What to Watch Before Boruto

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is the official title of the much beloved and widely popular shonen anime series Naruto. This sequel serves a fresh storytelling of adventures that follow the sons and daughters of our precious characters in the former series.

Anyone who wishes to get into Boruto: Naruto Next Generation can do so as soon as they finish Naruto: Shippuden. Although Boruto released a movie in 2015 titled Boruto: Naruto The Movie which aired before the series proper in 2017, you can opt to check the series out first or completely forego the movie.

What Should I Watch Before Watching Boruto?

Naruto is easily one of the most influential anime of all time. With 220 episodes in its first series to a whopping 500 episodes on its second as well as even getting its very own theme park and a sequel after the sequel titled Boruto with dozens of movies in between, this anime by Masashi Kishimoto can leave beginners in tizzy with how much content there is to watch.

If people are looking to get into the latest happenings in the Narutoverse, where should they start? Well, here’s a crash course on what happened before we get into the nitty-gritty of Boruto’s story.

Naruto 1 – 101

“Naruto” begins by showing us a young boy causing mischief around a small town called the Hidden Leaf Village. We get introduced to this mischievous boy as our protagonist, Naruto Uzumaki.

Naruto is quite infamous in the village as a troublemaker and so unsurprisingly, he is often looked down on and mocked by his peers, mainly Sakura Haruno, a girl with considerable feeling of affection for her and Naruto’s classmate, Sasuke Uchiha.

As the story progresses, we gradually see that things take a turn for our young protagonist finding himself in a team with both Sakura and Sasuke under the instruction of the esteemed Kakashi Hatake.

We also see him rescue Sasuke in an emergency, pass the Chunin Exams with flying colors, emerge victorious from a battle with a tailed beast and even takes on a legendary ninja as his master. We also see him perfect Rasengan, his most iconic move in the series.

Naruto 102 – 160

This section has one of the most engaging and compelling arcs in the series. This is the part where Naruto, with the help of his fellow ninjas, attempts to bring Sasuke back to the village. We also see that each of his peers are able to fight at a level much higher above his and we are introduced to the Three Sand Siblings. This section ends with a duel between Naruto and Sasuke.

Naruto 162 – 196

This section of the series can be said as filler episodes. Nothing in this stretch features any particular developments that we have already seen in the main story line. Some even suggest that you can skip these episodes and still be well equipped with the knowledge you need to finish the rest of the series.

If you do skip these episodes though, you’ll be missing a great deal of opportunities to see the characters bond and interact with each other as well as some very interesting side stories.

Naruto 197 – 220

These episodes aren’t really much different from the ones that came before it. Many of these episodes contain backstories and fillers once more. You won’t be missing too much if you simply decide to skip to episode 220 where we see a young Naruto being taken in by the Legendary Sannin, Jiraiya.

Naruto: Shippuden 1 – 32

This new series of Naruto opens with a bang. We immediately see conflict as the Akatsuki attack the Hidden Sand Village and capture Gaara and leave Kankuro clinging to life. We also see our characters from the previous season in much more mature appearances and becoming much stronger, more formidable ninjas.

Naruto Shippuden 33 – 70

Due to Sasuke’s still very noticeable absence, we now see team Seven being reformed with the addition of Sai Yamanaka. Sakura and Naruto are, of course, wary of their new member. The team is also headed by Captain Yamato as a substitute for the recovering Kakashi.

In these episodes we discover more of what the Akatsuki is scheming and a reunion with the now frighteningly stronger Sasuke.

Naruto Shippuden 71 – 120

Some interesting developments happen in these episodes. In this stretch, we see the death of a powerful ninja and teacher, we also see the rise of the new and stronger Ino-Shika-Cho, and Naruto succeeds in coming up with a brand new, more powerful version of the Rasengan.

Naruto Shippuden 121 – 154

Naruto gets hit hard by the death of someone close to him in these episodes. We also see here that the Akatsuki becomes more active in the schemes and Jiraiya is haunted by a pupil from the past. This is also where Naruto’s heritage is revealed.

This is also where Sasuke finally achieves his revenge… and discovers that all of it was in vain. Soon after, he then joins the dwindling forces of the Akatsuki.

Naruto Shippuden 155 – 196

A formidable member of the Akatsuki devastates the Hidden Leaf Village while Naruto is away. When he returns, he is no longer known as the troublemaker of the village and instead is regarded with love and admiration from the citizenry.

This is where we discover the Rinnegan, an ability that surpasses both the Byakugan and Sharingan and where the Akatsuki loses their leader. We also discover more about Tobi’s character in these episodes.

Naruto Shippuden 197 – 251, 311

Here, we see the Five Kage come together and fight a threat to the village as well as endure the death of a Hidden Leaf player. This stretch of episodes also treat us to a lot of fun backstories and filler scenes.

If one were to get technical, once you’re in this section of the series, it would be a good idea to jump to episode 311 since it is a special episode that also happens before the events of the Great Shinobi War.

Naruto Shippuden 252 – 493

Take a deep breath and prepare yourself for this massive chunk of episodes. In this stretch, we witness the events of the Great Shinobi War, Naruto and Sasuke’s deciding battle as well as Naruto’s ascendancy.

An abundance of incredible fights and events, too many to mention, take place over this part of the series so be sure to keep on your toes and revel in the storytelling prowess Naruto is famed for.

The Last: Naruto The Movie

This is the only movie in the Naruto series that is considered canon. This is where we are finally preparing to formally close the series but set in motion so much of the events in the next one. Take note that this is also where we see Naruto mature into young adulthood and finally settle down with the love of his life to start a family.

Naruto Shippuden 494 – 500

These few episodes serve as the epilogue for the entire series of Naruto including the very first one. This is where we see our heroes finally settle down after the events and aftermath of the Great Shinobi War. This stretch mainly serves as the “closure” for the entire series so make sure to revel in all the feel good vibes our heroes truly deserve after everything they have been through.

Should I Watch Boruto: Naruto The Movie Before the Series?

File:Let's do this.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

This is actually the very first form of story we got for the successor of the Naruto franchise. This movie was actually already teased with the release of The Last: Naruto The Movie and Musashi himself was involved in writing the screenplay. Be that as it may, this movie was nothing but a teaser for the series proper that was aired two years after the release of the movie.

In this film, we actually see Boruto graduate from the academy to become a member of Team Konohamaru Along with his peers, Sarada and Mitsuki. The events in this movie are actually pretty fleshed out in the anime series as well, so it is completely optional for anyone to watch this.

Is Boruto Worth Watching Now?

Any show, not just in the case of Boruto, can be called good or bad, depending on your perspective and where you compare it to. Plenty of people like the show for what it is, but if you try to compare Boruto to the hit that Naruto was, it unfortunately misses the mark.

The standard of storytelling that Naruto set was so high that Boruto just doesn’t fulfill it. Sure, there are plenty of interesting developments that happen in Boruto but it’s just not as impactful.

If you treat Boruto as its own show, you can definitely say that it’s not bad. The show has great animation and it has a good plot to drive the story forward. If you compare it to the success of Naruto, however, unfortunately, you’ll simply be disappointed.