All right readers, for your benefit, I chose this version of the poster, which eliminates a certain picture that would likely be a pretty big spoiler. Now, you can skip this review without a worry! Once you have finished the manga or finished the anime (Which would be impossible at the moment) feel free to check out this review! I’ll probably be avoiding spoilers for the most part, but some may need to be mentioned at some point. We shall see…..I also typically do not include “The Movie” in the title, but seeing as how this is the final one in the main series, I suppose that I may as well. This film certainly lived up to the hype and it is quite possibly the second best Naruto film to date. I highly recommend checking it out and I’m glad that I got to support it by watching it in theaters last week.
It has been quite a while since the battle to decide the fate of the multiverse. Roughly 2 years I believe. The villages are at peace and war seems to be a thing of the past. Most of the heroes have let themselves go as their new designs are cringeworthy, but this leaves them unprepared for what is about to happen next. After being friend zoned by Naruto (Unintentionally, but still…) Hinata heads home only to discover that her sister has been kidnapped and she’s next. Naruto notices that the villains are heading off with Hinata and quickly dismantles them in a way that would make Vegeta proud. Toneri, the villain behind this, announces that he shall have Hinata as well and heads off. Naruto, Hinata, Shikamaru, Sakura, and Sai give chase and they must find his base as quickly as possible. That’s because…the Moon is going to crash on the planet and wipe out the human race. Naruto can’t let that happen!
Let’s get one of the big things out of the way from the get go…this film has a large romance part to it. You could definitely call this an action romance and you wouldn’t be wrong as the romance is as integral to the plot as the action part. You can imagine that I feigned surprise at this from the first trailer. This simply wasn’t the Naruto that I knew! It’s handled pretty well. They don’t randomly start making out and the film doesn’t give us any cheap fanservice shenanigans. No, it’s all played in a rather classy fashion. One of the big drawbacks about having fanservice is that it does make Naruto act way out of character for good chunks of the film. Since when he has ever cared for romance barring the occasional Sakura reference? Naruto’s more into having fun and brawling and this incarnation of Naruto loses that to an extent. I do think that adding the romance subplot is something that shouldn’t have been done, but it happened and I’ll just have to get used to it. Now that it’s official, it shouldn’t be too bad in the way that I don’t mind Minato/Kushina or Vegeta/Bulma. That being said, Naruto’s personality better now change for the worse in the upcoming Boruto (No, it’s not an asylum parody) film!
Next up, let’s talk about Naruto’s portrayal as a whole. Aside from the whole romance thing, he looks pretty good. The main reason why I liked him so much in this film is that he really wasn’t messing around. When the village was attacked by the enemy, Naruto quickly threw himself into the action. A lesser film would have had him be defeated rather easily, but this film went the logical route and Naruto wrecked them pretty easily. Naruto is the hero who saved the universe and there should not be a single being who can stand up to him at this point. Seriously, Naruto should easily outrank everyone in speed as well as strength. To help make things a little more fair, Naruto doesn’t use his Chakra mode or Nine Tailed Fox until the very end, but I’m glad that Naruto was still winning with ease.
He’s surprisingly brutal as he takes off someone’s leg with one of his attacks and splits many people in half. There is a twist though so Naruto is still the good ole hero that we once knew. This is a time where I probably would not have indeed either way though as he was helping a friend and was not so much aiming to kill as he was just making sure to recover her. (I don’t want to take a shot at Mario, but he does let Peach get kidnapped a whole lot…) The only part of the film where Naruto looks pretty bad is when he gets depressed after being rejected. Again, we can blame this on the romance part as this should have never happened. It was the most out of character thing for Naruto to do and it was pretty sad. Beyond that, this was a good portrayal of Naruto, the hero.
