The following contains spoilers for Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Chapter 74, “Baptism By Fire,” by Masashi Kishimoto, Mikio Ikemoto, Mari Morimoto, and Snir Aharon, now available in English on Viz Media.
It is safe to say the boruto The franchise continues to divide fans to this day. As the anime and manga progress, some appreciate that it tells the story of the Hokage’s son and how Konoha, as well as the shinobi-free world, is evolving after the threat of Kaguya. However, some see no merit in of boruto story, especially the kid’s rivalry with Kawaki, his version of Sasuke, and I think Hidden Leaf’s journey should have ended when naruto wrapped.
boruto it has its flaws, but much of the hate seems to be rooted in loyalists who can’t let Naruto and Sasuke’s rivalry go away, and who simply don’t believe that the legacy stories can overcome the foundations that have been laid before. Honestly speaking, both eras can coexist, bridging the generation gap while telling new stories for new fans. But what’s rather ironic about the whole debate is that as epic and iconic as the feud between Naruto and Sasuke was, Boruto and Kawaki’s is much more nuanced and easily better.
Naruto and Sasuke’s rivalry felt forced
In the naruto series, Sasuke broke down after finding out that Konoha wanted the Uchiha clan out, something that dated back to the feud between Hashirama and Madara. His own brother, Itachi, ended up wiping out the clan, so Sasuke made moves, with Orochimaru, Akatsuki, and Taka, to gain power. Fortunately, Naruto redeemed him, so he eventually helped fight Kaguya and became a beacon of light.
But Sasuke quickly turned back, capturing the Tailed Beasts and using his Rinnegan to try and kill Naruto. This was such a forced arc, that he left the series not knowing what he wanted to do with Sasuke. One minute he’s an antihero, then in the blink of an eye he’s back to being a villain. If he wanted to be a protector, there was no reason to turn against Naruto, who sacrificed so much to protect the world, and whom even Itachi backed when Sasuke realized his brother only wanted peace. Sasuke and Naruto’s arc eventually came down to betrayals and surprise factor, both of them losing their arm and Sasuke, in a rushed ending, decided to atone by becoming a Ranger.
Boruto and Kawaki are more organic as rivals
Boruto and Kawaki aren’t reincarnated brothers like Naruto and Sasuke, but there is a brother arc at play that is more significant. Kawaki comes to Konoha as a refugee, and Naruto’s family takes him in. He learns more about humanity there, taking Himawari as his sister and accepting Boruto as his brother. The trust isn’t quite there yet, but Kawaki doesn’t lose his temper like Sasuke.
It’s a patient, smart, and grounded approach, with Boruto really trying to get Hidden Leaf to accept Kawaki. It’s not like Sasuke and Naruto constantly feuded and alienated the village in the process. Instead, Kawaki actually comes to understand Boruto’s genuine nature and motivation, so it makes sense when they bond and become closer.
The moments when Naruto and Sasuke did this didn’t resonate since they didn’t have an emotional connection in their nascent era. Even if Boruto and Kawaki keep arguing, they seem more like brothers as they come to understand each other’s past, an arc that takes far too long to develop with Naruto and Sasuke realizing too late that they are orphans in need of each other and are cut off for each other. the same pattern.
Boruto and Kawaki are less predictable
It is known that Boruto and Kawaki will end up fighting at some point in the future, with Kawaki suggesting that he killed Naruto when he destroyed the village in a flash-forward. The trip in between, however, is surprisingly unpredictable. Kawaki is putting himself on the line to keep Boruto and company safe, and even murders Boruto to make sure Momoshiki can’t possess the teenager. The way Boruto is revived but still possesses Ōtsutsuki’s DNA makes him as much of a weapon of mass destruction as Kawaki, who also has alien genetics after Isshiki failed to possess him.
This makes for a wildly scientific arc, leaving fans guessing about loyalties while the shady decisions actually feel natural. This is in stark contrast to Sasuke, who had no reason to ally himself with some of the demons he made. Again, that was done just to paint him as a tyrant for Konoha, but Kawaki and Boruto keep walking the heroic path, turning their relationship into a time bomb that will go off as soon as they explore their own power.
It keeps fans constantly guessing what the catalyst that burns this bridge will be, adding more tension and suspense compared to when naruto shippudenThe time jump teased that Naruto and Sasuke would fight. That was felt by the numbers since they were already opposing each other, so it was only a matter of time until they leveled up and fought. But with Boruto and Kawaki, this thread of brotherhood and family adds a lot more flow and intrigue as the kids discover their fate and the inevitable collision course.
Kawaki is Sasuke, but less emo and more interesting
Make no mistake: Sasuke is an iconic badass character in naruto, but his moodiness and melancholy felt like your typical anti-hero manga and anime that comes around over and over again. Kawaki often cuts a similar figure in boruto, but he really wants to be a hero and the warmth he secretly harbors makes him more dynamic. In the process, as he becomes less emo, he’s much more interesting than Sasuke.
This allows Boruto to interact much better with him, rather than Naruto, who annoyed Sasuke because they were just chalk and cheese. To put it simply, there was never a bridge for Naruto and Sasuke to have common ground, but as Kawaki opens up and becomes more vulnerable, his strengths, flaws, and personality match up well with Boruto’s characteristics. In this way, they are much better yin-yang than what Sasuke and Naruto created.
Ultimately, this makes for a better story of heroic brothers fighting each other rather than polar opposites where one force tries to make the other see the light. The latter is too cliché, but with the former (Boruto and Kawaki), it’s an emotional minefield containing creative depth and flexibility that really develops a more powerful bond, both as rivals and as allies.
NEXT: Boruto’s Little Villain Just Defeated Konoha’s Mightiest Heroes