Naruto and Boruto are very different shows, but one dark Shippuden theory explains why. As was expected, Naruto’s ending was followed by the beginning of a brand new series, Boruto. Initially, the characters and the world of Boruto were introduced in Boruto: Naruto the Movie, one of the two canon Naruto films. Boruto takes place 15 years after the end of Naruto Shippuden’s Fourth Great Ninja War, in a peaceful world where neither the Akatsuki nor the tailed beasts are a problem.
After several encounters with the Akatsuki members, Naruto Shippuden culminated in one final arc, the Fourth Great Ninja War. That was when all of the five nations, plus the Samurai, joined efforts to create the first-ever Shinobi Alliance. Their mission was to protect Naruto and Killer Bee, the only remaining Tailed Beast’s jinchuuriki, from being captured by the Akatsuki.
The Fourth Great Ninja War could not have been more exhausting. Tobi, who claimed to be Madara but was actually Obito, had an army of thousands of Zetsus at his disposal – not to mention dozens of resurrected ninjas, such as all of the dead Akatsuki members. The fight became even more difficult when the real Madara Uchiha was resurrected and brought into the battlefield. Towards the end of the war, Madara was actually close to winning, as he managed to cast the Infinite Tsukuyomi. In fact, there have been many fan theories since the end of Naruto Shippuden suggesting that Madara’s Infinite Tsukuyomi was never “turned off” and that everything audiences see in Boruto is nothing but Naruto’s dream of what a perfect world looks like.
Madara’s Infinite Tsukuyomi Explained
The Tsukuyomi was introduced relatively early in the series when Itachi Uchiha returned to the Leaf Village right after the Third Hokage’s death. Unlike regular genjutsu, the Tsukuyomi could not be easily broken, and the illusion cast by the jutsu was powerful enough to blend with reality. For example, by using the Tsukyoimy, Itachi was able to trap Kakashi under a mind prison for days when, in reality, only a minute had passed. The Tsukuyomi continued appearing in the series as both Itachi and Sasuke could use the special technique thanks to their Mangekyo Sharingan. Toward the final half of Naruto Shippuden, it was revealed that Madara and Obito’s true plan for the Akatsuki was to revive the Ten-Tails – but not to simply gain the power of the ultimate tailed Beast.
Instead, Madara and Obito wanted to use the power of the Ten-Tails at the end of Naruto‘s Fourth Great Ninja War to cast a massive Tsukuyomi illusion on the entire world through the moon. In other words, Madara and Obito wanted to create the most powerful, long-range genjutsu illusion ever made. Whoever looked at the moon would be trapped inside the illusion of a perfect world, and according to Madara and Obito, that was the only way true peace could be achieved. When inside the Tsukuyomi, every person would live their paradise, a Matrix-like simulation, without ever knowing what happened.
Theory: Madara’s Infinite Tsukuyomi Plan Worked
Towards the end of the war in Naruto Shippuden, after Obito was redeemed right before dying, Madara became the jinchuuriki of the Ten-Tails. Now with more power than anyone on the planet, at least until the arrival of Kaguya Otsutsuki, Madara was able to cast the Infinite Tsukuyomi on the moon. Each ninja on the battlefield was then trapped inside a different illusion, and it seemed like Madara had won the war. For example, Hinata is living happily with Naruto in a world where her cousin Neji is still alive; Tsunade is living with Dan and her brother; Gaara was never hated by his own family; Kiba is the Hokage, and Shikamaru still has Asuma Sensei by his side. However, by using his Rinnegan, which is an evolution of the Sharingan, Sasuke managed to break free from the Infinite Tsukuyomi and later helped Naruto, Sakura, and Kakashi to also wake up from the illusion.
That is when the original Team 7, now Naruto‘s new Legendary Sannin, sees Madara being betrayed and killed by Zetsu, essentially ending the story of the ancient Uchiha. The Mother of Charaka Kaguya Otsutsuki was then brought to the battlefield, and after her defeat, Naruto and Sasuke had seemly saved the entire world. However, many theorize that Sasuke never really broke free of the Infinite Tsukuyomi, meaning that Naruto and everyone else never woke up from their illusion. The Zetsu betrayal and the arrival of Kaguya would theoretically debunk this theory, but the Infinite Tsukuyomi was cast using the God Tree – a creation of the Otsutsuki themselves. As such, it’s possible that Kaguya’s arrival and plans were nothing but part of an elaborate illusion designed specifically for Naruto and Sasuke, the only two shinobi powerful enough to represent a threat to Madara’s plans.
The Infinite Tsukuyomi Explains Why Boruto Is So Different From Naruto
Every since Boruto started, one of the most criticized parts of the show is how different the world feels compared to that of Naruto. In Boruto, the shinobi world is far more peaceful – to the point that it almost feels like a utopia. The technology is far more advanced, the Leaf Village is more prosperous than it had ever been, and most of the missions that Boruto and his friends attend are far less dangerous than the ones seen during Naruto and Naruto Shippuden. Not only that, but Naruto himself is living the life he always wanted. Naruto is not just the Seventh Hokage, but he also has the family he never had – a wife and two kids.
There are threats and villains in the world of Boruto, but those are mostly restricted to the alien Otsutsuki plotline. The world itself is close to the absolute peace that Madara had promised before casting the Infinite Tsukuyomi. If Naruto never broke free of Madara’s Infinite Tsukuyomi as theorized, then it would make sense for Boruto to be Naruto’s dream of a perfect world.
What The Infinite Tsukuyomi Theory Means For Boruto and Kawaki’s Story
As interesting as this Matrix-like theory is, it certainly raises the question of what the story of Boruto and Kawaki means if it is all part of a simulation. It is interesting to point out how both Boruto and Kawaki became, through different processes, vessels of Otsutsukis – at least from the way Naruto sees it. If everything after the Fourth Great Ninja War is an illusion powered by the God Tree, then perhaps Boruto and Kawaki are also creations of said tree. Such an explanation would make them not exactly real but also not just a complete illusion. That would be a shocking Boruto plot twist, and it would confirm that the battle against Madara in Naruto never ended.
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