Hinata is finally trying to express her feelings for Naruto, but it’s a tough road since many have already beat her to the punch. She tries to put this to the side as the heroes head in to save her sister, but she finds this difficult. She continues to try and knit a scarf throughout the film and we learn why it is so important thanks to the beginning flashbacks. (Where Naruto looked underpowered…but I’ll accept that for now) She does make some really frustrating decisions like deciding to go with Toneri to find her sister though and this made her hard to root for at times. She really didn’t plan this out and her plan was doomed from the start. I also like to think that she could have beaten the minions at the beginning, but I suppose that they aren’t pushovers, Naruto just makes them look that way. We have to remember that Naruto is so much stronger than the rest of the villagers that teaming up, I doubt that could defeat him at this point. Hinata is still a likable character, but as far as heroines go, I prefer Sakura. Hinata’s future could be looking up though since she’s trying to come out of her shell more and more. I believe that the ending should have helped out with that in a big way. (There is an after credits scene so you should stick around)
Toneri wants to destroy the Earth and he has a good reason for it. Someone told him to do this! Unfortunately, he wants Hinata to be his pride and that’s where he goes downhill. He actually thought that she was making him a scarf, which is pretty naive. He’s also very full of himself. As a character, he’s certainly not great, but as a villain he definitely works. His final form is like something out of Gurren Lagann and he puts up a tremendous fight. He’s like a mini, guy version of Kaguya! His voice was also nice and menacing. He didn’t have a really big final form like you would expect, but this one was streamlined, which makes it all worth it. He could have been better if not for the ole romance part of his personality, but he was a cool way to end Naruto’s long array of battles.
Fans will be disappointed that Sasuke’s role is extremely small. The audience still cheered whenever he appeared on screen, but you could tell that everyone was hoping he would fight more. He got to destroy a large meteor and then he left again, but the film missed a big chance to make him help the heroes. With his new abilities, he could have instantly warped to the moon without a problem. It would have been awesome to have seen him defeat Toneri. Ah well, maybe he’ll get to fight a little more in the next main Naruto film. It could be a while, but let’s face it, the cast of Naruto shall be back at some point!
I need to talk about some of the friends as well since some of the other characters looked pretty bad. The Raikage is a great example of this as he decides that if destroying Naruto is the riskiest way to save the planet…so be it! That may have flied back in the day when the Raikage was a villain, but he’s supposed to be a hero right? This just looks incredibly pretty and this makes it really hard to ever like him as a character. The other Kage are also powerless to stop him, which makes them all look rather weak. Killer Bee looks good since he stands by Naruto until the very end. The other supporting characters are mostly just there and don’t get a whole lot to do. Kakashi’s new “hunch” gimmick isn’t bad and I don’t mind if he keeps that around. Seeing him fight a little bit would have been nice, but I suppose that it was too much to hope for. This isn’t your average filler film where everyone jumps in with their special attacks after all. It’s mostly about Naruto and that’s fine since this is the end of the road. Fans of the Nine Tailed Fox will be happy to see him appear, but he looks pretty bad during his fight. He has his moment at the end, but it’s still disappointing to see him struggle so much against your average rock giant. The longer that he is out, the longer that Naruto is left without him as well. Naruto would have crushed Toneri a lot sooner if it had been the two of them against him.
The character designs also deserve a mention since I really don’t like any of them. That’s right, all of the new character designs barring Toneri’s look pretty bad. I definitely can’t dig Sasuke’s new cape and most of the other characters suffer from similar fate. Some characters like Sakura, Kakashi, and Ino are basically sparred since their designs didn’t really change, but others like Kiba and Naruto’s can be tough to watch. Naruto has one moment during the ramen scene where he just looks so big and buff that you’ll have to do a double take. The animation keeps away from that angle after that, but it’ll still take you by surprise. If I can ever get used to a new design, it’ll likely be Naruto’s, but I’m still going to miss the older ones. Plus, I’ll probably just associate Naruto’s new design with the romance plot, which won’t help his case.
Beyond the designs, the fight scenes are incredible. The villains all use energy blast techniques, which is new to the Naruto franchise. (For the most part) It makes for some great visuals and the final fight is really like a DBZ battle as Naruto and Toneri are essentially flying across the planet and really knocking each other with everything that they have. Planets are sliced in half and Naruto proves that he can match Ichigo’s energy feat by blocking a planet busting laser with his hand. He’s certainly improved since the old says to be sure. Naruto still has his traditional Rasengans, (Which he uses to vaporize one of the minions) but now he tends to use the Chakra Rasengan as well as the Rasenshuriken instead. It takes up more chakra, but Naruto has an almost limitless supply of that at this point and the power increase is dramatic. Again, you may attribute it to plot hax that Naruto doesn’t think to use his Chakra Mode until the very end of the film even when it may have helped against Toneri in round 1, but no hero goes all out in the beginning. Ichigo usually does, but even he has his moments where he just feels his opponent out first. It goes without saying that the animation is top notch here. So, even when there is no fight scene taking place, the village has never looked so good. It now looks a little more like Tokyo and it has certainly become modernized. You may wonder how things could have changed so quickly in such a time frame, but these are ninja who move at lightspeed so it’s not impossible.
