The whole idea of the younger generation surpassing the older generation has been the focal point of the Naruto series. As Shippuden ended with Naruto and Sasuke as the strongest ninjas, something had to be done to support the primary idea. Boruto: Naruto Next Generations dealt with the problem by nerfing the old characters.
Nerfing stings so much because the characters you are so invested in suddenly become weak for the convenience of the plot. Here’s a list of the Top 5 nerfs in Boruto:
Back in Naruto Shippuden, Hinata resolved to be a strong shinobi multiple times. Yet the character’s potential has not been explored at all. She is also left out of almost all the important events making her an insignificant character. And if present it’s just for the sake of it.
Hinata had no knowledge of Boruto dying and getting revived again. Hinata’s character is weakened both strength and persona-wise.
Shikamaru became a fan favorite with his contribution to the war and the Hidan-Kakuzu arc. He was always the voice of reason and the strategist in situations that unnerved everyone around him. Whereas in Boruto, he is often seen losing his cool. He’s unable to be as quick and as strategic as he previously was. There’s also a tint of arrogance to his character.
Shikamaru has time and again proved his superior IQ but it just doesn’t seem to work anymore.
Konohamaru almost became insignificant along with being nerfed. The character has immense potential. He defeated one of the six paths of Pain all by himself at the age of 12. He could use the Rasengan fairly early. Seeing the current state of Konohamaru puts him on the level of a first-class Jonin at most. All his students have surpassed him or will do it shortly.
Konohamaru had high aspirations like becoming the Hokage but at his current level, the dream doesn’t seem like one within his reach.
Sasuke never stopped fighting, always getting a fair share of training in his routine. Exploring the outsides as the detective of the village while annihilating enemies is what the shadow hokage has been doing. Still, he managed to lose his strongest weapon, the rinnegan.
The lack of chakra reserves is also a gimmick used to sabotage his potential as the strongest shinobi besides the Seventh Hokage. Kakashi’s character followed a similar pattern with limited chakra in the Shippuden series.
Naruto lost his partner, Kurama. They had fought every fight together for as long as we have known. Being a member of the Uzumaki clan, he has enormous chakra along with sage mode and chakra transformation at his dispense. Not entirely but even becoming the Hokage was a possible feat because of Kurama’s aid.
The nine tail’s chakra proved indispensable during the war. Naruto is one of the strongest shinobi even now, but without Kurama, his choice of attack becomes limited along with nerfed chakra reserves. Somehow Naruto has managed to get heavily hurt in almost every fight he has fought in Boruto.
The villains in Boruto are overpowered and beyond the human-shinobi spectrum. Nerfing wasn’t necessary to portray the villains as stronger, they are unmatched without any extra effort being put in. The villains could be disregarded, but the sheer speed at which the new generation is progressing is unbelievable and puts the old characters in a worse light leaving a bad aftertaste for the fans.