It’s been a while since I last felt compelled to recommend an animated movie. This year, I figured it’d be the upcoming Evangelion: 3.0, but looks like I got an extra gift. Read on to see why I really liked the sixth Naruto film,
coinciding with Apple’s release of the sixth iPhone.
Naturally, if you disliked the Naruto series from the beginning this movie will do nothing to change your mind about it. How much enjoyment you derive from the movie is directly proportionate to how well you know the characters, and how up-to-date you are with the series. To give you a rough perspective, I stopped watching the anime very long ago, but kept up with the manga, and it was immensely entertaining.
The story takes place sometime around chapter 500-ish in the manga – except that he’s probably met his mother but not yet learnt how to
use super saiyan mode grab fox chakra. Which is strange considering meeting mom = new powers, but ignore the little inconsistency in the plot here.
Tobi/ Madara/O..” (the masked dude) wants to test a new eye technique, one that sends both Naruto and Sakura into an alternate universe, where Kushina and Minato, Naruto’s parents, never died, and the personalities of many characters are reversed. In that world, they have to confront yet another masked figure in the hopes of returning.
What the movie tries to do, it does well. Most of the personality changes are superficial to the story, but are played to great comedic effect. In the quieter moments you get to peer into Naruto’s inner thoughts and his increasing turmoil as he struggles to accept his parents (whom he understands to be false) and his new identity. Combined with the reactions of the family he never knew, you’ll likely be weepy (or teary-eyed at least). And laughing a moment later.
This was a marked improvement from all previous Naruto Shippuden movies, where the plot largely consisted of one super villain and Naruto sticking his trademark rasengan (and all its variations) into them. Oh, and the heroine of that movie may or may not end up kissing him. 😄
The movie brought back everything that was great about the series (the humour, the emotional ties, the many characters and their skills), and compressed it into a package that fans should never miss. This is one trip down memory lane that’s worth every penny at the cinemas (or on disc).
There’s a reason why it’s the highest grossing Naruto movie ever made, and it’s mostly not due to being able to see a crude and confident Hyuuga Hinata. Mostly.