Boruto has blazed through the first challenge of the Chunin exams and is ready to take on the next battle. Along with his teammates Mitsuki and Sarada, Team Boruto easily defeats the competition as they are each paired up at random with the remaining shinobi hopefuls.

Unfortunately for Boruto, his moment of pride is crushed when Naruto, his father and Hokage of Konoha village exposes his that son’s victory came from an act of cheating. And this is the simplest of our young hero’s problems.

Picking up where the first issue left us, Boruto has been using a scientific device to augment his power and while it allows the already talented shinobi to blow away the competition, it is strictly forbidden as the exams are designed to allow young ninja to rely on their own chakra. Exposure by Naruto himself is the worst thing that could have happened as Boruto is desperate to gain acceptance from his emotionally distant father. Just as he is humiliated in front of his family, friends, and peers the village is attacked and Naruto is kidnapped.

Keeping the pace with the breathtaking battles of its predecessor, Boruto manages to mix tournament action sequences with high stakes story arcs. Fans of the original series will appreciate the integrity of some favorite characters has been preserved. Uchiha Sasuke remains aloof as he rescues Sarada—his daughter—from peril while coolly stating “You look unhurt”. Gaara, now leader of the sand village, is confident and formidable as a warrior.

Sadly, many of the original female characters such as Sakura and Hinata once again take a back seat to the action. We are told that Hinata was injured while fighting off Naruto’s captors, but this battle occurs “off stage” as it happens while Boruto had been unconscious. We see Sakura attacking briefly, but she’s not party to the main action. This is very disappointing considering the previous series spent so much time watching these women grow in personality and power. When Sasuke, Gaara and other leaders set out to rescue Boruto’s father, an injured Hinata relents that she leaves Naruto’s fate with her son who resembles him so.

Momoshki and Kinshiki are the creatures responsible for Naruto’s kidnapping. They, like Boruto, have found a way to cheat the system by increasing power unnaturally. Instead of technology, these villains condense chakra into pills and use it like a drug. They seem to have a keen sense of what power Naruto holds with the Nine-tailed fox demon still living within his body.

By the end the evil is held off and Naruto promises to communicate better with his son. It is likely that this series will remain popular with franchise loyalists. While the aforementioned sidestepping of some of Naruto’s strongest female characters is disappointing, it is a nice twist that it’s Sarada and not Boruto who has aspirations of becoming a future Hokage. But their stories have passed—this manga belongs to the next generation of characters, even if the children of Konoha have personalities that feel like call backs to their parents’. There is nothing terribly original in these panels, but Boruto is likely to remain a crowd-pleaser nonetheless.

By Ukyo Kodachi and Kishimoto Masashi
Art by Mikio Ikemoto
vol 2 ISBN: 9781421595849
vol 3 ISBN: 9781421598222
VIZ Media, 2017

Publisher Age Rating: Teen (13+)

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NFNT Age Recommendation: Teen (13-16), Older Teen (16-18)
Character Traits: Japanese ,
Creator Highlights: BIPOC Creator

  • Jessikah Chautin

    Past Reviewer

    This reviewer is not longer actively working on our site, but we would not be here if not for our many dedicated contributors over the years. We thank all of them for their reviews, features, and support! Jessikah graduated with her MLS from The Palmer School of Library Science and has been working at the Syosset Public Library as a children’s librarian since 2003. She enthusiastically developed a children’s graphic novel collection for her library and enjoys developing programs around some of her favorite titles. As a child, Jessikah grew up on a healthy diet of Matsumoto, Toriyama and whatever anime series she could find. She often had a hard time deciding if she would prefer to be recruited as a Mahou Shoujo (Magical Girl) or a Gundam Pilot, a debate that still plagues her to this very day. If she could have any power it would definitely be telekinesis.

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