Anime wouldn’t be the cultural phenomenon it is today without the help of what fans collectively called “The Big Three” of the early 2000s: Bleach, Naruto, and One-Piece. The second one, the story about a young Naruto’s rise to becoming the greatest ninja of all time, proved to be so popular that it got a sequel series. This time, Boruto followed Naruto’s son who is on his way to surpassing his father’s incredible legacy.
As the successor to a popular anime, Boruto forged its own path while also making some significant changes to the stories and characters that came before it. After all, people change with the passage of time. Here are 10 changes that Boruto makes to the Naruto canon.
10 The Boruto Movie Is Not Canon
As both a follow-up to the Naruto franchise and the start of a new one, Bortuo: Naruto the Movie had a lot riding on its success or failure. The movie proved to be a hit among fans, who were excited to see the next generation of ninjas.
But when the Boruto anime and manga debuted, they reimagined Boruto’s entrance into the Chunin Exams, changing key events and adding new ones as well. It has yet to be clarified if the movie is now non-canon or otherwise, but it’s generally viewed as a false start after Boruto started airing.
9 The Justice System Is Lax
Even after all the deaths and destruction, they caused over the course of the original series, Orochimaru and his spy Kabuto are still around and essentially retired in the Hidden Leaf Village.
Characters make off-hand comments about how the two are under constant surveillance, but it shows how lax the justice system has become or always was. Granted, the Hokage’s word is law and Naruto – the Seventh Hokage – is known to be a forgiving person, making his decision a sharp turn from his predecessors who at least punished or cursed dangerous ninjas.
8 Rapid Modernization
The most visible change Boruto implements on the original canon is the widespread use of modern technology. From office computers to video games to digital scrolls, the ninjas’ lives have considerably upgraded in the years following the Fourth Shinobi World War.
While the world of Naruto wasn’t primitive, it was relatively low-tech and relied heavily on the kind of industry commonly found in old rural communities. With the passage of time, radical technological developments have been made, drastically improving the lives of the ninjas.
7 Itachi Uchiha And The Akatsuki Have Been Removed From History
Most of the chaos seen throughout the original series was caused by Itachi Uchiha and the Akatsuki, and it finally ended with their defeats. In the hopes that future generations don’t follow their example, their actions and existence have been wiped out of history books.
When Sarada drops by the library to learn about her father Sasuke, the only available information about his bloodline is generic at best. Itachi has been erased to retain the Uchiha clan’s honor, while the Akatsuki have been all but forgotten – even if the clone Shin Uchiha tried to revive the group.
6 The Original Ninjas Grew Up
For older fans, the selling point of Boruto was seeing the original characters of Naruto as adults. Although they’ve been relegated to supporting roles, it was nice to see some familiar faces all grown up now and facing life from a brand new perspective.
In the years after Shippuden, many of the ninjas got married and started families of their own, with their children participating in the Chunin Exam at the start of the new series. Boruto is all about a new generation of ninjas stepping up to the plate, and it wouldn’t be complete without their parents.
5 Kakashi Is Apparently Ageless
Years may have passed in between Shippuden and Boruto, but the passage of time apparently has no effect on Kakashi, the beloved mentor and father-figure of Team 7.
For reasons that have yet to be explained, Kakashi is somehow immune to the ravages of time unlike his fellow ninjas who’ve all aged visibly. The years have been incredibly kind to Kakashi, who looks the same way he did when he first met Naruto. This led fans to jokingly theorize that he's immortal.
4 Shino Became A Goofball
In the original series and its continuation, Shino is shown to be a reserved and stoic ninja who’s best known for controlling a terrifying colony of bugs living in his body. By the time of Boruto, he became a joke that even his students can’t respect.
Not only does he have a job that seemingly contrasts his previously introverted personality, but he’s apparently not that good at it as Kurenai bluntly put it. His vitality to the Fourth Shinobi World War didn’t translate very well when peace was finally restored.
3 Hinata’s Father Is A Changed Man
For lack of better words, Hiashi Hyuga wasn’t a good father to his daughter Hinata. He may have loved his children, but Hiashi always put the future of his clan before anything else – including being emotionally honest with a daughter he at one point disinherited from being the Hyuga heir.
By the time of Boruto, however, he seemingly realized the errors of his ways and chose to become a doting elder to his grandchildren. He even allows Naruto to call him “father.” As a result, Boruto has difficulty believing that Hiashi was a hardass in his younger days.
2 Naruto The Hokage May Have Broken The Rules
From the very first episode that he showed up, Naruto knew that he wanted to become the next Hokage. After years of hardships and training, Naruto finally achieved his dream but some technicalities have yet to be explained.
Despite being an incredibly skilled and powerful ninja, Naruto is still a genin – he still has two ranks to earn before even qualifying as a candidate for the highest ninja title. According to series creator Masashi Kishimoto, Naruto hasn’t officially graduated meaning that either the rules were bent or his adventures were all the credentials he needed.
1 Naruto And Sasuke Are Absentee Fathers
Naruto and Sasuke didn’t have easy childhoods, with the former being an orphan and his lifelong friend having an emotionally distant father. Because of this, one would think that they would make sure their kids didn’t suffer the way they did but that’s not the case in Boruto.
It’s shown that Naruto’s a workaholic with no time for his personal life while Sasuke has been on a pilgrimage of redemption for almost a decade. Though they’re amazing ninjas and good people at heart, Naruto and Sasuke still have a lot to learn when it comes to parenting.