Jujutsu Kaisen is a true successor to Naruto, building on its ideas and expressions in unique and interesting ways. Jujutsu Kaisen subverts a major Naruto trope by turning protagonist Yuji and his inner demon Sukuna into enemies throughout the series, torturing Yuji even more than Naruto had to endure. Boruto is trapped in Naruto’s shadow, while Jujutsu Kaisen regains Naruto’s excitement and has more freedom to become a revolutionary.
Warning! Contains some minor spoilers about Boruto and Jujutsu Kaisen!
While Boruto could be a direct sequel to the iconic anime series Naruto, Jujutsu Kaisen is the true successor to that series. This is because although it does not continue to chronicle the journeys of Naruto’s original cast, it does build on many of the ideas that Naruto introduced into the Shonen action genre. Unfortunately, Boruto failed to do the same with any significant depth, although it did share some similarities with its predecessor.
Boruto is a sequel to Naruto, following the titular son of that iconic ninja. The series also features many main characters from the original series such as Naruto and Sasuke, allowing fans to see more of their adventures after saving the world from Madara and Kaguya. It also shows some interesting similarities to the original series, with Boruto becoming a vessel for Otsutsuki Momoshiki in the same way Naruto became a vessel for Kurama. However, the series also made some controversial choices like annoyingly killing off Kurama.
Jujutsu Kaisen plays with Naruto’s tropes
Gege Akutami’s Jujutsu Kaisen is set in a completely separate universe from Naruto, but has many similarities. The main trio of characters reflects Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura, and main character Yuji is the vessel of a terrifying evil force called Sukuna. However, instead of befriending this inner demon, Yuji and Sukuna remain enemies throughout the series. Because of the way Naruto handled this story, this was actually a major subversion that resulted in Yuji being tortured even more than Naruto had to endure. Jujutsu Kaisen also improved controversial aspects of Naruto, such as making Nobara much cooler than Sakura.
While Nobara is better than Sakura, Jujutsu Kaisen doesn’t handle her perfectly.
By more fully exploring the central meanings of Naruto in interesting and unique ways, Jujutsu Kaisen feels more like a spiritual successor to Kishimoto’s masterpiece than Boruto. It also has the freedom to do what it wants with its characters without upsetting Naruto fans, since none of Akutami’s works come from that universe. This is important in allowing the series to create moments of emotional suffering and allowing its flaws to reflect only on Jujutsu Kaisen and not the beloved manga that preceded it. Unfortunately, Boruto doesn’t always have those luxuries.
Boruto is trapped in Naruto’s shadow
Jujutsu Kaisen isn’t perfect, but its many flaws certainly don’t bear the same scrutiny as Boruto. This allows the series to be more revolutionary by following in Naruto’s footsteps even as Boruto feels constrained in his parents’ shadow. This allowed Jujutsu Kaisen to recapture some of the excitement that the original Naruto generated for many of the fans it introduced to the Shonen action genre. By this way, Jujutsu Kaisen is the spiritual successor closer to Naruto than Boruto Maybe so, even if the next series is better than the current one.
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