Who's the stronger genin, Naruto or Boruto? In the Boruto: Naruto Next Generations anime series, the exuberant lead character is around 12 years old and a newly-graduated genin of Konoha village. This is more or less the same age as Naruto during the first part of his own story, before the lengthy time jump that preceded Naruto Shippūden. Both characters' respective stories begin at the same point in their lives and chronicle similar key events, such as the Chūnin Exams, learning signature techniques and summoning beasts for the first time,
Despite the similarities in their stories, Naruto and Boruto experienced very different upbringings and are very different fighters. However, debate is rife among fans as to which of the two is strongest. Is Boruto currently more powerful than Naruto was at the same point in his life? Since the exact timelines of both Naruto and Boruto aren't explicitly dated, Naruto's development until the end of Part I will be taken into account and compared to the current incarnations of Boruto from both the anime and manga series, of which the latter is more advanced.
A ninja's strength can be judged on 4 main factors in the Naruto franchise: taijutsu (hand-to-hand combat), ninjutsu (chakra-based moves), genjutsu (illusions) and tactical intelligence. In those final two categories, Naruto and Boruto are more or less identical - neither use genjutsu and both are rash, impulsive and emotionally driven protagonists in the Shonen mold, regularly breaking mission protocol. In the other two areas, however, Boruto arguably comes out on top.
Naruto was always a solid taijutsu user and these skills were enhanced after working with Kakashi and sparring with Sasuke as part of Team 7. Boruto, however, has enjoyed training of a far higher quality. Naruto wasn't personally tutored during his days at the academy, since he had no family or friends to aid him, whereas Boruto began training from a very young age, receiving instruction from his father, Sasuke and Konahamaru. Furthermore, Boruto's maternal heritage means that he's been trained by some of Konoha's best taijutsu users - the Hyūga clan. While he may not be as proficient as Metal Lee, Boruto's rich fighting education should certainly make him a better hand-to-hand combatant than Naruto was.
In terms of ninjutsu, the battle between Naruto and Boruto is a far closer contest. Naruto's natural abundance of chakra allowed him to successfully use mass shadow clones, whereas Boruto can only manage a handful at any one time. However, Boruto was able to develop his own version of the Rasengan far more easily than Naruto was and at a slightly earlier point in his development (prior to the Chūnin Exams, as opposed to after). Additionally, Naruto never really developed an arsenal of nature transformation techniques like most ninja do, while Boruto has a number of tricks up his sleeve including Lightning, Wind and Water-based attacks. Also worth noting is that the tricks Naruto had to work so hard for, such as using chakra to climb trees, are second nature to Boruto, who performs them effortlessly. A young Naruto might be able to overrun Boruto with shadow clones in a fight, but his son undoubtedly has a wider range of ninjutsu available.
Some fans might argue that the presence of the Nine Tails Fox in Naruto's body would give him the edge over Boruto. During Part I however, Naruto was unable to control the demon lurking within him and was often manipulated into letting that chakra out. This is a far cry from the Shippūden-era Naruto, who harnessed the power of the beast and was able to wield its power with purpose. If Naruto's Nine Tails power is taken into consideration here, then Boruto's own uncontrollable abilities must also be included, including the mysterious power in the youngster's right eye and the Karma seal that can nullify all other jutsu.
The biggest difference between Naruto and Boruto's personalities is that the former was deemed useless at the Academy, while Boruto was labelled a child genius. Naruto's entire arc centers around overcoming the odds to become one of the best ninjas of all time and this goal provided Naruto with his greatest strength: determination. Considerably more spoiled than his father, Boruto lacks this same resolve, and would therefore perhaps be beaten in a fight against Part I Naruto. In terms of pure ability, however, Boruto appears to be the superior genin.