Boruto Reaffirms Why Naruto Is the BEST Hokage

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Episode 190, "Escape," now streaming on Crunchyroll.

One of the most problematic aspects of the Naruto series was the role of Hokage. Apart from the First, Hashirama, the warriors who led Konoha thereafter -- Tobirama and Hiruzen Sarutobi -- didn't do a great job at all. They alienated people within their own village, namely the Uchiha, and their politics kept wars burning as they accumulated rivals.

Luckily, the likes of Tsunade and Kakashi went on to fix the position and help Konoha become a more peace-oriented nation. But  Episode 190 of Boruto reaffirms that when it comes to the best Hokage, no one can top Naruto.

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With Kawaki being recovered and taken to the science lab in Ryutan, the plan, according to the coldhearted Shikamaru, is for Katasuke and Co. to study the boy. He doesn't want him in the village where he might endanger citizens. Honestly, it makes sense from a logical standpoint. They don't know if he's a weapon or not, and after the past attacks on the village using the Nine-Tails, not to mention Rin also being used as a bomb once, it's an understandable safety measure.

But Naruto knows they need to be warmer, kinder and more compassionate. Shikamaru's attitude isn't diplomacy to him so instead, the Hokage evokes the goodwill of Hashirama. Hashirama bent to his brother, Tobirama, but in Naruto's case, he works around Shikamaru's advice. He respects it, as these points are valid, but he knows what it's like to be misunderstood, branded an outcast and pre-judged as someone who's been engineered to kill. After all, Konoha pegged him and Sasuke as just that when they were kids.

So, Naruto departs for Ryutan via train alone, and this is where he shows how amazing he is. After telling Shikamaru a child like Kawaki should be treated differently and handled with care as he could be fragile, Naruto doesn't want an escort. He instead takes public service by himself to clear his head, so no one can infect him with politics and science. He's coming from a totally human perspective, and he's hoping Kawaki relates to him on this level.

If he had people with him, it wouldn't disarm Kawaki; it would actually feel hostile. His hands-on and light approach enables him to leave his identity as Hokage behind so Kawaki can realize he has a potential friend. It's something Jiraiya taught Naruto (as well as Kawaki), and he's implementing it as a leader to set an example to everyone. The fact that he puts this one kid before the village says a lot: this is the respectful and selfless leader Hashirama always wanted to look after his people, which has luckily been the case with the likes of Minato and Tsunade before Naruto, too.

However, Naruto takes the best lessons from them all and uses them the right way. Sure, it might rile people in the short term, but long term, it's inviting and altruistic. This is how Naruto's been able to redeem so many villains and ultimately, found a way to save the free shinobi world.

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