Naruto’s Son Has A Silly Name. Here’s Why. 

Naruto’s Son Has A Silly Name. Here’s Why. 

This is… “Boruto”. He is Naruto’s son, and first appeared in Naruto: The Last Movie. Now, as recently confirmed, he’s getting his own spin-off movie. It’s called Boruto. As announced this week, it will be out August 7 in Japan.

Actually, the title is Boruto: Naruto The Movie. That’s very creative.

Naruto’s Son Has A Silly Name. Here’s Why. 

Here is more “Boruto” from a Weekly Jump leak that has been circulating this week in Japan. (Also, bolts and wood? I’d think nails and wood or screws and wood, but not bolts and wood.)

OK, OK. We obviously haven’t seen this movie yet. It’s not out yet. It could be amazing. It could be a million times greater than any Naruto anime before. Let’s not judge quality here, because that’s not fair.

But, “Boruto”? Ungh. Traditionally, Japanese people don’t have first names that start with with “Ba”, “Bi”, “Bu”, “Be” or “Bo” (last names are another matter). But let’s simply scratch this off to Boruto (ungh) being a character and allowing for the fact that characters often have goofy names.

When you say “Boruto” (ボルト) in Japanese, you’re saying “Bolt”. OK, that’s kind of cool, I guess? So, Japanese people hear that and they either think of lightning bolts or that Disney dog.

Naruto’s Son Has A Silly Name. Here’s Why. 

Picture: 私です、私(笑)

Even with that Disney dog, it’s not that bad, and the name does have meaning within the Naruto universe (as the Naruto Wikia points out, it could be referring to his cousin Neji, whose name means “screw” in English or a reference to the Flying Thunder God Technique). And yes, I get that they wanted the “ruto” for branding. I get it!

That doesn’t mean the way his name is presented in English can’t be improved, because really, in Japan, it doesn’t matter how the character’s name is written, because many people will just look at the Japanese. What does matter is the official English spelling for its inevitable international release.

But when some English speakers hear or see it (maybe, more see it), many think, the fuck is that. The name does have its fans, and that’s fine, but ungh. Boruto. It’s just off.

While the character design and animation will please fans, no doubt, the name looks shoddy. Like a Naruto clone.

Here are some reactions from Twitter:

Naruto’s Son Has A Silly Name. Here’s Why. 
Naruto’s Son Has A Silly Name. Here’s Why. 
Naruto’s Son Has A Silly Name. Here’s Why. 
Naruto’s Son Has A Silly Name. Here’s Why. 

(Yeah, Sasuke’s daughter, Sarada, got stiffed in the name department too.)

Then, there’s the pronunciation issue. In Japanese, it’s “Na-ru-to”. There’s no stress on an individual syllable, but in English, people often say, “Na-RU-to”. So, this kid’s name in English is “Bo-RU-to”.

Even as early as late 2014, people on the Naruto Forums were debating whether the character name should be “Bolt” or “Boruto” in English. (In Japan, the character will always be pronounced as “Boruto” because that’s the way ボルト is written out — and that’s totally fine.) The majority in a reader poll preferred “Bolt”. Phew.

What makes “Boruto” not work in English is the same reason you don’t see other foreign loan words typically written out in their phonetic spelling. So, take “coffee”, a word you see all over Japan, written in both Japanese as コーヒー and in English as coffee. Ditto for “computer” or コムピュータ in Japanese.

Naruto’s Son Has A Silly Name. Here’s Why. 

Picture: creative-or-not

Yet, you do not see signs that say with コーヒー (koohii) written out phonetically as “koohii” or コムピュータ (komupyuuta) written phonetically as “komupyuuta”. You don’t see ミルク (miruku) written out as “miruku”. It’s “milk”.

Naruto’s Son Has A Silly Name. Here’s Why. 
Naruto’s Son Has A Silly Name. Here’s Why. 

Picture: Minkara

Why? Because none look good written in English, for the same reason that “Boruto” looks like nonsense in English.

