In news that has made the Naruto/Boruto fandom go crazy, original Naruto writer Masashi Kishimoto has replaced Ukyo Kodachi to write the Boruto manga.
Apparently, the plan for Kishimoto to write the Boruto manga after Kodachi’s exit was in place since the beginning. Now, I’m the type of person who always side-eyes big companies. So, I don’t believe for a second that such a change was pre-planned.
Some fans speculate that Kishimoto was (allegedly) asked to take over due to the low manga sales for Boruto and the fact Kishimoto’s original manga Samurai 8 (his project after Naruto ended in 2014) failed to garner interest. Samurai 8 debuted in May 2019 and ended in March 2020. I couldn’t even get through the first chapter.
Also, from what I remember, Kishimoto didn’t want to write a sequel to Naruto and that’s why the job was given to Kodachi (scriptwriter) and Mikio Ikemoto (artist) while Kishimoto stayed on the project as a supervisor.
Kishimoto’s expanded role will be seen in the manga’s 52nd chapter, which will be released on November 21, 2020. Of course, I’m looking forward to reading after what Naruto decided to do in the previous chapter.
Whether the Boruto manga will return to a weekly format like its predecessor or will remain monthly is yet to be seen.
This new development has divided the fandom. Many fans enjoyed Kodachi’s story while others are eager to come back to reading Boruto due to Kishimoto becoming the main writer.
One of the biggest concerns fans have deals with the treatment of women in the Boruto franchise. Sakura Haruno wasn’t a well-written character during the Naruto era. And Boruto fans think that Salad will suffer the same fate. Said fans are worried Salad’s arc will focus on being a potential love interest for either Boruto or Kawaki and that she’ll be sidelined similar to how her mother Sakura was during Naruto.
In contrast, there are fans who say Kodachi wasn’t any better because it was during his run that Salad (a 12-year-old) got an inappropriate ninja outfit due to fanservice and that she’s been sidelined for months after Team 7’s battle with Boro.
Coming to the other side, certain fans are hoping Kishimoto’s return will allow characters from the older generation (Kakashi, Rock Lee, etc.) to shine because Kodachi’s story has only been using Boruto, Naruto, and Sasuke. They say that if you take out the content from the anime, the Boruto manga has done a poor job of fleshing out the young hero’s classmates.
I recommend you consider following OrganicDinosaur on Twitter. She’s one of the most trusted sources of information in the Naruto/Boruto fandom. She shared some things about the differences when it comes to how Japanese fans are taking the current news and how Western fans are responding to it.
I’m feeling conflicted. In my opinion, at this point, only time will tell how Kishimoto’s writing will be received by the fandom and if it will help the Boruto become the force Naruto was (and continues to be). Frankly, I have been enjoying the anime more than the manga.
What about you?
Feel free to share your thoughts with us.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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