Whilst one story comes to an end, a new one emerges.

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 peers.

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.

  • Review by
    David Robinson

    Twitter: @5ypher

    Posted on
    10th November 2015

  • 4 Out of 5 Stars
  • Underdeveloped villains

  • Brimming with personality

    Fantastic action

    Delivers big screen anime experience

Film Info

Boruto: The Naruto Movie Boruto: The Naruto Movie
Rating: 12A
Release Date: 10th November
Runtime: 1 hr 35 mins
Director: Hiroyuki Yamashita
Starring: Yűko Sanpei, Junko Takeuchi, Kokoro Kikuchi & Noriaki Sugiyama

  • The Last: Naruto The Movie
  • Road To Ninja: Naruto The Movie
  • Naruto The Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow

Yes, though the action depicts cartoon violence there are a lot of moral messages and humour suitable for children.

There's an after-credits scene fans will want to stick around for.

The movie has english subtitles, with Japanese voices.