Naruto is often thought of as a dumb hothead, but one fight with Boruto proves the Shinobi is smarter than most give him credit for.
While few would deny that Naruto is a skilled fighter, initial appearances suggest he’s not exactly Konoha’s brightest shinobi, which is why one fight in Boruto was so surprising.
Throughout the original Naruto series, the titular character is portrayed as a hothead who often fails to think things through. While other Naruto ninja such as Shikamaru had to rely on their cunning to outsmart incredibly strong opponents, Naruto’s vast chakra reserves and access to Kurama often allowed the young ninja to overwhelm and overpower many of his foes. Even when that wasn’t enough, Naruto was much more likely to rely on his heart to win over villains rather than his mind. Still, any fans who doubt the seventh Hokage’s intelligence should see his big battle with Boruto.
Chapter 16 of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations sees father and son duke it out in front of a small crowd of spectators. Boruto wastes no time, using his unique Rasengan and shadow clones to try and land a hit. Naruto effortlessly dodges and dismisses the attack though, unimpressed with his son’s efforts. Frustrated with Naruto’s evasion, Boruto combines a water justsu with an electric one to create a shocking tidal wave. Naruto raises a wall of earth to block the attack and punches his artificial hand through his own barrier, then sucks up the water Boruto created. Boruto stands frozen, watching his father’s artificial hand and waiting for some movement. Appearing behind Boruto though, Naruto reveals he’d left his artificial hand in the wall to distract his opponent. Catching his son off guard, Naruto delivers a finishing blow and ends the match.
Naruto’s Intelligence Proves How Much He’s Grown
While this is a simple trick, it’s very telling about Naruto’s character. He’s vastly more powerful than his son and though he obviously doesn’t want to unleash his full strength in a training match, Naruto doesn’t need tricks to beat Boruto. By winning the match this way, however, Naruto teaches the young shinobi to think harder about his opponents’ capabilities and how they can be used against him. The trick also shows how Naruto has grown up to be a more thoughtful and strategic fighter. Instead of relying on something straightforward, he goes for the subtler approach.
Naruto is part of a long tradition of shonen meat-heads like Goku and Luffy. However, in this one fight with Boruto, Naruto shows that he’s actually grown past that, turning into a much more intelligent ninja than most would give him credit for. With Boruto’s true villain being incredibly intelligent, this outside-the-box thinking will come in handy. Naruto grew smarter since his younger days, and fans of the series can only hope the same happens to Boruto.
Next: Why An Underrated Boruto Ninja is the Key To Konoha’s Future