Tag Archives: Hidden Leaf

Review: Naruto Shippuden: The Movie (2007) Anime | My Reviews 22 DEC 2011

I’ve been away from the Naruto franchise for quite a number of years now, and on a spur of the moment decision, decided to pick up Naruto Shippuden: The Movie to give it a spin just for the fun of it. Disappointingly, I found nothing had changed since I last left the series.

Again, the movie is nothing more than a money spinner to empty the wallets of already loyal Naruto fans, and certainly doesn’t do anything for new viewers who might not be all that familiar with the franchise – no character development, no lasting impacts, no real substance – just a lot of varied, over the top fight scenes. However, that said, once again it is an enjoyable standalone adventure with all the classic Naruto humour and action which fans of the series are sure to enjoy – so based on that alone, I would have to say it’s a success then!

The plot revolves around a ninjutsu user who unseals a powerful entity which has previously attempted to destroy the world with its fearsome and unstoppable terracotta army. The protagonist has the entity’s soul locked in his own body, and is now on a race against time to reunite it with its sealed away physical body before the priestess of the Land of Ogres has a chance to destroy it.

This threat is big enough to mobilise all the lands, and Naruto’s Team 7 is no exception, as they are joined by Neji and Rock Lee and tasked with protecting and escorting the priestess to the site of the body in order to prevent the destruction of everything! Just one thing though. The priestess has visions of the future and her latest premonition is simple – Naruto is going to die, and nothing can change this destiny!

Other than some beautifully rendered backgrounds, the animation for the movie is very much the same standard used for the television series, which means it doesn’t stand out as being special at all. Don’t get me wrong, it is pretty decent, but certainly not of the high quality one would expect from a movie outing. One negative thing to note though is the terrible CG used for the terracotta army, coming across as really cheap and low budget and quite honestly, spoiling some of the fight sequences towards the end of the movie.

Soundtrack on the other hand is fantastic, with solid voice acting from all the usual actors and actresses.

Overall, if you are familiar with the Naruto world and enjoy the franchise, then this is certainly worth watching, though as per usual don’t expect anything other than pure Naruto action from it – certainly nothing to affect the main timeline will be taking place. For people outside of the fanbase, this isn’t the best of movies to pick up because it offers so little, but as it goes, if you do like some over the top ninja with unrealistic abilities going at one another, then maybe you’ll get a kick out of it too.

As for me, well ‘meh’ is probably the best way to describe it. Not bad, but I could have continued my hiatus from the franchise and still missed nothing! :P

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naruto_Shippuden:_the_Movie

Naruto (Volume 1) Manga | My Reviews 24 FEB 2008

NarutoThe Tests of the Ninja: In another world, ninja are the ultimate power – and in the village of Konohagakure live the stealthiest ninja in the world. But twelve years ago Konohagakure was attacked by a fearsome threat – a nine-tailed fox demon which claimed the life of the Hokage, the village champion. Today, peace has returned, and a troublemaking orphan named Uzumaki Naruto is struggling to graduate from the Ninja Academy. His goal: to become the next Hokage. But unknown to Naruto and his classmates, within him is a terrifying force…

I seriously doubt there is anyone who knows anything about anime that hasn’t heard of Naruto. Naruto has proved just as (and probably more so) invasive in western countries as Dragonball Z was a couple of years ago. Author/Artist Masashi Kishimoto unleashes this maelstrom upon us way back in 1999 – and it hasn’t looked back since!

Naruto volume 1 introduces us to all the primary characters in the Naruto universe. We’re introduced to the young and plucky, arrogant, untalented, boastful (but with a heart of gold) Naruto who serves as the protagnistic for the series, Sakura who serves as Naruto’s one-sided love interest and the boy ninja genius Sasuke (Sakura’s one-side love interest and Naruto’s chief rival – even if he doesn’t come close in matching up to him!). We learn of the tragedy of Naruto, particularly in reference to the secret of the Nine-tailed Fox, something that no one dares inform Naruto of and then the volume changes pace and we get to chuckle at Naruto’s various antics at the academy (where his is forever failing everything), a couple of romantic high jinks and then finally the forming of the very mismatched training team of Sasuke, Naruto and Sakura, under top ninja Hatake Kakashi.

The story is pretty solid for an opener and introduces all the characters in an extremely fast-paced, comedic writing and is a thoroughly enjoyable starting point for everyone who wants to get in on the global Naruto phenomenon.

Masashi Kishimoto manages to balance physical humour and dramatic elements brilliantly, meaning we get a book that will hold your attention and keep you laughing throughout the story. And because he is the artist on the title as well, we get everything presented to us exactly as he the writer intended, meaning timing, panel layout and composition all meld together seamlessly.

In terms of the book’s artwork, Kishimoto simply does not disappoint in giving us the goods. His characters are extremely detailed and yet at the same time can be presented in just as simple a form for all the usage of deformed art to impact the humour upon us. Instantly likeable characters combined with detailed and well proportioned backgrounds provide us with a thoroughly easy to follow and appreciate work of art – truly Kishimoto is one of the great mangaka of our time.

Naruto is an extremely pleasing book to look at and read, and you’ll find yourself instantly hooked the minute you pick this book up. Read, enjoy – and then go out and buy the rest of the series (which you’ll need to have deep pockets for – this is one series than looks like it may never end!).

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naruto