Naruto is easily one of the biggest manga/anime franchises of all time, and its sequel Boruto quickly filled the void when the original series ended. With the new protagonist's adventures hyped up from his introduction at the conclusion of Naruto, many fans eagerly awaited to see what the future held for Masashi Kishimoto's shinobi world. The ensuing Boruto manga continued its predecessor's success, recapturing some of the franchise's former acclaim. The same can not be said, however, for the anime adaptation. For a myriad of reasons, the show has failed to be as good as its manga source material, mainly due to its repeating one of the Naruto anime's greatest sins.
Why the Boruto Anime is Disappointing
Boruto's anime has been criticized plenty, from its poor writing to its equally poor pacing. Many of the show's more interesting plots are backseated in favor of more slice-of-life, episodic fare. The rampant power creep also removes any sense of scale or stakes, whereas the show's predecessor has very clear progression and development for its character's powers. These issues all stem from the same major source, however: the show's excessive filler. Shonen anime are notorious for padding their stories and episode counts, and Naruto was particularly notorious for it. The fact that these filler episodes are typically rather poor compared to the main storyline makes matters even worse.
Filler is usually created to create space between the manga and the anime, since anime episodes usually adapt a few manga chapters at a time. This is a necessary production step for most shonen adaptations, even though they usually begin years into their manga's run. Boruto, on the other hand, is aired in tandem with the manga's publication. This means that, without filler, the anime has next to nothing to adapt, as it would catch up with the source material in no time at all. The fact that several other popular current series have abandoned this production style in favor of a seasonal one speaks to why Boruto's filler is so frustrating. Thus, what should be an exciting, action-packed series, given its source material, is many times reduced to silly scenarios where Boruto makes ramen for his father.
Why the Boruto Manga is Better
While this has all garnered the anime a particularly mixed reception, the Boruto manga is still highly regarded among Naruto fans and shonen enthusiasts alike. Its pacing and action are far better than the anime, mainly due to where it starts in the timeline. The Boruto anime begins with the character's education at the Shinobi Academy, focusing on a plot element that the Naruto anime and manga both wisely skipped entirely. On the other hand, the manga begins with Boruto going through the Chunin Exams, which was an arc of the original Naruto that many consider to be one of, if not the best, in the series.
Many of the anime's more mundane stories, like Boruto's class trip, appear as mere throwaway lines or brief references in the manga. This keeps things focused on both action and a progressing storyline, which fans of Naruto would be correct in expecting from a sequel. Instead of a series stalling before getting to the interesting parts, the manga is the actual interesting parts. Unlike most anime, the filler for Boruto, as boring as it sometimes may be, is completely canon to the manga. While this could make it must see for some fans, its general quality means that those getting into the series should probably just stick to the far better paced manga.