With the third chapter finally released we’re back to Boruto: Naruto the Movie the Manga... well now isn’t that a mouthful. I can see why they went with Boruto: Naruto Next Generation. Anyways jokes aside we do continue on with adapting the movie in the manga canon, however one thing struck me as new. The art doesn’t suck... I know, it’s weird but it’s noticeably better, the backgrounds especially are much closer to Kishimoto’s own then previously. What is this... hope for the future of this manga?
Also a little bit of housekeeping this article series will henceforth be on the first Thursday of every month, if the chapter has not been released it moves to the second Thursday of every month.
As the Chūnin Exams begin the Genin are placed in a large group, seemingly for sorting. A question appears, Sarada unfortunately knowing the reference does not know the particular of the question, she as Boruto how he believes Sasuke her father would answer. She and the team promptly does the opposite as Sarada doesn’t wish to follow in his path, as it doesn’t lead to becoming Hokage.
Following the answer its revealed the whole thing is merely a ruse, much like the first Chūnin Exam task of the previous manga. As pitfall traps open among the children swallowing them all. Sarada and Mitsuki thinking quickly manage to save Boruto before he falls and becomes “Black” and eliminates the team. Needless to say the fact he needed to be saved does not fit will with the proud Boruto, despite passing the first exam.
Back at the Hokages office, Naruto is informed of Boruto and Team Sevens success in the first even by Shikamaru. However swamped with work Naruto barely raises a smile. He instead sends Boruto a congratulatory email to which Boruto thinks “Couldn’t he at least have sent a Shadow Clone?”. Only further dampening the young boys mood.
Back at training Boruto continues to struggle with Shurikenjutsu. In a fit of anger he calls into question the whole training saying Shurikenjutsu is Sarada’s specialty due to the blood of the Uchiha that runs through her veins. Sasuke retorts by using the Kage Bushin stating then this should be Boruto’s specialty. Once again this merely angers Boruto more, exclaiming HE will be the star or the second event.
As the second game begins its a matter of 3v3 Team Battle Capture the Flag. Boruto using his four Shadow Clones is defending his flag, while other teams are competing. One notable competition seems to be Rock Lee’s child vs one of the Sand Ninja’s children likely Kankuro as he uses a puppet, although there is also the possibility of being Gaara’s due to a black sand like power.
Returning to Team Sevens view, Boruto is defending the flag as his team members assault the enemies position. Boruto cockily taunts his opponent with his four shadow clones to his triplet teams three member. However they each use Kage Bushin no Jutsu turning a 5 v 3 advantage into a 5 v 9 disadvantage. It’s clear Boruto is on the ropes.
However succumbing to temptation Boruto uses the Jutsu launcher and releases a torrent of water upon his enemies. He then follows up with a Lightning style Jutsu to fry them nice and crispy. Back with Sarada she uses he Sharingan to determine the correct location of the enemies flag ending the game in Team Sevens favor as the chapter comes to a close.
As I read this chapter for the third time in preparation for writing this I was struck by how much better it flowed. As a reverse anime to manga adaptation it was clear the past two chapters were the first act of the movie. Quite slow setting up the various characters and their interactions, if one has read the Naruto Gaiden mini-series this would be an issue. As we already know the characters feelings, however I feel its a necessary evil to get new readers up to speed.
This of course meant this chapter was chock full of action even at the long end of 40 pages, the manga just flowed by. With no jarring scene transitions and a noticeable increase in action, it felt closer to the Naruto fans know and love then what has come previously.
Add to the noticeably better art, especially the backgrounds and character details Chapter 3 may yet be a turning point. It’s too early to know for sure however I’m more excited for Chapter 4 then I was last month for this chapter. Furthermore with us coming to the end of the movie material the climax to arc could be very entertaining to read.
That being said the character models still look static and stilted and characters like Sasuke especially REALLY need a haircut, dude doesn’t look like himself. Anyways what did all of you think? Am I out too lunch or did you think the art picked up a bit too. Did anyone else get a big smile when Gaara showed up? These are questions that need answers!