Every Naruto and Boruto fan has some characters whose designs they absolutely love. The series is filled with some amazing visuals that perfectly fit the Shinobi world our favorite ninjas inhabit. However, not all designs have been received with the same level of enthusiasm by fans.
Throughout the original series and its sequel, there have been some creative decisions that should have been looked over again before allowing them into either Naruto or Boruto‘s worlds. In this list, we will present 10 judgments of the creative team that led to some questionable design choices.
Disclaimer: This article reflects the author’s opinion and will contain spoilers for the Boruto manga.
Anko’s outfit and 9 other polemic designs in Naruto and Boruto
1) Naruto: Orochimaru snake mode
Orochimaru was arguably one of the coolest looking villains inside the original series. His creepy vibes and snake theme scared plenty of kids. His fighting style was never the flashiest, but it was elegant and strategic, something that fans truly appreciated.
When his real form was revealed during his fight against Sasuke, many fans were disappointed and driven away from the series because of his design. Instead of being scary and imposing, he looked kind of silly.
This design turned the slender and agile Sanin into a gigantic monster made of smaller snakes, which was not well received by the viewers.
2) Boruto: Sarada’s original manga design
Historically, one of the best weapons in a Kunoichi’s arsenal is her power to seduce men. However, this is not an excuse to over-s*xual*ze a minor in a series created for a younger audience. Sarada’s original design in the manga is a little raunchy at best and overtly creepy at worst.
She was constantly wearing revealing clothes and high heels that would not make her job as a ninja any easier. After many fans voiced their complaints, her clothes and appearance were changed to something more fitting for a minor, a choice that should have been made from the beginning.
3) Naruto: Cursed Mark Stage 2 Sasuke
The Cursed Mark Orochimaru imbued Sasuke with early in the original series was a major plot point that fans really enjoyed, at least until the second stage, when the transformation associated with it was revealed.
Most of the second stages of the series were pretty cool and represented the characters associated with them perfectly. Sasuke's second stage, however, looked goofy and vampire-like, and had nothing to do with his original design. It was awkward to look at, and many fans still think it is one of the worst transformations in the franchise.
4) Boruto: Shino Aburame
Although he was not a prevalent character in the original series, Shino’s design was one of the coolest looks of all the members in the Konoha 11. He was mysterious, always hiding his appearance behind a hood and some shades.
A few years later, Boruto revamped his design. Instead of being the enigmatic and collected individual he used to be, Shino started looking like a rejected character from a sci-fi movie. Fans were not happy when they saw this design for the first time, and considering it has not changed, they are still angry about this.
5) Naruto: S*xy Jutsu
Some of the Kunoishi's original outfits were definitely a little too risqué for a children’s show. Yet, the worst offender inside the original series for showing too much skin is definitely Naruto’s S*xy Jutsu. This technique was mostly used as a joke during the first half of the series, but it was not funny for many parents.
When the protagonist uses this Jutsu, his entire body transforms into that of a naked woman very similar to the Uzumaki boy. The only thing preventing this design from being entirely too inappropriate for kids is a couple of smoke clouds that manifest around her body.
Nevertheless, these clouds did little to nothing to prevent parents from being shocked by what their kids were watching.
6) Boruto: Rock Lee
Rock Lee has always been a fan-favorite character in the franchise for as long as fans have known him. This intrepid and dedicated ninja was always training to overcome his own weaknesses, and even if his outfit was not the most appealing, people loved how it fit his character perfectly.
When he was introduced again in the sequel series, the design choices made for his character shocked and angered a lot of fans. It looks like he has not eaten at all since the end of the Fourth Great Ninja War. Not only does he look starved, but the only major changes in his outfit are the ripped sleeves and an orange scarf that does not look good on him.
7) Naruto: Kabuto Sage mode
For most of the original series, Kabuto’s design was simple but effective. He was inconspicuous enough that a few ninjas would suspect him of being a spy. But his glasses and permanent smirk were proof enough that he was hiding something.
After Orochimaru’s supposed death, fans were excited for Kabuto to take the place of his former teacher, until they saw the abomination of a design created for this form. A giant snake comes out of his abdomen and he has snake-like features that looks creepy, intimidating, and weird at the same time. This design is not the worst, but it did not sit well with many fans for a long time.
8) Boruto: Anko Mitarashi
Anko was not on screen as much as other female members of the original series, but her design and personality were still unique enough to gain her a hefty following. Her confident and brash behavior and her backstory as Orochimaru's pupil made her one of the coolest ladies in Konoha.
Sadly for her fans, the sequel series uses her mostly for weight-related jokes and not much more. She went from a slender and athletic woman to an overweight old lady, which would not be a problem for most fans if it was taken as a natural progression of her character instead of a poor taste gag inside the series.
9) Naruto: Onoki
There is a running joke amongst fans of the original series that says Onoki does not have a nose. Instead, he has a weird-looking strawberry. The second Tsuchikage is a great leader for his people, but his character design is nowhere near as good as his leadership skills.
He has been referenced as a troll for his weird-looking design, even in official material for the series. Over time, his appearance has become more tolerated by the fanbase, unlike in the beginning where people questioned why a character like him was created.
10) Boruto: Gaara
Out of all the Shinobi from Sunagakure introduced to fans in the original series, Gaara is arguably the most iconic and well liked. He was one of the most well-developed ones in the series, with outfit changes that represented the different stages he went through.
At first, he was dressed like the crazy psychopath he was raised as, but as he changed, his clothes became more tamed and stylish. Regardless, his new design in the sequel series is one of the most divisive yet.
Some people love how he looks like the dignified diplomat he is, while others complain it took away from his personality. Whatever opinion fans may have about his clothes, they all agree that his new hairstyle is probably the worst decision they could have made for this updated design.