Without a doubt, Naruto is one of the most popular anime series of all time. The series famously follows the story of Naruto, a dim-witted yet determined ninja that strives to become the Hokage of the Hidden Leaf Village.
From 2002 to 2017, Naruto (as well as Naruto Shippuden) became a staple among millions of anime fans across the world that were impressed with the series' deep story, vivid characters, and captivating battle scenes.
However, after the development of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, many fans and pundits have begun to make comparisons between the two series.
So, has Boruto truly surpassed its predecessor as one of the greatest anime series of all time? While Boruto still has a long way to go, the series doesn't even belong in the same universe as Naruto.
10 Naruto Features a Diverse Set of Characters
Perhaps one of Naruto's most appreciated qualities was its diverse cast of characters. From Naruto to Might Guy, each and every character were unique in their own special way. Every character had their own motives, aspirations, and techniques that made them relevant and useful throughout the entire series.
Take for example Rock Lee - while he wasn't a major character - he had his own ambition of becoming a powerful ninja without mastering ninjutsu. Characters like Shikamaru, Gaara, and even Ten-Ten made Naruto more enjoyable because of their different skills and relationships to the main character.
Boruto, on the other hand, basically recycles the same characters from Naruto and attempts to give them their own personalities. While the series does have different characters like Metal Lee, Shikadai, and Chocho, are they really different than their parents?
9 Naruto Wasn't Slow
Although Naruto has hundreds of boring and irrelevant filler episodes, the series gets straight to the action from the moment the first episode begins. Once Naruto gets assigned to Team 7, he immediately travels to the Land of Waves to battle Zabuza and Haku.
Immediately afterward, Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura participate in the Chunin Exams, which is then followed by the Konoha Crush led by Orochimaru and the Sound Ninja. As you can see, Naruto gets right to the point very quickly.
However, Boruto spends several episodes introducing new characters and showcasing Boruto's playful quirks. While the series does have some action in its early episodes, the pace still leaves much to be desired. In fact, the story seems to be on an erratic pace most of the time, rapidly switching from goofy episodes to more serious ones in a flash.
8 Naruto Has Suspense At Every Turn
One of the most disappointing qualities of Boruto is its lack of suspense. Naruto had a pretty dark mood that seemed like any character could die at any moment. From Rock Lee and Gaara battling it out in the Chunin Exams to Kakashi taking on Itachi and Kisame, fans were always on the edge of their seat wondering what would happen next.
Unfortunately, Boruto lacks this surprise feature. As a result, the show can sometimes be difficult to watch. Is there really any suspense when Shin kidnaps Sakura?
Of course not!
Naruto and Sasuke are two of the most powerful ninja in the world and Sakura is a very competent ninja herself, so there wasn't really any doubt about what would happen next. With Naruto, Sasuke, and the rest of his old comrades still living in the Hidden Leaf Village, Boruto will continue to lack the quality of suspense unless a very powerful foe shows up.
But, what're the chances of this happening this early in the series?
7 Naruto Has Unrivaled Action Sequences
If you've been rolling your eyes in disagreement up until this point, it's time to go ahead and stop. Boruto isn't even in the same atmosphere as Naruto when it comes to action. In its first hundred episodes, Naruto featured amazing battles such as Naruto's fight with Gaara, Neji, Kabuto, and some other great fights in the Chunin Exams.
What does Boruto have to show for its first 100 hundred episodes? A few cameo appearances by Naruto and Sasuke during Shin's assault, a few fight scenes when Nue attacked the village, Boruto's fight with some irrelevant Mist ninja, and countless other pretty basic battles headline what Boruto has shown us since it premiered in April 2017.
It's understandable that Ukyō Kodachi and Masashi Kishimoto decided to go another way with this series, but is it really smart to leave out the amazing action sequences that endeared fans to Naruto in the first place?
6 Naruto Had Real Villains
Quick! Can you name the major villains in Boruto? Since the series began, there hasn't been any glimpse of a major villain, and the show is already approaching 100 episodes.
At the beginning of the series, Naruto already introduced core villains such as Orochimaru, Kabuto, and the Akatsuki. All of these enemies were mysterious, powerful, and they always showed up to test the power of the main characters.
