So this little gem just released a few days ago quite sneakily under the radar. The Boruto – Road to “B” one-shot manga gives us a bit of insight into Boruto and his squad mates. Also delivering some comedy the likes of Naruto SD. Here are my thoughts on this little teaser. Spoilers ahead…
So we start off with a look at Boruto’s squad consisting of Boruto – Naruto’s son, Sarada – Sasuke’s daughter and Mitsuki who we don’t know much about yet. They are led by Konohamaru, Grandson of the Sandaime Hokage, Nephew of Asuma and protegé of Naruto. It is interesting to me that Konohamaru is their teacher. It definitely fits well with the passing the “will of fire” theme in the Naruto story. An interesting new bit of information is the identities of Konohamaru’s parents. It was revealed that they were elite Jounins and Anbu which explains why we did not see much of them previously. The manga goes on to reiterate on Boruto’s parents, Naruto and Hinata. Interestingly, we see that Hinata is also an elite Jounin. She must have powered up since the end of the Naruto manga. Managing to “shake the world of Juuken with her powers” – what does that even mean? Sarada’s parents are also given a nod. Sasuke with his Sharingan and Sakara with her medical Ninjutsu. It seems that Sakura has probably developed some new techniques since the end of the Naruto manga. Mitsuki’s introduction is cut short. This is probably because it is a major plot line of the Boruto: Naruto the Movie screening.
The manga abruptly cuts off into a super deformed, chibi art style. We see that Konohamaru and his squad are about to do the bell drill. Mitsuki seems confident because he has the future Hokage on his team. Boruto wants nothing to do with it and Sarada is claiming it. Mitsuki uses a stretchy-arm jutsu to, quite ungracefully, grab Konohamaru’s balls… I mean bells. This power is of course very similar to that of Monkey D. Luffy, the main character in One Piece. Which was about to be alluded to by Boruto. Konohamaru substitutes and uses rasengan on Boruto who seems to be about to do the same. However, Boruto just squirts lemon juice in Konohamaru’s eyes. All the while, Sarada is giving satirical commentary the same way that Ten-Ten does in the Naruto SD series. Konohamaru goes on to use Kagebunshin and his version of the sexy-no-jutsu, classic Naruto stuff. Konohamaru, like his sensei Ebisu before him, was critically hit. Sarada, tired of the shenanigans ends things off with a Tsunade-style power attack and claims the bells.
The only bit of new information in this manga is dealing with Konohomaru, the fact that he is the squad leader and who his parents were. While this is interesting, it does not tell us much. Hinata and Sakura’s current status were given a bit of further development. Both have developed their techniques and are now on the forefront of their respective fields. The fact that little to no information is given about Mitsuki is definitely an indication that he has a large role to play in the upcoming movie. It is likely that his origins are important to the plot. While I enjoyed the turn to a different art-style and tone, I would have liked the first part to be a bit longer with more information. The second part of the chapter was quite frankly hilarious. I enjoyed the comical tone and we got to see just a bit about each character. Some of their character traits have been shown previously in the Naruto Gaiden manga but I am sure some of the stuff here was exaggerated. From what I have seen from Naruto Gaiden, Boruto is not this goofy and Sarada does not give this kind of commentary. This was definitely just the flavour of the Naruto SD manga/anime spinoff series by Kenji Taira which is quite funny. Mitsuki’s abilities and origins are interesting, he is not doubt a reference to Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece. He also made this reference in the last chapter of the original Naruto manga. I suppose we just have to wait for the movie to see more. The aim of this one-shot was to create hype for this movie, and it does exactly that. I can’t wait to see this myself, however long it will take to get here in South Africa. All-in-all a fun little chapter.
Image credits: Weekly Shōnen Jump, Shueisha, VIZ media