Boruto: Naruto Next Generations has gained a substantial following and fanbase ever since its debut, following the conclusion of the Naruto anime series. But, while the Boruto storyline does feature Naruto and a bunch of new yet related characters, many fans are still wondering if Boruto is canon, as well as how the anime and manga connect.
The Boruto anime series and manga follow parallel story arcs in order to complement each other instead of competing against each other, but both formats are considered completely canon. The creators of Boruto stated that Naruto’s creator, Masashi Kishimoto, is still heavily involved with the Boruto storyline.
While there may be reasons for fans questioning how valid the events in Boruto are, the creator has come out and shared enough details to put an end to the debate. Stick around to find out about Boruto, how the anime and the manga connect, as well as why some fans have been questioning whether Boruto is canon.
Is Boruto Canon?
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations took Naruto fans by surprise after it was first teased, carrying on the Ninja traditions that were initially brought by the Naruto storyline so many years ago. Naruto was originally created by Masashi Kishimoto, after which it was followed by Boruto occurring several years following the infamous events that transpire within Naruto’s closing scenes.
Most fans have been soaking up the storyline that Boruto has to offer without question – and for plenty of good reasons. There are tons of exciting events for fans to enjoy topped with loveable characters since the story revolves around the children of Naruto’s main characters, such as Naruto, Hinata, Sakura, and others.
But, there is still a substantial number of fans who feel that the Boruto series is not canon, either believing that it’s actually a spin-off of Naruto or is a different story occurring in a similar universe. The creator of Boruto came out to debunk all of the doubt surrounding whether Boruto is canon or not in an interview with Lucca Comics.
The creators of Boruto made the following statement concerning how canon the storyline is in relation to Naruto, according to the translation of the interview provided by Comic Book:
“Kishimoto is still heavily involved with the series by defining every concept and initial idea, and supervising Kodachi’s / Ikemoto’s work.”
We can only assume that the creator of Naruto would have a pretty firm influence over Boruto if the involvement is as high as the Boruto creators have reported. If fans are still wondering if Boruto is canon or not, knowing that the creator of Naruto has a say in the story’s progression should be over enough to sway the debate.
As such, the Boruto series is definitely canon, irrespective of the format – even though the formats do differ, which we’ll get into later on. This means that the canon classification extends to all versions and formats of Boruto, covering both the Boruto anime series as well as the manga issues.
How Are The Boruto Anime & Manga Connected?
While the Boruto anime series and the Boruto manga do have some differences here and there, they are both considered as canon as possible in relation to the Naruto universe. Although the Boruto manga is considered to be more canon than the anime series in terms of specific details, it’s actually far more complex than that – both the Boruto anime series and the manga are important.
Ikemoto stated that the Boruto manga is primarily used as the basis for the events and details throughout the anime series, typically used for mapping out the main storyline. However, there are a couple of instances where the Boruto anime series can go slightly off the road when compared to the manga, primarily when it comes to filler episodes.
The anime takes a few detours in some cases by including parallel arcs, but the Boruto anime series always comes back to the original and canon Boruto manga for important plots and events. This is quite common among legendary shonen mangas and anime series, as well as many other iconic anime titles that are based on either mangas or light novels as source material for the content.
However, there is something really unique and special about the connection between the Boruto manga and the anime series, since fans can get a full picture by enjoying both forms. According to the illustrator, Mikio Ikemoto, the Boruto manga and anime follow similar yet parallel stories, which are meant to intersect at different points.
In an interview, the creators shared that this was actually intentional, unlike many anime series that seem to go in a different direction compared to the manga. Apparently, this approach was made so that Boruto fans would not feel as if they could simply choose between the anime or the manga.
Rather than pitting different formats against each other in a battle to see which will gain the most traction, the Boruto anime series and the manga complement each other instead of competing against each other. So, fans would technically need to follow both Boruto storylines for a complete understanding of the Boruto universe and all canon events.
This seems to have been a pretty good idea as well, since this may have been the case for plenty of fans while enjoying Naruto’s main storyline. The concept is encouraged even further by the fact that the Boruto anime series often makes references to events and details that take place in the manga, without these occurrences actually being featured in the anime series.
In addition, it covers an issue that many anime and manga fans experience while following a long-running storyline. In many instances, anime creators can get stuck with the potential issue of having to continuously try to catch up to the manga, which is usually miles ahead, after which they would be faced with a different issue of potentially overtaking it.
Brand new Boruto episodes, dubbed “filler episodes” have been used as a way to prevent this as well. But, according to the stance that the Boruto creators seem to be taking, these filler episodes are still considered as canon as the manga, and the Boruto anime never skips out on major arcs and important plot points that are found in the manga.
We do not know if the Boruto manga will start adding in manga arc adaptations or if the creators will completely intersect the two Boruto forms anytime soon, as there is no set timeline to date. But, Boruto and Naruto fans are really looking forward to the day that the Boruto anime episodes start running into the story.
All in all, the Boruto anime and manga series are as canon to the Naruto storyline as it gets, although some fans may have felt otherwise for quite some time. The Boruto anime directly follows the canon manga for the most part, apart from occasional filler episodes that still follow a fairly similar plot.