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‘Boruto’ Steps Back in Time for ‘Naruto’ 20th Anniversary

It might be the ‘Year of Naruto’ for the west, but things are also heating up in Japan for the Naruto 20th anniversary. Announced just yesterday by TV Tokyo, the Boruto: Naruto Next Generations TV anime will be celebrating the big occasion with a new, anime-original arc that will see Boruto Uzumaki meeting his father, Naruto Uzumaki, as a child.

Along with the announcement also came the key visual below, which depicts Boruto and Naruto Uzumaki reaching out for each other’s hands while the Hidden Life Village splits and reverses in the background:

Boruto Naruto 20th anniversary

As if it wasn’t already obvious, this key visual all but confirms that some kind of time travel dimension-hopping shenanigans will be behind Boruto and child Naruto’s impossible meeting. We don’t know for sure, though – we’ll just have to wait until the beginning of October when the anime-original arc is set to begin.

Looking at original author Masashi Kishimoto’s comment, we also learn that other characters from Naruto’s childhood will be making an appearance, as well as how the idea for Boruto’s Naruto 20th anniversary celebration came about.

“It’d be cool if Boruto met Naruto when he was a kid!” Such was my unreasonable request, which the anime staff were kind enough to grant. Boruto, Naruto, Sasuke and other old characters will appear, so please don’t miss this wild anniversary celebration!

While I’d love nothing more than to take Kishimoto at his word and believe that this new Boruto arc is nothing but a ‘cool’ idea intended to celebrate the Naruto 20th anniversary, TV Tokyo and Studio Pierrot no doubt recognize the potential of such an idea in bringing in new viewers – particularly those who enjoyed Naruto but have yet to pick up Boruto.

Alienating past fans and failing to attract new ones is exactly why Ukyo Kodachi and Mikio Ikemoto’s original Boruto manga has fallen upon hard times as of late, recently moving from Weekly Shonen Jump to V Jump while Masashi Kishimoto’s newest creation, Samurai 8, continues on.

Still, the idea of Boruto meeting Naruto as a kid for the series’ 20th anniversary is certainly an interesting one – especially since the Boruto TV anime is supposed to be canon. I suppose my real burning question is this: will the time shenanigans contained within somehow be even stranger than the lunar combat of The Last: Naruto the Movie? We’ll just have to wait and see.

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