Please note the review below may contain minor spoilers - I've done my best to keep them to a minimum.
With the Naruto story within manga-form having already ended and the anime itself slowly coming to a close, Boruto: The Naruto Movie offers us a
glimpse into a possible future for the franchise following Naruto’s young son, Boruto.
Taking place long after the events of the anime, Naruto (Junko Takeuchi) is now the very busy 7th Hokage of the Hidden Leaf Village, using his shadow
clones - ala Dr. Manhattan in Watchmen - to multitask in order to lighten said work load and simultaneously spend time with his family - his wife Hinata and
their two children Himawari and Boruto (Yűko Sanpei). This growingly estranged relationship has started to take its toll upon Boruto though, who is
beginning to harbour resentment towards Naruto and the Hokage position he holds and the time it takes away from their family.
But currently Boruto has more pressing matters to deal with, mainly a giant Panda Bear that has escaped and is now running rampant. His genin team led by a now
grown up Konohamaru and team mates Sarada (Kokoro Kikuchi) - daughter of Sasuke and Sakura - and Mitsuki (Ryűichi Kijima) - who’s mystery
parents are a running joke throughout the movie - make quick work of the beast with Boruto showing his prowess as a prodigy that he has been labelled by his
But times are changing within this ninja world, new technology - developed by Katasuke in Konoha’s Science Ninja Weapons Team - named a ‘Kote’ allows its wearer
to use any ninja techniques through the use of miniature scrolls, sealed with said techniques and stored within the wrist device - meaning even normal people can
now have the option to use powerful techniques not of their own making. But with the Chunin exams coming up, Naruto is weary of its potential and bans the device
from use, exclaiming the exams are built to nurture the future, not a showcase of power.
Undeterred and wanting to showcase his new breakthrough technology to the public at large, Katasuke sneakily approaches Boruto with the tech - who himself is
aiming to use the upcoming exams as a way to get noticed by his father. Elsewhere Killer Bee has been attacked by followers of the demonic Kaguya, who have
travelled through space-time to continue extracting the tailed-beasts to gather power for themselves, but the now nomadic Sasuke (Noriaki Sugiyama) who
can also travel through space-time with the use of his Rinnegan has cottoned on to their plan and meets with Naruto to warn him of a possible attack.
Boruto: The Naruto Movie at it’s heart is a message about how the more things change, the more they stay the same, and whilst this movie center’s
around Boruto - and the fascinating differences between a childhood Naruto who had to work and prove his worth, compared to Boruto the son of an admired Hokage,
showcasing an almost arrogant personality - it feels like the perfect continuation of this world and its characters. Seeing your favourite character of old whom
you may have followed for years, now grown up and fostering in a new generation is equal parts sad - knowing their stories are now likely over - but also
exciting, for the anticipation of what might be to come.
Boruto: The Naruto Movie is an excellent starting point for a new chapter within the Naruto universe that has been expertly handled, and
whilst knowledge that this universe is founded upon through the anime makes a far better watch from a viewing standpoint, it’s by no means a must.
Likewise the epic action fans have been accustomed to throughout the Naruto series, delivers once again - but this time bigger and better than ever, enhanced
on the big screen. For all Boruto: The Naruto Movie does right, it’s let down by a pair of lackluster villains who feel squeezed into an already
packed movie, to create the necessary drama and ratchet up the tension. It’s a shame they are so undeveloped, as Boruto: The Naruto Movie could
have easily been one of the best anime movies of recent times with a stellar villain to invest in and play against the iconic characters we have come to love.
For fans of Naruto, Boruto: The Naruto Movie is a must watch - especially so on the big-screen, with its action on full display - and is easily
the best Naruto movie to date. Non-fans will still admire the artistry the film has to offer, and may even become invested in this coming of age story but
knowledge of the franchise will provide a much better viewing experience.
10th November 2015
- 4 Out of 5 Stars
Brimming with personality
Delivers big screen anime experience