Boruto Could Fix Naruto’s Biggest Missed Opportunity by Making [SPOILER] Gay

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Episode 230, "Showdown Between Best Friends," now streaming on Crunchyroll.

One of the most talked-about topics in the Naruto franchise was whether any of the shinobi would be LGBTQ, or if they exuded any traits in retrospect. It would have been a bold move in the anime and manga industry back then, but many saw Orochimaru's obsession with Itachi and Sasuke, as well as his gender fluidity, as a hint he was gay. Others thought Gaara was queer too, and that maybe Sasuke had feelings for Naruto at some point. Interestingly, in a more modern and progressive era, Boruto could actually fix this mistake of ignoring representation by making Sarada an LGBT character.

The hint for this came in the filler episode "A Wish," when Sarada tended to Chōchō, who had just been beaten badly on a mission taking meds to the Land of Calm Seas to fight off a pandemic. The crew of Konoha-nin eventually won and brought Chōchō back home, where she was nursed back to health in the Hidden Leaf's hospital.

Chocho and Sarada in Boruto anime

Chōchō's best friend Sarada visited her there and kept shooting her compliments. She told her they needed her back in action ASAP, but it felt a lot more personal and emotive than just being teammates. From the long pauses, wistful glances and both teens blushing, they came off smitten with each other -- especially Sarada, who has always adored Chōchō's charm and stuck up for her when the boys bullied her.

It could be a sisterhood similar to what Hinata, Ino and Sakura carved out back in the day, but this hospital scene with Sarada and Chōchō really pointed to something more. If Boruto does follow this path, it'd be groundbreaking because it wouldn't be a minor character -- it'd be Sasuke and Sakura's daughter, and the future of the Uchiha clan. Given her ambition to be the Hokage someday and how she's helped evolve Boruto and Mitsuki, staking claim to being the best young ninja in the free world, it would be a massive statement on equality and diversity.

The Boruto anime and manga has continued botching many feminist angles, reducing women to supporting characters, so this would give Sarada a big spotlight and agency, proving the property can change and roll with the times. It would feel organic too, because unlike Sakura fawning over Sasuke as a kid, Sarada isn't your typical girl to do this. It's not to say she hasn't looked at guys in the past, so Sarada may end up being bisexual, adding nuance and a common topic teens face to this world that many have immersed themselves into globally.

Sarada in Boruto anime

It would track as she and Chōchō have been close since they were born, and tie into why Sarada didn't want to hurt her in the ninja exams. Platonic friends know this is part and parcel of their training, but if someone is fighting their crush, it's easy to see them holding back and not wanting to hurt them. Ultimately, this would bring huge traction to Boruto and make the series even more relatable, with Sarada becoming a flagship character who stands for so many folks who don't get to see themselves on the screen.

Demon Slayer: Inosuke Tanjiro
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