Image source: アニメ BORUTO-ボルト-【公式】 on Twitter

A Boruto OVA (original video anime) released in July 2016 with the Boruto: Naruto the Movie DVD. The latest episode of Boruto: Naruto Next Generation uses parts of the OVA. But, what’s different between the episode and OVA?

In the most recent episode of Boruto, Boruto’s younger sister Himawari catches a cold as he’s looking after her. While he’s taking care of her, Boruto looks at some of the pictures in her room—one of which is of his father’s inauguration as Hokage, the leader of his village. He then remembers the inauguration didn’t go as smoothly as everyone thought, flashing back to that event for much of the episode

The OVA, “The Day Naruto Became Hokage,” likewise follows Naruto and his family on his inauguration as Hokage. Though while much of the OVA is reused in the newest episode, it is far from identical.

Image source: アニメ BORUTO-ボルト-【公式】 on Twitter

While many of the changes are small cosmetic, dialog, or timing changes, there are a handful of more noticeable changes to the story as a whole. One change that instantly stands out is that the TV episode starts the night before the ceremony as opposed to the day of. This is actually important because it gives us a better idea of what Naruto, his family, and friends were feeling leading up such an important event.

For instance, we see Boruto wants to greet his father when he comes home the night before the big day. But, as is common before a big event like this, Naruto went out drinking with all his old friends. So, instead of Boruto greeting Naruto at the door, he timidly watches his father getting dropped off from the second floor landing. This scene humanizes Naruto and shows a bit of how Boruto acted around his father as a young child.

Image source: アニメ BORUTO-ボルト-【公式】 on Twitter

The end of the inauguration, too, is also different between the episode and the OVA. Where the OVA played the events going on in the Naruto household as comedic, the episode uses the events after the inauguration to reinforce Naruto’s principles. In other words, it shows how Naruto views the people of his village and why he feels he has to work hard to keep everyone safe. Naruto cares about his family. However, now what he consider’s “family” has grown to the entire community. It’s a very touching scene, especially as it takes place in the context of Naruto sitting at home and talking with his wife, Hinata.

The most significant change to the story between the most recent episode and the OVA is actually two-fold, though. The first is the shift in who’s telling the story. In the OVA we can only assume it’s told from either Hinata’s perspective or from an omnipotent narrator. While this works for the OVA (as it’s essentially a DVD extra for the Boruto: Naruto the Movie) for the episode this doesn’t make sense—mainly because this is Boruto’s story. Thus, the shift to Naruto’s inauguration being told from Boruto’s perspective adds emotional weight to the situation. Remember, Boruto doesn’t have a good relationship with his father. But, when he reminisces about that day, for him it’s like returning to a time when he and his father had a much better relationship.

Image source: アニメ BORUTO-ボルト-【公式】 on Twitter

It’s the relationship dynamic that’s the second major change between the episode and OVA and the key to the entire episode too. Visually we see it through Boruto waiting for his father during the flashback. But, with the story being told from Boruto’s perspective we easily relate to what he wants: the nice father-son relationship they had before. Granted, the dysfunction between Boruto and Naruto drives various aspects of the overarching narrative of the series. However, we want to see them reconcile before the end of the series, otherwise it’d leave a sour taste in our mouth.

In this episode, we see both characters want that father-son dynamic despite often being at odd with each other. Yet, the painful truth still looms: Naruto is a father who doesn’t know how to really be one and Boruto is a son who’s just as rambunctious as Naruto was when he was a child.

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It’s kind of hard to believe the events in the Boruto OVA made it into the anime series because it is a DVD extra. But, the way in which the core elements of the OVA’s story are utilized for the series is exceptional. It adds to the emotional weight between Boruto and Naruto’s relationship and gives us at least one more instance to see the two have a heartfelt moment.

Boruto: Next Generations is currently airing, and is available to watch for free with subtitles on Crunchyroll. The original Naruto and Naruto Shippuden sequel anime are also streaming there.

Comments (1)
  1. Excellent article!

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