Unlike its predecessor, Boruto hasn't shown a single major villain yet that's unique to the show. This once again proves that Boruto's storytelling qualities are still underdeveloped and that the plot is transitioning much slower than Naruto.
5 Naruto Had A Noble Goal
Every popular anime series has featured a major character with a noble goal or purpose. In One-Piece, Luffy strived to become the King of Pirates. In My Hero Academia, Deku's goal was to surpass All-Might and become the world's strongest hero.
Similarly, Naruto's goal was to become the Hokage. Although his aspirations were a bit one-dimensional and cliche on the surface, Naruto's goal laid the framework for the entire series. In order to become the Hokage, Naruto set out to bring Sasuke back to the village at all costs, surpass his master Jiraiya, and end the Fourth Great Shinobi War.
All of these events strengthened Naruto's resolve, making him more mature with each passing episode. From what we know already, Boruto does have a goal to become a ninja similar to Sasuke. However, Boruto is still too playful and doesn't take being a ninja very seriously.
His lack of a structured goal makes him appeared more one-dimensional than Naruto's ambition to become the Hokage, and even that is a major understatement.
4 Naruto Was On His Own
Since he was a toddler, Naruto had to endure being an orphan ostracized by the Hidden Leaf Village. He had no parents and he was forced to become a competent ninja on his own. Although he had Kakashi and Jiraiya to help him along the way, Naruto had to learn the way of the ninja alone.
Conversely, Boruto is a likable ninja that's very popular throughout the village. He constantly receives tutelage from Konohamaru and he is even taught a few tricks by Sasuke in the series. Boruto has the luxury of having both of his parents around, even though Naruto is seldom at home.
Because of this, Boruto appears somewhat like a spoiled brat that doesn't appreciate the sacrifices his father constantly makes for him and the Hidden Leaf Village. He has devoted friends and the residents of the Leaf Village are quite fond of him, so he doesn't have live in the same anguish his dad did.
Unfortunately, these hardships added to Naruto's character development, making him the powerful ninja he is right now.
3 Naruto Wasn't a "Soft" Series
In the series Naruto, the recurring theme was that being a ninja was an extremely deadly career. In fact, Naruto and his friends experienced tragic events that showed just how painful it was to walk the path of a shinobi.
Dreadful events such as Sasuke defecting from the village, Gaara shattering Lee's leg, and Kimimaro dying after being thrown aside by Orochimaru painted the mural of Naruto's serious and thought-provoking tone. Unlike Boruto, Naruto has a multi-layered theme that touched on the realities of being a ninja.
Of course, Boruto is set in the time where the world is at peace and where ninja are rapidly becoming obsolete. However, Naruto's childhood was relatively peaceful. Still, the series had numerous reality checks, character deaths, and other real-life moments that made the series all too real.
2 Naruto Worked Hard For What He Had
One of the most prevalent themes in Naruto was that "hard work beats talent". Overall, Naruto had to work much harder than his peers to accomplish his goal of becoming the Hokage. For example, when Jiraiya trained with Naruto after the death of the Third Hokage, he used a hands-off approach to teach Naruto the Rasengan.
Naruto basically had to spend several days of exhausting training to master the technique because that's what it took. Throughout the series, Naruto regularly trained to advance his limits, even after Jiraiya death.
On the contrary, Boruto has a distinct nonchalant attitude when it comes to obtaining power. He wants to bypass the learning curve and master powerful techniques without any effort, which angers Naruto to his core. Unless this behavior changes later in the series, Naruto will always have a clear advantage over Boruto.
1 Naruto Started Off Weak
Although we mentioned that Boruto lacks the work ethic Naruto had, you can't deny that he is still a fairly competent ninja. Even Kakashi praised Boruto as a genius, something Naruto never was at his age. In comparison, Boruto could probably wipe the floor with Naruto if they fought at the same age, but this represents a huge problem.
There's not really any character development involved if Boruto already begins the series as a strong ninja. He lacks the work ethic Naruto had, but he's still one of the strongest ninjas in his class, something that took Naruto several years to do.
Fans of Naruto got the chance to see Naruto get stronger and put his hard work to the test against enemies that were much stronger than him. Boruto, on the other hand, doesn't have to work as hard and already has some great jutsu and abilities.
What's the point of developing Boruto any further if he's never going to work hard to overcome inferiority?