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The Boruto Anime Isn't Passing the Torch to Naruto's Son, After All

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the Boruto: Naruto Next Generations anime, Episode 102: "Melee!"

The theme of legacy has always been the driving force for the Naruto franchise, and that's carried over into the Boruto series. It's no surprise, as the latter is shaping the new generation of ninjas for Konoha and other villages, and we're now seeing the likes of Naruto, Sasuke and so many others passing the baton.

But while this mantle is being picked up by the offspring of all these legendary shinobi, as much as one would assume Naruto is handing the torch off to his son, that's not really the case. In the current dilemma with Jugo and the Cursed Seals, it's obvious Boruto will have to wait for a spot in line because Naruto's successor is actually Konohamaru.

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Konohamaru is linked to Naruto's past in a big way. His grandfather, Hiruzen Sarutobi, was the Hokage who looked after Naruto when the Nine Tails Fox was placed in the boy, and he oversaw Konoha when the Uchiha clan fell too, recognizing Naruto and Sasuke were weapons who needed to be protected. As Naruto matured, Konohamaru embodied a lot of what Naruto was as a kid -- impetuous and over-exuberant, but someone genuine who wanted to be the best ninja of all time.

It's why he ended up idolizing Naruto, and was even mentored by him, learning the Rasengan and clone jutsus. These moves were kept within Naruto's inner circle, passed down from Jiraiya to Minato to Kakashi before Naruto perfected them. They were a rite of passage, and with Konohamaru learning them too and helping Boruto refine his own, it's clear Naruto believes Konohamaru is indeed next in the chain of command.

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Like Naruto, Konohamaru's life has been steeped in tragedy, losing family to the ninja wars of old, which led to him scrapping by and learning everything from scratch. Naruto only broke out of this spoiled mode when he was able to harness the Nine Tails, but we can clearly see parallels between him and Konohamaru.

Boruto, on the other hand, was born with immense power, inheriting so much from his dad, yet rather than being a hard worker, he initially resorted to shortcuts, cheating and scientific weapons to hone his chakra. He is, in fact, the opposite to Naruto, while Konohamaru was coincidentally more of the spiritual son who came first.

Now, this isn't a knock on Boruto, as he has matured too, slowly scrubbing out his entitled and bratty ways, but Naruto knows he has some way to go before he ever gets to Konohamaru's level.

In the meantime, Konohamaru is growing leaps and bounds as Naruto's leading field officer, a master of the Rasengan and someone who's evolved way past the fanboy we all laughed at. As a young ninja, Konohamaru is another key pillar of this unique group Jiraiya started, with the same fire and passion of his predecessors, and, as we're seeing in this Jugo arc, he's a true leader. What reinforces this is he's just as selfless as Naruto, which has resulted in him clearly being molded as a hybrid of Naruto and Hiruzen.

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It's only fitting because, just like Naruto fulfilled his promise to become Hokage, Konohamaru is right on course to achieve this ambition, too. He wanted it since he saw Naruto aspiring towards the position decades ago, and with Boruto not interested in such a leadership role in the future, the path is clear for Konohamaru to realize this goal and assume the job.

The way he fought tooth and nail to become a deft shinobi, and how he cares for the youth, mirrors Naruto's journey, and there's no bigger trial by fire than having to protect a weapon such as Boruto. With all this in mind, it's apparent Naruto trusts Konohamaru fully and views him as the bedrock of Konoha's future.

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