After 15 years of following the adventures of Naruto Uzumaki and the ninjas of his world, Masashi Kishimoto finished the last chapter and handed the torch to Mikio Ikemoto and Ukyō Kodachi. They in turn created a manga following the adventures of Boruto, Naruto’s son. While Masashi Kishimoto agreed to oversee the production, he has given the creators freedom to let loose and have fun with it. He said once of the art style, “there is no sense in giving you the series if it’s to create a copy.” With that advice, Ikemoto and Kodachi began to tell their story. The manga began being published in May of 2016 and is ongoing, adding to the lore and history of this beloved franchise.
The story revolves around Boruto and his friends growing up in a peaceful world with new technologies. Boruto also gains power in his eye and must learn how to utilize it as trouble is stirring in the ninja world. As the show starts out in a barren waste with Boruto and a man named Kawaki fighting, fans have eagerly been trying to theorize how the world got into such a state. With each new chapter and episode released, some questions have been answered while new ones arise. There are a few spoilers on this list, so if you’re not caught up, come back after a quick binge session! If you like this list, check out our other list about theories on Naruto here.
20 A Clear Career Choice
After the great ninja war that ended Naruto, it looked like all of the nations were enjoying a time of great peace. With the Akatsuki gone, everyone could go back to all of the other headaches that typical villages endure. So where does that leave the ninja of the village who once formed a very well trained militia? Most of them could be found doing odd jobs and having families in the village. The world has changed and moved on, creating less of a demand for ninja and ultimately weakening the village as a whole.
When Boruto was first announced, it was clear that there was a more general sense of peace as compared to Naruto, but there was uneasiness because opposition will always be a part of a good story. Some fans theorized that the village might not be as physically strong as it once was because of the peace and lack of training. Without a major threat, many of the youth would be more focused on their life in a time of peace. Whereas many young pupils were once dreaming about taking on s-ranked missions, many in Boruto’s graduating class weren’t even considering being a ninja professionally. Who would have thought that a show based on ninjas would be getting rid of them so early on?
19 Happily Ever After?
With most of the older generation knowing only tentative peace, marriage and the future was not really strongly discussed. In the new generation, with no real threat to any of the villages, all of the villagers were free to explore other options than battle. The same is to be said of our favorite main cast. Whatever your ship, the cannon endings seemed like they were wrapped up nicely and (nearly) everyone got to experience a happily ever after. Because of Sasuke’s actions and outright dismissal of Sakura, many thought a marriage would not last. Many hoped a marriage would not last. There was even talk of infidelity where Serada was involved.
Even Kishimoto mentioned of the marriage, “I don't know for sure if they are really happy… I still have not decided yet”. The only problem with that statement is that Kishimoto is not the head of the project. He supervises, but is not in charge. Many fans theorized that Sasuke and Sakura’s marriage to restore the Uchiha clan would not last because it was such a one-sided relationship for years and years. However, there are small instances where Sasuke's soft side emerges. They happen mostly through Sasuke’s interactions with Sarada, giving the audience (through Sarada’s eyes) a peek into her parent’s cannon relationship.
18 Are You My Mummy?
Some Naruto and Sakura fans were saddened by the marriage of Sasuke and Sakura, but that was not the only group that was disappointed. Many people liked the idea of having Sasuke end up with Karin, a character who fawned over Sasuke during their time together. (I’m seeing a pattern here) A lot of fans came up with the theory that Serada was not Sakura’s daughter when they first saw her concept art. The glasses, hair, and personality took enough from Karin to provide some intrigue. Knowing Karin and Sasuke’s past left many fans wondering if there wasn’t another reason Sasuke stayed away from his home all that time.
While Sasuke was away working with Naruto to protect the village, Sakura was responsible for raising Sarada. Her parentage was addressed and confirmed in Boruto: Generations #3 when Karin explains why the DNA test taken had some trace of her on it. She had been the one to deliver Sarada when Sakura went into labor outside of town. From the horse’s mouth came the truth, and the Karin and Sasuke ship sank, leaving no survivors and a large wreckage at the bottom of the sea. A moment of silence, if you please.
