Naruto Looks as Adult: Why So Much Hate?

Here’s why so many hate how Naruto looks like an adult:

Most of the complaints pertain to Naruto’s portrayal in Boruto.

This version of Naruto portrays him as middle-aged, and a lot of fans don’t like the reduced detail in his drawing and the general aesthetic.

Many fans prefer younger versions of adult Naruto by large margins.

So if you want to learn all about why the “adult Naruto” gets a lot of hate, then this article is for you.

Let’s get right into it!

Naruto Looks as Adult: Why So Much Hate? (4 Versions)

What Period of Time Are We Talking About? (4 Versions)

You might have a clear image in mind of the Naruto version that you don’t like, but the truth is that not everyone agrees on this.

In fact, not everyone agrees on when Naruto is officially an adult.

In Japan, 15 was once seen as the start of adulthood, so 15-year-old characters are often portrayed as fully grown adults.

For Naruto, this age happened at the beginning of Shippuden, and even though Shippuden covers a significant period of time, Naruto doesn’t physically grow through the series.

Despite that, there are some significant changes to his appearance in movies that take place after the end of Shippuden, and that happens again in Boruto.

So, there are effectively three or more different iterations of adult Naruto.

Which one do people hate so much?

#1 Beginning of Shippuden

I mentioned before that some consider Naruto’s adulthood technically begins at the start of Shippuden.

He clearly looks older than at the end of the original anime, and his character got a substantial update.

But, this isn’t the most common opinion.

Even though Naruto is the age of majority and is represented as a physical adult from the beginning of Shippuden, the consensus is more that he’s a young adult.

Moreover, most of the people complaining on the internet aren’t talking about this design of the character.

If you happen to think that this is the adult Naruto version that you hate, that’s all well and good, but I’m not going to be referencing this as “adult Naruto” for the rest of this article.

#2 End of Shippuden

It’s not perfectly clear how long the events of Shippuden take within the story, but most people are comfortable calling it a timeframe of about two years.

If Naruto is 15 at the start of the series, then he is 17 when the saga continues and he has his final showdown with Sasuke. 

There are epilogue-esque episodes that wind down the series, and that’s also worth considering.

If you think 17-year-old Naruto at the end of Shippuden is an adult, then you probably like the way he looks.

This still isn’t the version of Naruto that gets so much hate.

Even at the end of the epilogue, Naruto is a bit older, and most of the fan base is ok with his aesthetic.

So, we still haven’t found the version of adult Naruto that has so many people up in arms.

#3 Movies

After the Ned of Shippuden, there are a number of movies that feature an adult Naruto.

These range in plot lines and timelines, but Naruto is definitely older in some of these than he was even in the epilogue of Shippuden.

Despite that, we’re still not into the hated version of adult Naruto.

Now, some movies take place much later than the others, and they might include the disliked aesthetic.

But for the most part, I’m saying that the movies still aren’t where you find the hated version of the character.

#4 Boruto

At last, we come to Boruto.

This is the series about Naruto’s son (named Boruto).

At the very start of the series, Naruto is years into his service as Hokage.

His youngest child is several years old, and he has aged noticeably since the end of Shippuden.

This is the version.

Naruto looks considerably different in this iteration, and it’s the one that garners so much backlash from the fan base.

Now that we know which version of Naruto is so hated, we can get into the reasons why.

What Do People Dislike About the Adult Naruto Look? (4 Things)

There are several versions of Naruto that arguably show him as an adult, and fans seem to really like each of them.

Why is the Boruto version so different?

What do fans dislike about it so much?

To generalize, Naruto looks less like a world-changing ninja and more like an average dad in his own world, and I think that is by design.

I don’t know the animators of Bortuo, and they haven’t fully explained their motivations in public statements, but Boruto’s dad just gives off middle-aged dad vibes.

You expect him to crack a cheesy dad joke every time he talks.

