Boruto: Naruto Saving the World May Have Ruined It for the Next Generation

At the end of the Naruto series, after the Fourth Great Ninja War, a time of peace was established that so many fought and sacrificed their lives for. The years of meaningless bloodshed between nations came to an end, and Naruto and Co. were able to raise their kids with happy childhoods and bright futures. Boruto and his friends grew up with the simplicity that peace afforded them. However, this also made them more ignorant of the harsh cruelties affecting the ninja world.

In the Naruto world, the very nature of a ninja is to function as a specialized soldier that fulfills contracts with various lands and nobles to maintain their economy, and therefore their livelihood. That being said, when peace lessens these contracts and the need for ninja diminishes and the question then becomes, did the future generation even need to become ninja at all?

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When the Boruto series first began, Boruto, and even Sarada to an extent, had no interest in becoming ninja. It was no longer necessary for all those who entered the academy and even those who graduated to become one. Peace had given way to the ability to choose different jobs and therefore a different path in life. Feeling abandoned and ignored by Naruto and Sasuke, Boruto and Sarada viewed becoming ninja as following in their fathers' footsteps. Neither had any interest in doing that until they eventually found the resolve to become ninja in their own way.

Boruto was always inclined to take shortcuts because he was too impatient to do the work, believing he would be able to get by with his natural genius alone. This blatant arrogance about his own abilities made him diluted to the severity of oncoming battles, oblivious to what he would be forced to endure as a ninja. It wasn't until Naruto was taken by Momoshiki that he was finally tempered by sacrifice and loss. After that, he started taking being a shinobi seriously and committed to his missions and training.

Similar to Naruto as a youngster, Boruto's childishness and recklessness stemmed from his need for acknowledgment. But unlike his son, Naruto's immaturity was fueled by the villages' hatred of him for the Nine-Tailed Fox. Because of those years of isolation, Naruto sought to be acknowledged by the people who scorned him but was also able to garner strength from his bonds with others. Boruto, on the other hand, because he did grow up with a loving family, ended up resenting the Hokage for taking away not only his father’s attention but also his own identity.

That being said, Naruto is not blameless in the situation either. Naruto’s obsession with maintaining the peace he established and the inability to juggle the responsibilities of a leader with that of a husband and father caused this problem with Boruto to begin with. In terms of the younger generation, however, coddling from their parents and the lack of real challenges left this group unprepared for what kind of battles they would be facing in the future. Instead of training the next generation for the oncoming threat, their parents attempted to protect their children and tried to solve the solution themselves leaving Boruto and Co. defenseless from people like Deepa and Kara.

Boruto's class is primarily comprised of what could be considered a generation of prodigies -- each one of the children born from the Rookie Nine are more talented than their parents, and with double the skill. They have all learned aspects of both of their parents' signature jutsu, most before even graduating from the academy, and are familiar with chakra natures as well. If they hadn't been subjected to the complacency of peace, their abilities as ninja would have already escalated exponentially. Naruto and Sasuke increased their power so dramatically because the hardships they experienced and the weight of their losses drove their resolution to become stronger. Naruto eventually convinced Sasuke that those losses strengthened the bonds between people, leading to a generation that would never even think to question that bond.

On the contrary, Boruto's generation is founded on friendship and the bonds formed between people. Instead of petty rivalries and acting alone, these kids thrive on being together and are easily able to use teamwork to come up with a successful solution to dangerous situations. With a lack of greater conflict, they grew up with a perception that relying on others is natural. In this, they outshine their predecessors tenfold but their potential is also varied by their determination. Conflict will always exist, and even if growing up in an era of peace did make this generation complacent, the knowledge of what it is like to live in that peace is resolution enough for them to maintain it.