The fourth great ninja war is over. Naruto and Sasuke have battled, weddings happened, children were born and a brand-new generation in the ninja world has begun! Boruto: Naurto The Movie is centered around Boruto Uzumaki, Naruto’s son, with some familiar faces, but did it capture the spirit of the Naruto franchise?
The movie opens up with Sasuke fighting against an unknown opponent that bears a striking resemblance to Kaguya… or at least it does in the attire department. After the short scuffle the opening hits and we transition to Boruto, Sarada and Mitsuki on a mission to take down a bear. Afterwards we are introduced to a new type of technology that allows people to inscribe a jutsu on a miniature scroll. This scroll is placed into a device that you wear on your wrist and the person can then use that jutsu without spending any chakra.
The head of the Konoha research department, Kuusuke, tries to sell Naruto on using the technology during the Chuunin exams, but Naruto refuses to allow it. Meanwhile, Boruto is getting ready to celebrate his sister Himawari’s birthday. Naruto shows up, but is just nothing more than a shadow clone. This angers Boruto because his father is never around due to his duties as the Hokage. Sasuke comes to report the situation from the beginning of the film and runs into Boruto. After some discussion, Sasuke agrees to become Boruto’s master.
Boruto doesn’t make much progress and ends up running into Kuusuke. He talks him into using the technology during the chuunin exams, but he’s eventually discovered by Naruto and is disqualified. Right as that happens, the two Kaguya-looking people, Momoshiki and Kinoshiki Otsutsuki, show up and kidnap Naruto. Boruto tags along with Sasuke as they chase after them on a rescue mission. The two from the Otsutsuki clan are defeated and the movie comes to an end with Boruto finally gaining an understanding of the importance of his father.
Overall, the movie was a LOT better than -The Last- Naruto: The Movie. I liked how things have come full circle with the Naruto series. While some may complain that using the chuunin exams is just copying the original, it makes complete and total sense. The Chuunin exams are a staple in Konoha and they’re held every year. The film merely showed that tradition continued forward even after the fourth great ninja war.
The introduction of the two members of the Otsutsuku Clan was interesting as well. We know from the anime that Kaguya did belong to a clan and that more would be coming. We two of them here in Kinshiki and Momoshiki, but it still raises the question of how many more are there and would they also be making the trip to the Land of Fire? While they were powerful in their own right, I don’t believe they came off as strong as Kaguya did during the main series. Although the way they were defeated was reminiscent of the older Naruto movies. It was a beautiful callback and I’m happy with the way they chose to end the fight!
Boruto is a mixture of his own personality as well as his father. While Naruto was angry at his parents for leaving him alone in the world with the nine-tailed fox sealed inside of him, Boruto is mainly angry with his father for never being around… especially for life’s more important moments. Boruto doesn’t understand the gravity and responsibility of being the Hokage. Characters like this need more than a movie to develop, but it had some pretty solid foundations. With the anime taking an original story route, we can only rely on the manga to see how Boruto is going to end up developing. Interesting how he scratched out his Konoha headband so quickly, though.
Outside of Boruto, none of the other characters really got much development. We were introduced to new characters like Sarada, Shikadai, Mitsuki, Chouchou and Himawari, but the majority of the focus was on Boruto himself. So much so that these new characters just felt like they were in the background most of the time. While we did get a couple of great fights during the Chuunin exams, it’s hardly enough to truly develop them.
The rest of the cast was rounded out by all of your returning favorites. Naruto definitely seemed way more mature in the film. It was odd not seeing him just run around and shout out randomness. All the characters as adults just look odd because we are so used to seeing them as teenagers. Naruto and Sasuke received a lot of attention as well, as expected because they needed something to help connect audiences to the new characters and help ease them into the new story and setting.
The Otsutsuki Clan members were not really all that convincing. I understand why they are there and why they kidnapped Naruto, but even Kaguya lasted longer than the two of them. Toneri from the previous movie made a better villain and he was average at best. At least they ended up giving us a good fight.
