Boruto, in my opinion, has had one of the better initial starts of the anime season for many reasons. It’s very good at telling it’s viewers exactly what’s changed in this new generation and how the previous generation affected the ninja world.
To start off, kids these days aren’t obligated to attend ninja school. This is the first thing the anime tells us in a scene of episode 1 where Boruto sees a kid being bullied by older kids. These kids clearly have no training in ninjutsu confirmed by the line of dialogue where one of the kids states: ” Is this guy a ninja?”. Which is a very efficient way of telling us that the world is at peace and kids can finally choose whether to join the army or do something else with their life especially now that commerce is actually a thing nowadays with technology becoming a significantly bigger part of the Hidden Leaf Village as well as other grocery shops that isn’t just Ramen Ichiraku.
Even back then, the only other store that I remember was Ino‘s flower shop. Which made sense for her character but I never understood why a flower shop was something the Hidden Leaf Village needed during an age where hatred was in everyone’s minds and economy was obviously in a tighter position because the wars throughout the years have forced them to stagnate in growing their village.
Anyways, the next scene after Boruto beats up the small group of bullies with his shadow clone is when he tosses the wallet that was stolen back to it’s owner and then begrudgingly calls him a wuss. Showing that Boruto isn’t all that understanding of kids who do not know so much about ninjutsu because he grew up learning ninjutsu probably from watching his Father and Mother, so he didn’t really try to become as talented as he is in such a young age, it’s just a normal thing for him.
This is further proven when Boruto and the kid that got bullied escaped to a building rooftop and Boruto asks the kid why he didn’t fight back. To which the kid responds with: “I’m not strong like you. Did you train in the academy?” Earlier in the episode, Boruto was informed by his friend Shikadai that they will be attending the ninja academy tomorrow so Boruto appropriately responds with “No… But I will start tomorrow.” A good example of how you follow up on a previous scene, giving it more value. I often find the repetition of calling back to previous informational scenes to be very tiresome as a lot of the times they are just to remind us of something that’s supposed to be convenient to the plot. But this was just only to show us more of who Boruto ,as a character, is even if it’s just a small fragment and a pass of information from character to character to.. another character.
We then learn more about this kid who is, ironically, being forced to learn ninjutsu in the academy because his Father was a ninja who feels his achievements in the last Great Ninja War earned the success of his company. This is followed by Boruto telling him that he should just disobey his Father because, again, Boruto has a one- track mind that all of his experiences should be similar to others which is completely normal for a child who lives in a world protected by peace. But this was to tell us that Boruto has a rebellious relationship against his Father, that being Naruto, because Naruto is always busy doing what hokages do. Boruto’s ignorance is further pushed onto us when he learns that it’s getting late and has to run home before his Mother, Hinata, gets pissed off and he leaves the kid with the following statement: “Don’t let them push you around! Just teach them a lesson!”. Which was a good closing point in the dialogue because it shows that Boruto isn’t mature or smart enough to analyze all the information given to him to understand the fact that just because everything he does works for him, doesn’t mean it’ll work for everyone else.
Later on after shit literally falls off the rails and Denki, Boruto and the bullies are on a train to hell. Boruto attempts to get the train to move on a different track by throwing a kunai at a lever outside but misses because despite learning how to move and fight like a ninja due to him growing up within a family of ninjas, he’s not a trained ninja and will screw up even the basics.
Moving onto episode 2: Boruto cheerfully enters his classroom where the kids gossip about how he rides the hokage’s coattails and can seemingly get away with anything. New characters are introduced and given a brief perspective to what these characters’ personalities are. But most importantly, when Inojin is introduced as the class’ shitposter; he basically declares that until Boruto has proven himself, he doesn’t have his respect. In comes Iwabe ,the class bully, who’s better than Boruto simply because he was studying for two years but never passed other courses besides the ninja course. Which, was enough to hold him back both years.
Iwabe decides to take his anger out on Boruto and Denki, stating that peace has basically made the ninjas soft and challenges Boruto to a fair fight to which Boruto accepts. Now, this actually becomes a good fight to initiate in because there’s a lot to learn from it. It’s not super flashy because it’s just children fighting but it shows us that the bully, as he should be for someone that’s been in the academy for two years, is very powerful and completely trumps Boruto in taijutsu. Boruto “won” but it wasn’t really a win. He got a couple of good shots in the last scenes of the fight but Iwabe was still rearing to go! The problem was Iwabe got emotional because he opened his mouth about how he would’ve graduated from the academy years ago when ninjas were at war due to the fact that you only needed to pass the ninja course to graduate. He then picks up his stick and Inojin uses his ninjutsu to steal the weapon away stating that the rule was to NOT use weapons, like Iwabe said. What this tells us is that Inojin has actually mustered up a little respect for Boruto and Iwabe is legitimately stronger than Boruto because the fight didn’t go any further than just a scuffle. To which, I’d argue Iwabe actually won because he trashed Boruto hard! If they were allowed to use weapons, I genuinely believe Iwabe would kill Boruto and that, as of right now, is the majority of Iwabe’s value considering that he is a bully and generally speaking bullies should at least start off stronger than the main character.
Of course, Iwabe realizes how “uncool” he was and turns over a new leaf…
(To be continued)
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