Image Source: アニメ BORUTO-ボルト-【公式】 on Twitter
Ninja firefighters anyone?
In Naruto’s time, all children qualified to become ninja had to become ninja. This is because the world was constantly tense and on the edge of war. There were no ifs, ands, or whats about it. When Boruto asks his mother Hinata why she became a ninja, she simply answers that it was decided that she, along with Boruto’s uncle Neji, would become ninjas since the time they were born.
However, after the Ninja World War, things changed. The need for ninjas has declined in this time of peace. Technological advancements have made things easier, including transportation, lowering the need for things like armed escorts.
The need for ninjas has declined so much, in fact, that the ninja academy in the village of Konoha has a new choice for graduates: continue studying to gain skills to enter a non-combative field. This is one more choice than previously, graduates become genin, the lowest ranking of ninja. Now, children are able to find work without having to ever go out on the battlefield.
Just from the occupations we see in action, children who studied at the ninja academy have gone on to become fire fighters, postmen, and construction workers. Not only that, but they use the skills they learned at the academy to assist with their work. Moreover, having a graduation certificate from the academy makes a great mark on a resume when looking for a job.
Despite being forced to become genin as children, Boruto’s parents Naruto and Hinata are fine with letting Boruto choose whichever path he wants to walk down. The problem for Boruto is, that with so many choices, it’s hard to make one at all. While Naruto’s generation had a path set for them, Boruto has to make a decision about his future himself—a luxury his parents never had. However, this same luxury causes him problems.
The only reason Boruto ever decided to enter the ninja academy in the first place—something that was once mandatory to train children to fight in conflicts—was to work on getting stronger so he could get stronger than his father, who he is constantly compared to and who is never around to do anything “fatherly.” But when faced with the freedom to choose how he’s going to become someone more amazing than his father, that’s where he hits a road block.
Boruto is completely the opposite of his father when it comes to school. Unlike his old man, Boruto’s grades are top-notch. He’s even able to at least stand up to Kakashi during their exams—with his opponent even going so far as to call him a genius that has the ability to pass as not just a genin, but a chunin (the level above the former).
Despite his great potential, he still doesn’t know what would be best for him. It’s a worry that not only he faces, but the other ninjas in his village as well. The parents of one student, Namida, for example, wanted their child to enter a normal profession instead of trying to become a ninja. It was only after she got courage from her classmate Sarada Uchiha that she was able to convince her parents to let her go down the path she wanted.
It’s ironic really—in the time of Naruto, talented children had one path: becoming killing machines. There were no questions asked. The biggest problem academy students had before graduation was passing the damn test and surviving in the real world. Now, though, with the luxury of free will, the children of Konoha have a different worry: what to make out of their future with endless possibilities at their fingers.
BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS is currently airing and is available to watch for free with subtitles on Crunchyroll.