I’m a little surprised they didn’t dress him in cargo shorts.

I would argue that the general aesthetic is what turns fans off so much.

However, if you want to be technical about this, there are a few specific visual changes that were made to Naruto in Boruto.

And those are the subject of the majority of complaints I have found.

#1 The Haircut

It might seem silly, but Naruto’s haircut as Boruto’s dad is probably what gets the most complaints from the fan base, and there are some reasons for this.

First, his hair looks nothing like what people expected.

If you look at fan art, you’ll find pictures where fans envisioned longer hair for Naruto, a lot closer in style to the 4th Hokage (his dad). 

Instead of that, Naruto’s hair is short and under styled.

Even from a drawing perspective, it’s less detailed and more physically awkward than anything fans had seen before.

Maybe the production team wanted to portray Naruto as an awkward middle-aged dad.

If so, they nailed it, and much of the fan base is not having it.

Any way you look at it, Hokage Naruto seems to be a less aesthetically cool version of the character.

#2 His Face

Unfortunately, the hate doesn’t stop with his hair.

There are two major changes to Naruto’s face in the Boruto incarnation.

First, his blue eyes are a lot more pronounced.

It’s not necessarily a bad change, but it is a noticeable change.

As you might already know, devout fans of a thing often dislike any change, even when it’s not a bad change, and that seems to be the case with Naruto’s blue eyes.

The second major change is that Naruto no longer wears a forehead protector.

This is an interesting choice on the part of the animation team.

The original drawings of Naruto had him wearing goggles on his head.

This is because the original artist (Kishimoto) felt like Naruto’s forehead looked awkward no matter how he drew it.

So, he hid the forehead behind goggles.

He then decided that ninjas in the universe would typically wear forehead protectors.

The entire aesthetic of the ninja universe was designed to hide foreheads.

Yet, in Boruto, the animators decided to put that forehead on full display.

Let’s just say it was a bold move, and not one that fans adored.

#3 His Outfit

Naruto’s outfit changes in Boruto.

This didn’t come as a complete surprise to fans.

Naruto’s outfit had changed a couple of times before, and the changes were largely well received.

Fans expected Naruto to wear different clothes as an adult and as the Hokage.

Still, what they got was disappointing to many.

Naruto’s new outfit keeps the traditional color scheme, and he’s still wearing his signature Bruce Lee orange.

But, the overall clothing aesthetic is less defined and detailed.

Again, from a pure drawing perspective, it’s like they wanted less to draw when they designed adult Naruto.

I can’t tell you what the motivation was, but fans noticed the reduced detail, and they have voiced many a complaint.

#4 Comparison

This might be the biggest reason people complain about the look of adult Naruto.

For some people, any change is a bad change.

They never would have been satisfied with adult Naruto, and there’s no fixing it.

Even if you aren’t in that camp, you might find adult Naruto lacking if you compare him to earlier versions.

One of the best examples is to look at Naruto’s powered-up forms.

Late into Shippuden, he masters the kyuubi mode.

This completely changes how he looks, and most fans of the series think it looks awesome.

You can say similar things about six paths mode and sage mode.

At the end of Shippuden, Naruto was spending more time in these powered-up forms than his normal form, and people got used to it.

In Boruto, he still has and uses these forms, but he spends a lot more time as his regular self.

It’s less cool, and it certainly seems to be less cool by design.

Even though Naruto is one of the main protagonists, the show is about Boruto, and de-emphasizing how cool Naruto looks is a way to boost Boruto by comparison.

Whether you compare Naruto to his previous forms, to Boruto, or to the expectations you had in your head, the version you actually get seems like a disappointment.

Does that mean you’re in the wrong for making the comparison?

Are the animators wrong for debating expectations so much?

Maybe, no one is wrong, and the adult version of Naruto just isn’t as aesthetically pleasing.

It’s hard to say, but one thing is certain.

Adult Naruto really only looks worse when you compare him to something you like better.