17 Daddy Daughter Moves
After having read the manga, everyone knew Sasuke was one of the main plot points in the show. He drove basically half of the first few seasons. When Serada was implemented as one of Boruto’s team mate, we all wondered what sort of dynamic the two would have, given their fathers’ past history. There was also something important that many fans wondered. How did Sarada learn the great fireball technique? Because her father was gone so much from her life, fans were quick to exclude Sasuke from the list of potential teachers. The next easiest answer was Kakashi, as the sharingan had copied the move before.
It may as well have been left unanswered, as it didn’t seem that the main story was going to flesh that theory out. Turns out it didn’t have to. A Japanese company called Shueisha published short novels that focused on some of the main parents and the interactions with their children in the series, and one of which was Sasuke in his attempt to get closer to his daughter. Not knowing what she would have wanted; Sasuke gave her something she would need: a powerful attack to use when she got into a pinch. Now that’s a heartwarming story!
16 Mama Drama
For a show whose main pitch is all about ninjas, there sure is a lot of talk about family and parentage. When all of the main characters from Naruto grew up and started getting married, it was almost inevitable that fans would assume characters would end up together simply because they had spent some time together. This was the case for Rock Lee and Tenten. Being on the same team for many years, it was only natural for those two to be close. With the passing of Neji, any chance for Neji and Tenten to share a future sailed to the Bermuda triangle, never to be seen again (sadly).
Metal Lee being Tenten’s son makes sense.
He has a similar eye shape to hers; his first name is related to how she fights, as she is one of the greatest weapons users in the village. If that’s not enough, Tenten does not get a lot of screen time; we don’t know her background. For those who don’t buy into the theory, there came an answer at last. Kishimoto was asked the question, but he said only that he had a few other characters in mind. It is a bit refreshing to know maybe Lee found and married a normal girl. Not everyone needed to be paired with their most popular (living) companion.
15 Boruto's Sucky Ability
In the world of Naruto, there are many different types of markings that people can have through curse marks, seals and family lineage. At one point in the series, Boruto’s entire arm gets covered in blue marks that are almost identical to those worn by Kawaki’s red curse marks. As the series progresses, we learn that those specific curse marks come when someone ends a member of the Otsutsuki. (a.k.a really bad dudes who are gods and low-key the big baddies for the series. Seriously, there are so many groups of baddies all at once!) It is a curse mark that gives the person the power of the one murdered. In Boruto’s case, when he ended Momoshiki, he gained the ability to absorb a jutsu.
Many of the fans at first did not know what sort of power the curse mark would give to Boruto. Seeing the markings in the first chapter was awe inspiring, and also a little mysterious. Fans were able to see a confirmation of the theory when Boruto protected Konohomaru from Shoji, absorbing quite a large attack. While his skills were not perfect, he was able to understand that he had an unexpected power, which in turn saved his life that day.
14 Some Friends Never Go Away
The village hidden in the sand has a very well-reformed leader in the person of Gaara. He has come quite a way since his murderous days as a teenager, and most of that comes from his connection with Naruto. Given his personal and professional background, it isn’t hard to imagine that he would come back into the story. One theory came about the jinchuriki (tailed-beasts) stated that the tailed beasts came back to aid those they had lived inside. We see Kurama being protected by Boruto, so it’s not a far stretch of the mind to imagine Gaara conversing with Shukaku as well.
Gaara is seen having similar conversations with Shukaku in the manga that we have seen Naruto have with Kurama.
Having Gaara in connection with his tailed beast is a good move on the part of the writers, because they had to find some way to help the kazekage (or leader of the sand ninja) get into the story naturally without using his adopted son as a crutch. It would also help in later chapters if the Otsutsuki are on the hunt for the jinchuriki. The good guys have a leg up because it is likely they do not know about Gaara’s connection to Shukaku. How lucky is that?
13 A Special Eye
Although this is a very big DUUUH moment now, the knowledge of Boruto’s eye's name was not always around. When it was first introduced, many fans thought it might be a type of Byakugan, as Boruto is of the Hyuga line. They also guessed it could be the Tenseigan, which also came from the Hyuga line a loooooong time ago. The difference between these eyes is that one is mostly just for viewing chakras (Byakugan) and allowing the user the ability to attack chakra points directly and the other is to use opposing forces and give a power up (Tenseigan). While they both look similar to Boruto’s eye, it was confirmed later that it was a new type of ability.
