Boruto Uzumaki originally spelled by Viz Media as “Bolt”, is a fictional character created by manga author Masashi Kishimoto who first appears in the finale of the manga series Naruto as the son of the protagonist Naruto Uzumaki and Hinata Hyuga. He later appears as a significant role in the 2015 anime film Boruto: Naruto the Movie where he is training as a ninja to surpass his father, the leader of the ninja village Konohagakure.
Boruto also serves as a protagonist in the manga and anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. In the manga, it starts off with the retelling of the Boruto film, while the anime begins with his childhood in the ninja academy where he meets his future teammates—Sarada Uchiha and Mitsuki—as well as his teacher, Konohamaru Sarutobi.
Naruto Uzumaki (Father)
Hinata Uzumaki (Mother)
Himawari Uzumaki (Younger sister)
Hanabi Hyuga (Maternal aunt)
Minato Namikaze (Paternal grandfather, deceased)
Kushina Uzumaki (Paternal grandmother, deceased)
Hiashi Hyuga (Maternal grandfather)
Hizashi Hyuga (Maternal granduncle, deceased)
Neji Hyuga (Maternal 1st cousin, deceased)
Kawaki (foster brother)
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Despite Boruto’s physical designs being similar to Naruto when he was young, their personalities are developed differently. Boruto’s relationship with his father reflects Kishimoto’s relationship with his children. In the Japanese version, Boruto is voiced by Kokoro Kikuchi in The Last: Naruto the Movie and by Yūko Sanpei in all subsequent appearances. Sanpei enjoyed doing the work of Boruto’s acting, finding him endearing. In the English version, he is voiced by Amanda C. Miller.
Boruto’s character has received mixed critical responses. His relationship with his father has been criticized due to reviewers finding the concept overused in the Naruto manga. In Boruto: Naruto the Movie, his development was praised due to his action scenes and how he understood his father’s actions.
Masashi Kishimoto created Boruto in 2013 when the manga Naruto was at its climax. The motivation for the creation was him wanting Naruto Uzumaki to become a father when the manga ends. In the finale of Naruto, Boruto makes a prank in the mountain of Konoha that shows all its leaders, the Hokages. Kishimoto wanted Boruto to act like his father, but at the same time, have differences between each other. Despite not wishing to reveal much about Boruto due to developments of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, he added that Boruto is not as direct as Naruto.
Boruto’s first name is a reference to the character Neji Hyuga as an homage to his death in Naruto while protecting both of Boruto’s parents. In Boruto: Naruto the Movie, Kishimoto developed Boruto and Naruto’s relationship from his relationship with his sons. He wanted the film to depict the father and son relationship between Boruto and Naruto. The film’s theme song, “Diver” (ダイバー) by Kana-Boon, serves as a reference to Boruto. One of the singers of the band stated that it reflects how the character constantly changes from the beginning to the end of the story.
Boruto’s mentorship by Naruto’s rival and best friend Sasuke Uchiha was influenced due to the latter having few appearances in the Naruto movies. Kishimoto decided that he wanted Sasuke to have a major role in Boruto: Naruto the Movie, which he wrote. In the film, Sasuke becomes the teacher of Naruto’s first son, Boruto, inspired by Piccolo from the Dragon Ball manga series by Akira Toriyama. A former enemy of Dragon Ball protagonist Goku, Piccolo becomes the teacher of Goku’s first son, Gohan.
Boruto anime and film director Hiroyuki Yamashita said that when first seeing the character in Sarada Uchiha’s spin-off, he liked his character. In the making of the Boruto film, Yamashita said some scenes regarding to Boruto were removed due to time constraints such as one of the character’s interactions with his father as well as another interaction between Boruto and Sarada. A difficult scene for the staff was the use of Boruto’s Rasengan (螺旋丸, lit. spiral sphere, English manga: “Spiral Chakra Sphere”) technique which had to disappear shortly after being used and then appearing again in an attack. The scene in which Naruto passes his son all of his chakra to increase his Rasengan was carefully storyboarded in the film.
Although Boruto is the protagonist of Next Generations series, Ikemoto stated in early 2019 that the relationship between Boruto and Kawaki will be the most important point in the story as the manga is aimed to reach the flashforward scene from the first chapter where both characters start fighting against each other.
In designing the character, Kishimoto intended Boruto to be similar to his father but at the same time avoided facial similarities in the eyes and cheeks due to the fact Naruto had the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox, Kurama, sealed inside him unlike his son. Additionally, he gave him a simpler costume than Naruto’s original one that would yet remain the symbol of the Uzumaki clan.
The author purposefully let Boruto wear his clothes casually by making him wear his jacket unzipped since he found it suitable for the character’s personality.
For the finale of the manga, Kishimoto originally intended to give Boruto the Byakugan, an eye technique which he would inherit from his mother Hinata Hyuga. However, the author forgot about it and instead gave him an unknown eye technique (it allows him to see chakra, an energy source within ninjas to perform jutsu) which is often shown on Boruto’s right eye.
During July 2017, one of the animators from Boruto: Naruto Next Generations revealed Boruto’s eye is called Jōgan (浄眼, lit. “Pure Eye”) and that its powers are related to the Byakugan and Naruto’s ability to sense negative emotions. However, the animator refrained from explaining more about since the Jōgan would be explained later in the series.
In the first few pages of the first chapter Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, an encounter between an older teenage Boruto against another one named Kawaki was briefly shown as a flashforward. The purpose was to attract more fans so they could look forward to the battle as it has a chaotic state to it.
The battle against Kawaki was shown instead in the first chapter rather than Sasuke’s one against Kinshiki Otsutsuki from the Boruto film to generate a different impact within the fans despite sharing the same storyline. Boruto’s teenage design was first illustrated in little time. As a result, Mikio Ikemoto stated that once Boruto reached this moment, the older protagonist’s design might change.
As the story in the manga progresses, Boruto’s facial expressions change when interacting with other character; with the friendly Tento, Boruto’s eyes are shown bigger due to the portrayal of Boruto’s childish personality. However, upon meeting Kawaki, Boruto’s eyes are illustrated smaller due to the author’s intent to show a more rebellious take on Boruto.