Momoshiki and Kinoshiki Otsutsuki
Art, Animation & Sound
My hats off to Studio Pierrot. After some of the worst animation I’ve seen in anime with the Pain vs Naruto fight, it shows that they can pull off something amazing when they put forth actual effort. Seeing their work in 1080p on Blu-ray made it even better as the animation was fluid, the CG looked beautiful and the final fight just looked absolutely amazing. There was a definite step up in quality over the standard fare we’re used to seeing in Naruto: Shippuuden (although there were some episodes, like the Chakra series, that did get some extra special love and attention.)
The soundtrack was what you would expect out of a Naruto film. Even though they recycled some songs from the main series, it still fits and it still works. Despite all the negativity surrounding the fillers, the animation quality, or how the series was adapted, Naruto still has one of the best soundtracks in anime. Using that here in the Boruto movie is a good choice because it still offers something familiar when easing people into something that’s completely new. It’s all about balance and the Boruto Movie got that right, in my opinion.
Since this is a Blu-ray, we had several nice extra features. First off was a Boruto OVA in which Naruto is being sworn in as the 7th Hokage and is late due to an argument between Boruto and Himawari. Himawari wanted to bring her stuffed animal, but Boruto said there was no point. Well, in predictable fashion, the animal ripped and Himawari activated the Byakugan! She chased after Boruto, but accidentally hit Naruto in a chakra point, knocking him out cold! This left Konohamaru to use a transformation jutsu and get sworn in for Naruto in hilarious fashion! It was about a 10 minute OVA and it was a nice little side story. Pretty funny to think that, technically, Konohamaru is the seventh hokage!
The next feature is some really nice artwork. We get to see sketches of the characters, actual character sheets, sketches of backgrounds and full painted and rendered backgrounds! There’s a lot of art content here and It’s just amazing to look at!
Sadly, I can’t say the same for the Storyboards section. There’s only enough storyboards to count on one hand, but it’s pretty interesting to see how things are laid out for animations like this one.
Finally, we get a creditless ending which is pretty self-explanatory.
Some pretty nice extra features. Adding the OVA was a nice touch and I’m always a sucker for artwork. Sadly, we don’t have any interviews with the cast, but at the same time, I’m kind of glad we didn’t. It seems cast interviews is always a cop out for a special feature so to see something different, it’s quite refreshing!
The English audio track is, surprisingly, pretty well-done. I’m an advocate for subs over dubs, but none of the voices really bothered me all that much. Boruto’s English voice seemed perfect for his character while Himawari’s was cute at first, but I found it a bit grating and annoying when she got angry. Hinata’s was a little on a dry side and she seemed a bit more emotionless than normal. Sasuke is always Sasuke as Yuri Lowenthal does another great job with him and Gaara will always be Illidan Stormrage to me (love Liam O’Brien!). I think the English cast did a good enough job to where subbed or dubbed, you will enjoy the voice work in the movie.
This was probably one of the better Naruto movies produced. The last couple of films felt like they were just mailing it in for the sake of having another movie in the franchise, but Boruto: Naruto the Movie delivers quite well. Despite some of the dryness of the characters, it paid some nice homages to the original series while offering up a smooth transition into the next generation.
I still can’t say enough good things about the final fight. Some of the moments gave me goosebumps and the giant rasengan was the penultimate end that couldn’t have been pulled off any better. I was intrigued about the new tools from the science lab and can understand why people would be against them, but at the same time, technology will always move forward and think the characters should have been a bit more open-minded.
Although I didn’t touch upon it in the story/characters to avoid spoilers… I liked who Mitsuki ended up being. It also raises a lot of questions such as… who in their right mind procreated (or was subjected to experiment) with a certain someone?
If you are a fan of the Naruto franchise, this is a must-see movie. I really believe it did the main series justice and helped usher in a new age! Also, since the Boruto: Naruto Next Generations anime is going the original story route, this will give you a great idea of what the canon material truly is like.
Like my review? Hate it? Have something for me that I should look at and review? Drop me a line at email@example.com. Also, if you feel inclined to do so, follow me on Twitter @TheAnimePulse
Until next time,
**A review copy of this movie was provided by VIZ Media
Boruto: Naruto the Movie
A well-done passing of the torch from the end of an era to the beginning to another. There was a great balance of old and new and the fights were something to marvel at. However; the lack of character development and some of the flat points of the story hold this back from being a true masterpiece.