Monday, December 5, 2016

Naruto, the Shitty Dad: A Boruto Character Analysis

Written by: Micha

It’s been two years after Naruto ended, and two years since I have mentioned Naruto to any on here. You could say I don’t handle grief so well, for someone who has repeatedly killed the spirits of Hinata fans and Sasuke fans for a while. So after two years, I woke up from my Naruto-coma to ask myself something that has been plaguing the backburner of my mind all this time: why is Naruto being a little bitch?

Boruto, chill. Kishi never tweets me back either.
Naruto Uzumaki never made it to my top three favorite characters, but he was always someone I thought was too good for bashing. And trust me, I have bashed a lot of characters. And I never thought I’d ever have to question why, an orphan who yearned to be a part of a family he even adopted this guy as his brother, would ever deny love and attention to his own biological son.

Naruto has been neglectful to the point he had Boruto running to Sasuke for comfort. Fricken Sasuke. And this Uchiha is a man so emotionally damaged to the point he probably said, “Hn” after the priest asked if he’d accept Sakura as his bride.

So why is Naruto doing this? Let me dive deep into his psyche and fish out the psychological theories.

Does he think his kid would be fine because of his own circumstance?

Seriously, Hokage-sama, what crawled up your ass and died?
This is a real issue with kids who grow up in abusive environments that had to endure at the hands of people that surrounds them. They either grow up to be high-maintenance, micro-managing parents we call “helicopter moms”, or they become reclusive, distant, and uninvolved with their kids because, “hey, if I had to endure all that but turned out alright, my kids will be just fine.”

Naruto might have a skewed perception of what parenthood should be since he didn’t witness it up close. Naruto had Iruka-sensei, Jiraiya, Sasuke, Kakashi and many others who influenced his worldview more than his parents did. And because he survived his childhood without knowing his parents, he might be underestimating and undervaluing the impact of a parent on a child’s worldview.

This is, of course, not to say that everyone who grows up without parents will react to their own parenthood in this manner.  It’s all very variable. I mean look at Orochimaru. He raised an entire army and continues to lurk in the shadows happily ever after with his minions. But Naruto’s lack of insight into being a parent could be a contributing factor to his distant attitude towards Boruto.

Paranoia of sucking at his job?

Seriously, would someone tell me why his office is a mess? Tsunade didn't have this much shit and she was lazy af.
Why is Naruto always out of breath, buried in paperwork in his office whenever we see him in Boruto? Again, this is a side of Naruto I thought I’d never see. He didn’t seem like the type of fella who would be interested in boring paperwork, let alone be consumed by it to the extent we don’t see him interested in anything else outside of work.

I always imagined he’d be the type of Hokage who’d go running around socializing with the villagers and kissing babies while his advisor Shikamaru chases him to complete his paperwork. Was that just me?

Since he was a kid, Naruto has been preaching he’d become Hokage to anyone who would listen. And I presume since he’s achieved his dream, he’d give his best to not suck at it since he takes these types of responsibilities very seriously. This also explains why Naruto keeps saying everyone in the village is his family; therefore feels he cannot afford to let everyone down by slacking at his job.

Does not know how to be happy?

How many past birthdays did you even forget?
Let’s move on to the darker side of psychology.

Naruto has been miserable and depressed his whole life. Being lonely and emotional pain are one of main themes in his life growing up, and pretty much most of what’s good in his life had at some point been tainted. Parents? Dead. Jiraiya? Dead. Sakura, his first love? Rejected. Sasuke, his best friend? Left him and the village and tried to kill him multiple times.

Naruto was always an optimistic kid, that’s how he pushed through the darkness his whole life as opposed to Sasuke who let darkness consume him. But going through all that must have taken a toll on him psychologically. Not to mention the constant rejection he received from the villagers. To people who have had to live through all that, happiness can be a foreign concept. And they’d find any means to be miserable because that’s the norm for them, hence, what makes them comfortable.

It could be that the joy of having a family is new to him and he’s having a hard time adjusting to it and grasping the many nuances that come with parenting. Take this scene, for instance.

I almost feel bad Boruto. Almost.
He does not seem to know how to interact with Boruto. Sending an e-mail to your kid to congratulate him is not the correct way to show affection. Even I, who is dead inside, knows that.

Or is he just that busy? Unfortunately due to what we have been told repeatedly, I have to consider this as well, although, I really don’t think this is a valid reason. For one, if Tsunade has time to get drunk on her job, Naruto can afford to say hi to his douchebag kid so he wouldn’t turn out to be a douche in the first place. Not to mention, Tsunade trained Sakura while she was Hokage so being “busy” is not an excuse.

To Boruto, Naruto is, to put this delicately, a massive prick. It’s unfortunate I have to use that term to describe Naruto Uzumaki, but he really is.

Don’t feel too bad for Boruto, though, because mind you, he’s an annoyingly crappy ninja with whom I cannot sympathize. And he’s the complete opposite of protagonist-material. He has too much going for himself in his personal life when the manga even began. And this matters because I like to believe we, as a fandom, fell in love with Naruto because he was an underdog, hated and isolated by pretty much everyone, and he had to work hard to earn every bit of bond he has with anyone today.

