm hopeful that the anime will add more to the story and fix some of the issues I've had with the more recent chapters of Boruto.