Haha!, you say. But “coffee”, “computer” or “milk” aren’t names. That’s fine, but the same rule is in effect, and you see it best in designer clothing or mixed-Japanese with foreign language first or last names. When they write their name out using the alphabet, the majority use the spelling of where the names are from. Even the Japanese comedian George Tokoro doesn’t write “George” as Jooji (ジョージ) in English, but in Japanese, it is ジョージ.

Somewhere someone online was saying, then, well, Naruto’s name should be “Nalt” in English. Um, no.

Naruto’s Son Has A Silly Name. Here’s Why. 

Picture: ラーメン食べたら書くブログ

This is “naruto”, which is a type of steamed-fish cake with a swirl-like pattern that is sliced and often served with ramen. That’s a mouthful to say. Calling it “naruto” is easier. Just like saying “sushi” is easier than saying “raw fish that is served with rice.” It’s not “nalt”. It’s “naruto”.

Along that same line of thinking, “Bolt” makes sense because people know what a bolt is. Look, ボルト works well enough in Japanese, but fingers crossed they go with “Bolt” for the official English moniker. That, or we’ll be dealing with a lifetime of burrito jokes. I don’t want that. Bolt doesn’t want that. And you gotta be damn sure that burritos don’t want that.

Naruto’s Son Has A Silly Name. Here’s Why. 


  • i love it when western society goes trolling cultural names over the internet without doing the research for a translation.

    while i get why people slap their forheads at Boruto – knowing that it translates to Bolt, and prob will for any upcoming Manga inclusions when translated on paper, makes me happy.

    • while i get why people slap their forheads at Boruto – knowing that it translates to Bolt, and prob will for any upcoming Manga inclusions when translated on paper, makes me happy.

      I’m guessing a lot of these these are the same people who will be upset if a major character’s name gets changed for the English translation. It seems fan subs have already decided to call him Boruto so that’s how the Japanese say it which makes it the only right name for the character. Loyal to the source material above all else, without really understanding that they’re asking the translator to take more creative liberties by removing small cultural differences like how acceptable random puns as names in manga are.

      In English Boruto is the altered version. The creator didn’t think ‘he should have a name that’s just a bunch of random letters that sound sort of like Naturo’. Some sort of compromise might work better, like Bolto. Still inherits the -to from Naturo which is important, but with the Bolt part allowing the inevitable jokes the other characters make about the subject to continue to work.

  • “We need more Boruto license plates in the Gift Shop. Repeat, we are sold out of Boruto license plates.”

  • The Seppos will just call him Bolto so they don’t break their fragile little minds.

  • Creator: “I’m finishing up my long running manga series after 18 years! I’ll finally get to go out and try my hand at all these new stories I’ve been wanting to do for years!”

    Manga publisher: “No, you’re going to sit there and give us a sequel series about the son of the character you’ve been writing for 18 years. He’s going to look and act exactly like the character you’ve been writing about for the past 18 years… And you’re going to do it for 20 years this time! We have you under contract, now back to work worthless dog!”

    That’s how the whole thing feels to me. The poor guy has been working mainly on Naruto for 18 years and when he finally finishes up and sees the open door to new works, it’s slammed shut by the publishers because they don’t want to see their cash cow be sent off to live out it’s days in peace.

  • … and this is why i stopped watching after the first series, Naruto has a SON? lol fair enough i guess.

    • Dude. Read the manga. Much quicker. Although it does get super tiresome. I only stayed with it because I’d already been at it for so long. I was satisfied with the lasts chapter though. You could just read that, but you might have a few WTF moments.

  • @skinja Thanks for recommending the manga mate, unfortunately i have a long list of anime shows i want to get through and as far as i’m concerned Naruto is done for me =P

    • yeah. i can see how its on the backburner, it was the one i looked forward to the least each week. even tho im a 30 year old guy, im still loving bleach and one piece. also attack on titan.
      but, one you should take a peak at, ive been recommending it to lots of people – One Punch Man. anime comes out in octoberish, but manga is only up to chapter 48 so far.

  • That’s awesome @skinja, I’m slowly making my way through One Piece (almost finished the 1st season) and just started Attack on Titan… now that is an intense show! =)

    Onepunchman huh? From a quick google search it reminds me a bit of FOTN Start, fun!

  • If you don’t like, don’t watch/read it.
    And If they don’t bring it to your country, don’t complain.

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