Review: Boruto: Naruto Next Generation – Ch. 3

(WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP 2016)

by Ukyou Kodachi & Art by Mikio Ikemoto

Summary: The world has changed in the wake of Kaguya’s defeat at the end of the original Naruto series. Those who survived have went on to live normal lives, settle down, and have children of their own. Now all of those children are old enough to become fully-fledged ninja on their own and thus Boruto’s – son of Naruto – story begins.

[MAJOR Spoilers from this point on…]

Review: In this chapter the new chuunin exams begin as Boruto attempts to prove his worth as the son of Naruto and pupil of Sasuke. Unfortunately he has no real powers currently and is forced to use the chakra mimicry machines the scientists of the Hidden Leaf Village have been developing to give non-chakra users a leg up. Boruto can use chakra however so not only is the weapon mainly so that he can use techniques he currently cannot use or are well out of his skill level, but the weapons are forbidden from being used in the exams so currently he’s cheating.

Most of this chapter is dedicated to this generation’s version of the exam. And honestly I’m not sure if these exams were purposely designed to be of lesser danger to the students in this future or if Kishimoto couldn’t come up with better exams for the students to go through. The original chuunin exam in Naruto were a big deal and filled with some of the most heated, complex and entertaining matches and scenarios within the series.

Here the chuunin exams are more of an afterthought in how they’re written as the story blazes through them as to rather get to the point – which is the new villain of this story – instead of allowing us to really get to know this era’s ninja through their cunning and prowess while pitted against one another. In the first exam the young ninja are given a yes or no question in reference to a popular book series that Sarada has read. However even she doesn’t know the answer as she hasn’t read as far into the series as the question references.

After the teams are divided into their yes or no answer platforms the ground opens up beneath them and sends them all flying into a pull of ink. The trick was that there was no right answer, and the real test was the fall. Those who save themselves and their teammates from getting doused in ink get to move on to the next exam.

pageOnce Boruto’s team moves on they immediately jump into the next round, a capture the flag scenario using the team’s basic abilities. Finally getting to use his mimicry machine Boruto impressively displays ninja abilities far beyond his level and everyone accepts them because he’s the son of the Hokage and hero of the world.

This will obviously cause for some drama later on down the line once Boruto is discovered but for now its a means to an end to get the chuunin exams moving as quickly as possbile so that we can get to the new villains of this specific story. And I know all of this because in this chapter we continue adapting Kishimoto’s film story from Boruto: Naruto the Movie rather than giving us new material to take in as readers.

I’m still very frustrated about this manga adapting a story that already exists in another medium before moving onto its original material, but also with every passing chapter my frustration turns into something more like boredom as I await the story to become interesting again like it was during that cool series opener that was a brief glimpse into Boruto’s future.

Until then though, we trek along and bide our time. I’m just waiting for a chance to judge this series on its merit as a Kodachi story. Not what I know to still be a Kishimoto story.

Final Score: 1.5 Yes or No Trick Questions out of 5

DERRICK-imageDerrick is a born and raised otaku with a love for comics, anime, manga and movies. The full list is pretty long, but that’s just the basics. Stories set in space are his bread and butter.

You can find more of his writing at IndieComix.net

@KazekunForever

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