Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Reason Naruto Fans Hate The Character Change In Boruto

"Boruto: Naruto Next Generations" is no stranger to controversy. 

To be clear, the "Naruto" spin-off and sequel series — which pivots away from Naruto Uzumaki as the main character and focuses on his eldest child, Boruto, while featuring many older versions of the original show's characters — isn't a newcomer to the scene: In fact, not only has "Boruto" already been on as long as "Naruto" was, but it has now surpassed the original in episode count, sitting at over 260 episodes, whereas "Naruto" ended its five-year run with episode 220. However, criticism from fans of the original show is still a very real thing. Many take issue with the anime's pacing, specifically the lack of focus on manga content and the constant filler arcs. Others are primarily bothered by how "Boruto" uses already established "Naruto" characters and reworks them with new designs.

In that regard, the decisions made for one returning "Naruto" character's adult design seem to be an issue with many in the fanbase.

Gaara's flawed character design

Since the release of "Boruto," questionable character designs have plagued the series. And that particularly goes for one figure.

Ever since Gaara's introduction in "Boruto," the character has been the primary focus of fan backlash. As Kazekage, fans have never questioned the character's actions or personality, especially since he isn't as prominent a character as he once was, but the issue arises when looking at his adult design. In fact, fans have gone so far as to redesign Gaara — as well as Naruto and Sasuke — to make their adult versions more similar to their younger ones (via Comicbook.com). And when it comes to Gaara, one of the features that "Naruto" fans dislike is his new hairstyle.

Gaara — a fan-favorite character throughout the original series, responsible for multiple iconic moments that gave fans goosebumps – used to sport short, unkempt bright red hair. The design fit perfectly for him at the time, as he was battling an inner demon, literally. As the character matured, he took on a more professional style while maintaining what originally made him interesting. Fast forward to "Boruto," and the character has gone entirely professional, sporting a perfectly gelled hairstyle and a much darker color palate. The new design made him look much older, but it has also removed many of the aesthetic features that once made him such an exciting and terrifying villain.

Fans have sharp opinions on adult Gaara's design

For an example of how much discussion this topic gets, one has to look no further than a 2020 Reddit post in the Naruto subreddit, where fans discussed their opinions on the character designs found in "Boruto." Sure enough, it did not take long for the thread to become all about Gaara's infamous design, with the fanbase agreeing that the character's new look is a drastic downgrade for the once villain-turned-hero. As u/Anime_Psycho wrote, "Speaking of adult designs, the atrocity that is adult Gaara. They really did my boy dirty." 

Other Redditors remarked that the character's previous design was one of the coolest in "Naruto," which is why they're so upset that "Boruto" ruined it. One fan even argued that they should create an "Allied Anti-Gaara Hairstyle Force" in the comments. Overall, the consensus on the thread was that his new hairstyle is terrible and difficult to watch, with some even going so far as to call it a poor combover. So sadly, when it comes to Gaara, fans appear to feel that he did not age well.