Oh yeah, one scene that was a little iffy involves someone taking out someone’s eyes. I think that was rather unnecessary and even Toneri doing it to one of the heroes was a bit much. The Naruto franchise has always had a thing for transplanting eyes, but I certainly could have done without it. It’s one of those things that you don’t even want to remember since that would be way too painful. Ugh…..Ugu! Well, at least it’s just one scene right?
If I had to grasp at another negative, it would be that some flashbacks happen way too many times. I’m mainly talking about the Iruka one where the moon is said to be falling down. It appeared a few times in rapid succession along with a few others. I probably would have preferred them to have only happened once, a second time if necessary. Also, the scene leads into some plot hax since Naruto can’t break out of a simple genjutsu. That’s why he has the Fox with him right? Hmmmmmm….
This is hardly your average review though so instead of dividing it into positives and negatives, I’ve scattered them throughout the review. Based on the rating, you can tell that the positives do heavily outweigh the negatives though which is a good thing. Some things will be a little odd like Naruto not healing Might Guy, but I’ll just have to accept that Naruto doesn’t want to heal everyone. It’s similar to Gurren Lagann’s ending in that sense if you think about it. Defying fate is not something that is for every hero to do. I also think that destroying the Moon when it came crashing down shouldn’t be a problem for the heroes, but let’s talk about the power levels besides that little part. (Still an inaccuracy if you ask me)
Now, where do these guys rank power level wise? Naruto and Sasuke are the only two heroes who are much stronger than they used to be, but Sasuke doesn’t get many feats so I won’t discuss him much. With his eye abilities plus his physical strength, Sasuke should still be a match for someone like an Espada, but it’s a battle with many variables. As for Naruto, I think it’s safe to say that this places him at around Tsuna’s level and he could probably give SSJ1 Goku a good fight from the Frieza arc. It’s still a little much to say that he could defeat someone like Cell or SSJ2 Goku, but he’s certainly moved up. Keep in mind that Naruto doesn’t have his strongest form anymore so if you imagine how strong that one would be with his current stats, the possibilities certainly grow! I don’t believe that Toneri is as strong as Madara or Obito’s final form, but he did look more impressive than Kaguya. I’m satisfied with that although I still think that Naruto should have probably had the upper hand a little sooner.
Overall, This was a fun way to end the Naruto franchise. It was pretty heavy with the romance, but it certainly could have been worse and hopefully now the fans can accept what I always knew, that Naruto and Sakura are just friends along with everyone else. Being stuck in the friend zone is a good thing after all. The fights in this film are incredible and in that area, it certainly is the best Naruto film. The battles seriously keep up with Battle of Gods and this film was infinitely more satisfying. Battle of Gods left a bad taste in my mouth with the ending and I’ll probably never get over that or my dislike of Bills. Of course, the real question is whether or not this will be able to defeat Rebirth of F. It’s hard to say, but the problem is that for DBZ is that it seems to have less of a theatrical feal to it compared to Naruto. Naruto has the overwhelming edge in its soundtrack and I dare say that the animation is superior as well. If DBZ brings its A game, it should still have a good chance at winning this round, but we’ll have to see. Naruto definitely won’t go down easily. I highly recommend checking this film out and I don’t see why any Naruto fan would skip it. If you have not seen anything Naruto related before, this could be a good film to check out and then you can watch the shows as a prequel instead of watching it first. How’s that sound? Just be aware that the rest of the series won’t be quite as high tier. Also, it should be noted that Age of Ultron has now been dethroned for this year. There is literally no way that it can be better than this Naruto film. Unless Rebirth of F can top it, nothing will. This is why I’m glad that the film had a theatrical feel that many anime films do not, this way the general audience can recognize it as being epic as well as the true anime fans.