Boruto, on the other hand, wears branded clothes, plays video games, probably doesn’t receive death threats from random villagers, has adequate amount of friends, and the only pain he has in his life is that his daddy isn’t giving him the amount of attention he’d like. I, a social reject (much like everyone else in this fandom), can’t relate to a prick like that. And I could possibly write an entire article devoted to Boruto’s shitty character, but it’s hard to ignore that his personality is the result of Naruto’s neglectful parenting.

I could also argue he's realized he's gay for Sasuke and now feels ashamed to go face his family and instead masturbates to Sasuke's picture on his Hokage desk all day, but you can't handle that theory.

Micha’s Special Naruto Trivia

Did you know there’s an actual Naruto anime episode called, “Someone to Fill the Hole”? Yeah.

Micha: [Co-founder]
Micha likes to broadcast her terrible drawing skills to the world on her DeviantArt account and talks about her life long ambition of making Yakushi Kabuto a woman, on her Skype; michasucks. Yes, with the dot. She will also respond to e-mails on her because Amber forces her to.
Also, she now has an and tumblr.
Here's your chance to harass her.


  1. Eh. I completely disagree with most of what you said about Boruto. I think by far, you don't need sympathizing qualities to get into a character's side. While it's a factor, it does not really work with this next generation side. Most of them are just normal kids, going through normal things.

    Not everyone in the fandom is a loner who cannot sympathize with normal teenagers (Or for the sake of the argument, children).

    But that's neither here nor there. Boruto's character is just so interesting to me outside of his father's conflict, which was developed through and completed anyway. I'm not sure if you actually watched the Movie or not, so I do not want to spoil it all the way but thus far:

    The fact that Boruto is a person who takes short cuts and gives up easily when thigs gets difficult.
    The fact that Boruto is extremely talented but does not see importance in hard work.
    The fact that Boruto is actually intelligent rather than being a complete numskull like his father.

    I could go on, but you get the point. There's uniqueness where you least expect it, if Boruto had such a horrible childhood, then he would have been Naruto in exact replica. But that's not the point of his character.

    Anyway he's going to grow up into an interesting fella. I'd hate for you to write him off so early on when his character development just started.

    Interesting review regardless.

    1. I think for me to root for a character, they have to either sympathetic, or relevant. Boruto is neither. "Normal kids going through normal things" isn't exactly what shounen manga champions either.

      I don't understand what you mean by, "Boruto's character is just so interesting to me outside of his father's conflict". What exactly is Boruto outside of his conflict with his dad? He takes shortcuts, doesn't work as hard, and complains a lot. The only likable thing he has going for him in that regard is that he is very affectionate with his sister. That's a good thing.

      And I really we see an improvement in his character, because I really do want to enjoy Boruto. We will see in time. And yes, I did watch the movie, but I refrained myself from referencing it much because movies are not canon.

      I would also argue Sarada would make a better main character than Boruto. Have you read the Sasuke Shinden, btw?

      Also, thank you for commenting. Your critique is very much appreciated.


  2. Well I do not really see what we would have to sympathize with in the long run... Plus I don't understand why he really needs to undergo something traumatic for instance, for you to start to see him differently. Isn't it just better to see how it becomes post-development?

    Are you sure? I mean even Ichigo is not really the most sympathetic character and he was largely popular back in the day. Surely I'm not comparing both characters, but you understand what I mean. Being normal isn't terrible, though I would not mind a darker undertone.

    Did you see the flash forward bit?

    Well what Boruto is outside of his conflict with his father, is the laziness aspect of his person. But it's more than that - Boruto just gives up easily, in any given situation where it becomes difficult for him. Do you not find it interesting that Boruto's character tackles tropes which are common in not just Shounen Manga Characters, but Main Character themselves?

    Usually main characters are hard workers, in their own sense (some of them start off as unnaturally weak or untalented). Which is more or less their motivation.

    Boruto is talented in contrast to his father, but see's no importance in hard work when he stated that he could achieve many things with it (as in learning the kage bunshin up to three without trying, and apparently, learning how to utilize three elemental natures).

    So I don't drag it any further, main characters 'don't give up'. Whether it's Naruto, Luffy, Goku, Ichigo, Natsu, the list goes on. All of these characters are more or less characterized as warriors who know no boundaries, even when they became largely unrealistic in power (at least some of them anyway). Here Boruto is, a talented ninja, who despised hard work, and gives up rather easily.

    He's like the anti-main character trope. Kishimoto tried something different to breach from Naruto's strong charisma.

    Why do you not the view the Movies as canon? I believe Kishimoto did say that the Boruto Movie (and the Last Movie) were canon, or at least, a time line created which held all the events leading up to those movies, was released about a year ago.

    Yes I read the Sasuke Shinden, I enjoyed it! I found the parts about Sasuke getting toyed with a bit odd though...

    No problem I enjoyed the read nevertheless.

  3. God bless you Micha, for making this post.