Being that all of the other eye-related powers end with a –gan, (Byakugan, Rinnegan, Sharingan, etc) it was only a matter of time before this powerful eyeball was given its –gan ending name. Now that it is known, it is easier to distinguish it from the others that we have previously seen. By recognizing it as something new, there is an air of mystery about the extent of its powers. Fans have traced all of the eye powers back through their respective carriers, and it may just be that both Naruto and Hinata’s lineages combined in just the right way so as to allow the Jougan.
12 What Do Your Ninja Eyes See
So clearly the manga artists have some big stuff planned in the future- they wouldn’t have made an opening with a destroyed Konoha if they didn’t. A lot of it will rest on Boruto’s Jougan, which is a huge part of who he is from his ancestry. The Jougan allows Boruto to see negative chakra, and while many fans have theorized some of the powers, this is all that we know about so far. Negative chakra is the aura around a person when they are in danger or are in the wrong frame of mind. Just like the Byakugan, it perhaps is not the most dangerous ability on its own.
But if included with someone who knows what to look for, it can be a powerful asset.
Giving Boruto both a jutsu-absorbing curse mark and super powerful eye seems like a lot right off the bat. Already compared to his father he is quite a bit stronger. (After all, he’s only 13 and has successfully ended a god.) But they do that to show how much the world has changed. By introducing an eye with new powers, the creators are further distancing themselves from the older generation and giving themselves freedom to work by their own rules. Will it get more powerful? Perhaps. I guess we’ll have to see.
11 Only The Good Perish Young
With every war, causalities are expected. One of those listed is the Jinchuriki known as Killer B. He had the eight tailed beast, an octopus named Gyuki. He had become a fan favorite in the original manga, and was brought back in Boruto to be a victim of the Otsutsuki’s plan of living forever. Bee fought Momoshiki and was thoroughly trounced on, then left to perish. Many fans questioned whether this was really the end of Killer Bee, since basically every major character had been revived at one point save for a few very important ones.
Given that the fans did not know much at the beginning; it was hard to imagine that Killer B could survive the battle with Momoshiki.
Until Marvel tricked and enslaved us into watching credits all the way through, people didn’t bother to stick around for the credits of movies. Sticking around during the credits here also has its own reward. Behind the text for Boruto: The Movie, you’ll see a picture showing Killer B being rescued by Gyuki, which means that he is not gone yet. It was a bit of a giveaway when Momoshiki did not get very many pills from Gyuki’s chakra. He’s the eight tailed beast, so there’s quite a bit more chakra in him to steal.
10 I Think I'm A Clone Now
During the Naruto manga, we were introduced to Shin Uchiha, a man obsessed with the Uchiha clan who falls in with Orochimaru and is guided down the path of evil. At the end of the series, Naruto helped them find the straight and narrow, and they’ve been quiet in the background ever since. Using evidence a while back, one person on alltalksnewsnetworks.com discussed how the clones would be more active in the show. They’re an interesting bunch, Shin and his clones. While they got some development in Naruto, so far they have only been seen once in Boruto, and it was a slaughterhouse.
Sasuke Uchiha may not be a man of many words or very good with expressing emotion. But if you try to harm his family, he will turn Liam Neeson on you and make you pay. When the clones took Sakura, Sasuke jumped right into action. Most of the clones were used as meat shields for Shin during his various battles. As a minor bad guy, he is bound to appear again and be defeated again. He managed to escape Sasuke’s questioning, so I don’t have any doubt at all that we will see him sometime in the next little bit.
9 Notice Me, Senpai
You know those memes that say “be careful who you make fun of in middle school” and then it shows someone super strong, beautiful, or wealthy well after the fact? Moegi is a walking version of one of those. She was completely inconsequential in Naruto, but she has recently drawn attention to herself in Boruto. This was a fan theory not many people were putting much stock into because the wood release jutsu appeared to be a Kekkei genkai (justu that is inherited through lineage) but there was never any real evidence for it. Moegi was never a popular enough character to give much thought as to if she could have any special powers.
