Boruto: Naruto the Movie review

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Spoilers of the main NARUTO storyline exists in this review. You have been warned.

When I first heard about the announcement of BORUTO: NARUTO the movie, a cloud of dread surfaced over me. After the main series concluded on such a satisfying note, anything else beyond it feels like desperate attempts to piggyback on the successes of the series. However with the script penned by Kishimoto himself, I watched on with cautious optimism.

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As the movie title so directly hints, BORUTO centers the spotlight onto Naruto’s oldest child, Boruto Uzumaki, after the events of the main series. The movie starts out with bang with Sasuke fighting an unknown bad guy, whom we saw little screen time in THE LAST. Before you know it, the movie jumps back into the familiar Hidden Leaf village. Boruto along with teammates Sarada and Mitsuki performs missions around the village as genin (rookie ninjas). Besides living a relatively easy life, Boruto has yet to understand the sacrifices of the past generation and thus becomes quite a spoiled brat. The film quickly establishes Boruto’s rocky relationship with his father except Naruto’s now a workaholic that has little time for his family. Chained to his office, Naruto resorts to Shadow Clones to multi-task his life which doesn’t sit well with his son, especially on the day of his sister’s birthday. After Naruto fails to attend Himawari’s birthday, Boruto figures the best way to get back at him latching onto his father’s longtime rival, Sasuke Uchida as his apprentice. Hoping Sasuke would divulge something to use against Naruto, Boruto learns the Rasengan as the condition of being Sasuke’s disciple. Trying to best his father becomes his main motivation to the central plot.

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BORUTO is scripted by none other than the creator himself, Masashi Kishimoto. Despite having limited screenplay experience (his previous works being ROAD to NINJA, and THE LAST), Kishimoto crafts a world that has seen rapid innovation. With that change brings a substantial technological revolution. What really captivated me was the sense of evolution of technology shown in the film reflects things you’d see in today’s society: large outdoor televisions, personal computers, and cell phones. How it uses in the film masterfully illustrates the rift between Boruto and Naruto during the Chunin exam segment.

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In keeping in line with previous movies, BORUTO’s quality of animation is stellar from start to finish. Battles spare no expenses in scale and feature some of the best fights the series has seen yet with one particular scene seemed intended for a certain audience. Unfortunately with Boruto, Naruto and Sasuke as the focus of the movie, the other characters are relegated to the sidelines. This is especially an issue when Mitsuki and Sarada are set up to only push Boruto along.

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Once again, the villains become a little more than an afterthought in the film. As members of the same clan as Kaguya, Momoshiki and Kinshiki invade the ninja world in order to capture the Tailed Beasts. Their motives are as cookie-cutter as they come. It would have been nice to learn a little more about Kaguya’s origins, but the movie relegates as nothing more than a vehicle to mend Boruto and Naruto’s relationship. At no point in the film did the villains felt truly threatening, thanks to how incredibly powerful our characters had become over the course of the series.

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All in all, BORUTO felt like a fantastic extended epilogue to a series that has captivated the world. It’s story that’s typical of a father-son redemption that Kishimoto himself said was inspired by his own relationship with his children that relates in ways like our society today. Naruto‘s story often gets convoluted at times, but it is surprising down-to-earth story coupled with a detailed animation. The movie is a great send off that fans should not miss.

Rating: 4/5 Atoms

NR 4 Atoms - B(1)

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