Boruto vs Naruto, Which Has Accomplished More in its First 120 Episodes?
It has been over 2 years since Boruto debuted to audiences all around the world the not really long awaited (considering it debuted the 2 weeks after Naruto’s last episode) follow up to the classic shonen hit Naruto: Shippuden brought with it a cast made up of the new generation of shinobi promising a view into the lives of the children of classic Naruto characters as they face off with new dangers in the shinobi realm. With two years and almost 120 episodes released the debate over whether Boruto has or ever will live up to Naruto’s quality/popularity is still up for debate.
Between both series in terms of characters the first 120 episodes of Naruto introduced the public to a host of characters that range from iconic villains like Zabusa and Orochimaru to characters that would become icons in the anime world like that of Kakashi and Jiraiya. Naruto in its first 120 episodes made sure to introduce characters that would go onto hold significance not only for the run of the original series but for all 500 episodes of Naruto Shippuden. In stark contrast Boruto has done very little to introduce characters that will not even have half of the influence that Jiraya or Kakashi had on the very nature of the franchise. The main premise of Boruto is exploring the way the newer generation of shinobi are handling living in a world of peace where the various nations are allied and there is no real sign of a 5th great ninja war yet this premise results in characters that are essentially mass ups of older Naruto characters presented in new packages. At the current rate that Boruto is going there is no real sign of its characters undergoing a change that will make them stand out from their Naruto counterparts forcing many to come to the conclusion that all of Boruto is just relying on already established Naruto characters to move the franchise forward making for stale and derivative content.
Beside characters another thing to look at when comparing the two series is that of how much has been accomplished within these first 120 episodes. Boruto has 12 completed arcs and an ongoing 13th one yet Naruto only has around 5 arcs within its first 120 episode. When looking just at the number of arcs one can conclude that Boruto has more content and has gotten far along with its story yet that statement couldn't be more wrong as Boruto’s story is still in its infancy. The Boruto Movie that released two years before the series debuted covered events that would not be finished until episode 66 of the series essentially making it so that new viewers can choose to skip the first 66 episodes and instead just watch the movie and still get most of the viewing experience as Boruto relies on filler to keep it afloat. Naruto instead uses its first 120 episodes to provide viewers with some of the most iconic story arcs in anime history, especially its tournament arc that includes jaw dropping moments like the fight between Rock Lee and Gaara and Naruto’s victory of Neji. It is clear to anyone that saw the original Naruto series that Boruto has not really provided any exciting arcs that compare to anything that Naruto had within its first 120 episodes and that is disappointing as Naruto continued to evolve further building on top of its great couple of arcs but Boruto seems to keep on getting staler and staler resorting to filler after filler to make up for its lack of source material.
In all, Boruto throughout its first 100 plus episodes has done little in terms of convicing the public that it will or can reach the same level of popularity that Naruto has, with its unoriginal cast of characters and slow building arcs riddled with filler episodes the hopes for the series to reach Naruto status is bleak. Only the future (and manga readers) know what’s in store for the franchise but one thing is for sure despite its poor-quality die-hard Naruto fans will continue supporting the franchise that they have grown up watching.