Moegi began using her wood release, which led to the output of theories not so much if she could anymore, but why she could. The best reason I have found is that it doesn’t line up with people who are related to those that had it. Now that it is cannon that Moegi is a wood release user, it brings into question if there wasn’t any other move that could fall under the same thing. Imagine if a move like chidori was all of a sudden being taught to everyone…
8 Rasengan's Close Second
Some fans were already theorizing before Boruto began that he would not be trained by his father, Naruto. Given that much of the promotional stuff included his sentiments about how draining the job of Hokage is, Boruto likely would never give Naruto the chance to discuss why there was a need for a leader who had to abandon all of his time. With Naruto up to his eyes in paper work, it left Sasuke open as a possible trainer for a young ninja. When Sasuke was available for training, he had a pretty sweet set of moves to teach. One of which was the chidori.
It makes sense that Sasuke would teach Boruto the chidori.
It is a good attack that allows for agility and power. Because Boruto had already mastered the rasengan at a young age, Sasuke understood that if trained properly, our hero could have a knack for using elemental based Justus. With one element under his belt, Sasuke could help Boruto go from water-based techniques to lightning. Many fans were shocked at first that Sasuke took a pupil on at all; many more were surprised to learn it was Boruto. Although in all fairness, it is a pretty good move in terms of storytelling.
7 A Different Family Heirloom
One of the many people who had a tailed beast living inside them was Yagura Karatachi. He was the leader of the mist village, and possessed the three tailed jinchuriki, a turtle. He was a character we didn’t get to see much, and who disappeared as the show went on, leaving some fans to theorize that he was actually reincarnated into Kagura Karatachi, one of the current mist village ninjas. That theory has since been debunked, as they were listed as grandfather and grandchild.
Getting to see how Kagura turned out though was a really steady point for those who wanted to prove the first theory.
For example, both characters look very much alike. They each have a marking on one side of the face, both share purple eyes, and their hair isn’t too far off, either. It’s a claim that could hold water based on what the creators have decided. However, as the writers have decided for now that that’s not what they had in mind for the story, the idea of grandfather and grandson is cannon. As for now the official listing stands, but there is no trouble with changing as the plot demands. We’ll see how long that lasts.
6 Test Tube Baby
With all of the trouble that Orochimaru caused during Naruto, you’d think they wouldn't trust him to be a scientist in the country. And yet, that’s where Konoha stood with their greatest arch-foe, Orochimaru. With his history, they wouldn’t give him a new lab, or let him take tests. He’d be rotting in whatever equivalent they have as a jail. But Orochimaru is very good at getting what he wants. Even Naruto was surprised to see him alive (and looking younger, no less.) But it seems like Orochimaru has been quite busy since he was last seen. With the introduction of the character Mitsuki, Orochimaru was brought back into the plot as the boy’s father. Perhaps he had turned a new leaf.
When Log was introduced though, looking suspiciously like an older Mitsuki, fans got their theorist caps on. After all Orochimaru did to aid in the destruction of Konoha, many were right not to trust him. Log at one point told Mitsuki of his origins as a failed Orochimaru experiment to make the perfect warrior. Of course this didn’t blow over well, but the important part here is that Mitsuki knew the truth and could make a decision, no matter how long it took him to settle all of it in his brain.
5 Revenge Of The Tech
One of the biggest themes of Boruto is coping with change. The world has changed, the way battles are fought has changed, and so has the entire reason for fighting. One thing remains though- and that’s that our favorite ninjas will do everything they can to protect their loved ones and their village. Admittedly, from the destruction seen in the first episode of Boruto, it looks like they may have bit off more than they can chew.
The problem is mostly the ninja tools that allow for ninja to get to Naruto’s level without having to spend years training.
We have already seen some impressive ninja tech from the show. Considering that the first chapter takes place near the end, it’s only more impressive to see the effects of ninja tools being used. Seeing Naruto and Sasuke on a level of their own is crazy enough. When you throw in the Kara (a.k.a the new Akatsuki) all on that same level thanks to the ninja tools, things get real crazy real fast. At this point I’m expecting the Konoha ninja will be playing fire with fire, having their own tech. It also wouldn’t surprise me to find Orochimaru being a supplier for the Kara.
4 Clues In The Background
While the theme may be about change, the show Boruto has a few symbols of power scattered around for theorists to pick together. There have been Easter eggs, clues and downright mysteries surrounding many portions of the show to keep fans guessing. When manga artists have a certain amount of panels to use, they make sure only the most important things go in them. One fan has theorized that the continued use of the statues is helping fans to understand the chain of command inside the Ostutsuki and predict who is going to be the ultimate big baddie.
Each of the interactions between members is telling, because each of them understands the need for order and control. However, like any evil organization, not every member is happy with their station and is willing to go to great lengths to see their ambition fulfilled. For example, Kinshiki speaks to Momoshiki as an equal, but then speaks about him as a child. Sounds like we have the worst of the worst here, as (from a storytelling perspective) making sure to show something that petty allows the audience to get it in their heads that Kinshiki is not a good person. I’d be willing to put money down on it. Do I hear fifty?
3 See Yourself Become The Villain
In the case of most superheroes, it is the good guy who wears a mask while the bad guy goes without. In Boruto’s case, it’s the opposite. Kashin Koji looks like the kind of person who is bad news, and his organization, The Kara, is just as bad. But many people believe that under that mask is someone we know very well- the pervy sage himself, Jiraiya. Most of the evidence points to the fact that the man summoned a very large frog- something not a lot of ninja are capable of. The faint red lines underneath his mask are reminiscent of the red lines on Jiraiya’s cheeks, Koji seems to have a tie to the fire nation (Konoha, in this case) and being undercover as an author would allow Jiraiya to go places someone of his ranking might not have been able to go otherwise.
I personally put stock in this theory. If most everyone else got to be resurrected, then why not Jiraiya? It would also lend itself well to the idea of the teacher and student having differing beliefs, one being good and the other bad. It’s a nice tag to the yin-yang idea that is in nearly every other hero/villain conflict. The idea of two opposing characters being two sides to the same coin is a tale as old as time.
2 Two Halves Of A Whole
Given that Orochimaru likes to mess around with genetics and cloning, this fan theory really works out nicely. He is the most likely person on our long list of baddies who would have the means and motive to make a ‘super soldier’ out of the two strongest ninja in the village of Konoha. Although we don’t know much about Kawaki, we know that he has taken down multiple Otsutsuki members, and that’s no easy task. Having the genes of two incredible fighters is a good start, though. This theory is supported in part by Kawaki’s appearance. His dual-toned hair of black and yellow could have easily been taken from our main characters, as well as his strength.
From a storytelling perspective, it would also be fairly interesting. Boruto sees how strong and influential both Naruto and Sasuke are. While he is not quite as vocal as his father to prove himself, being the main character of a manga simply means that great powers (and responsibility) will be heaped on by the end of the series. With the older generation becoming a thing of the past and the newer generation finding their place in the world, it was only a matter of time before both the heroes and villains become stronger than their older counterparts ever could.
1 Can You Believe It
Boruto starts out How I Met Your Mother style with a character telling the whole story in flashback. At the beginning we see Konoha destroyed and Naruto being ended by Kawaki. It’s quite a gutsy move to make when it’s the first chapter and the fans haven’t gotten a chance to fall in love with the new characters yet. However, while there have been many resurrections in the show, this theory states that Naruto won’t be taking part. As the manga stands now, that’s cannon. But there’s no way it’s going to stay like that forever. The manga artists will eventually catch back up to the present and the theory will either be confirmed or debunked.
There are also theories that counter this, arguing that he is not gone. The main idea of this theory is that Kawaki used his powers to send Naruto to another dimension. This could work, although Sasuke’s Rinnegan could, in theory, get him out of that. I for one would like to see this theory come true. With so many fake outs, a level of disbelief is shown whenever a character perishes. They usually come back in other places, so why not here? The answer to that is emotional weight. Neji had it, and Naruto might just be following suit.