Blu-ray Review: The Last Naruto the Movie
26/01/2016 Leave a comment
The last, but not final, Naruto film is finally upon us within the UK; but what did we think of this Blu-ray release by Manga Entertainment? Find out in our review of The Last: Naruto the Movie.
Two years have passed since the fated battle between Naruto and Sasuke in the Village Hidden in the Leaves. A comfortable peace has fallen over the village and the winter festival approaches with a bit more excitment than usual. Seasons of war have transformed Naruto and his friends into elite young warriors, but now they grow into the adults they were meant to be, forming bonds beyond friendship.
Naruto and Hinata approach this next stage with trepidation and find their progress stalled when a mysterious and dangerous man appears with a disturbing message; the end of the world is upon them. Once again Naruto and his friends are sent to investigate and stop the impossible: a falling moon! What is the tragic fate that connects this disaster with Hinata’s Hyuga Clan? And to what lengths will Naruto go to speak the words that will change his life?
The Last Naruto the Movie can be considered many things but unfortunately a good movie isn’t one of them; which is a real shame as the emotional presentation displayed in this film can make anyone cry if they have been following the franchise from the start. This is the end of one chapter of Naruto’s life; and the beginning of another but in order to see it come to fruition we have to travel to the moon and back and, however you slice it; that is just plain ridiculous.
Ironically that’s my only real gripe with this movie; but stupidly enough it is a big one as it is part of the main story. Confused? Well let me explain. The Last Naruto the Movie can be separated into two different stories; one which sees Naruto and Hinata begin to confidently express their feelings towards each through a series of regular life – and not so regular- events and another side of the story which sees a descendant of Hamura Ōtsutsuki, known as Toneri Ōtsutsuki, attempt to destroy the earth with the moon. So; how do these two storylines interconnect with each other? Well Toneri needs the byakugan ability in order control a weapon found within the moon and as such attempts to kidnap Hinata in order to use her eyes and be his bride; to which Naruto disagrees and as a result a climatic fight between the two breaks out.
The first element of the film, which sees Hinata and Naruto uncover there true feelings for each other through a series of interconnected memories and events, is superb and emotionally progressive for both parties. Constant flashbacks to past events from the film, and those un-seen by TV audiences, depicting Naruto’s relationship appear and as the film progresses – and when Hinata gets caputed – Naruto soon understands how much she really means to him. It’s one of those rare moments where we actually get to see Naurto’s true emotional state but on the other hand the threat of this new enemy adds a questionable mix to the films pacing and its overall story. Sure enough things start off pretty cool with fast-paced Shinobi fights and countless Ninjutsu being used, but the way it progresses forward to its high octane ending is just frustratingly unbelievable and, at some points, completely boring. It’s understandable that Toneri would attempt to abduct Hinata for her eyes; but when he later kidnapps her younger sister, Hinabi, and uses her eyes instead I can’t fully grasp why Hinata was captured by him other than to progress the story (the underlining story was to be wed due to a promise made centuries ago– but for whatever reason i cannot remember).
Of course the real disappointment with this film was its final confrontation between Naruto and Toneri. Sure enough it provides highly animated fast-paced action, that later involves the Nine Tails and a replica of the Ten Tailed beast, but it takes place on the outside of the moon. I know this is an animation and I understand that Naruto isn’t about realism; but when each Naruto episode and film has a sense of ‘realism’ to it some boundaries must not be crossed; sure enough the time travelling abilities and nine-tailed-beast monsters may not be realistic but they feel within realistic boundaries set out within this world. Travelling to the moon via a secret set of water tunnels, which can also trap you inside your own memories, as well as fighting on the outside of the moon without any breathing equipment; well that’s just stupid.
Alas; here is where i arrive at my dilemma; the story aspect which sees Hinata and Naruto’s relationship progress through the knitting of a scarf is an emotional one and it’s one that brings life into this aging franchise, as well as an answer to the question we have waited fourteen years for; but the enemy threat bundled with this story could have been presented better and as such it makes The Last Naruto the Movie a rather hollow experience that will leave many in dismay.
All this aside however we do get the ending we want; and for those lucky enough to keep watching – especially through the credits – you will also be treated to a special scene involving a new set of characters. Enter Boruto!
When it comes to Naruto releases we are usually treated to just the bare essentials, namely trailers and textless songs, but with this movie release we actually receive a handful of noteworthy content including original movies commercials and an art gallery.
In short most of the bonus content included on this Blu-ray release is original Japanese promotional content for the film; be it the original Cinematic Trailers, Promotional videos shown online or TV Adverts; they are all included. To ‘even-out’ the selection there is also an art gallery which showcases a variety of artwork for the film, such as characters, environments and locations.
Finally, and as with most anime releases, is a selection of trailers and while the disc itself has been authored by madman entertainment it seems MangaUK may have a hand in choosing the trailers themselves as trailers include Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, One Piece: Film Z & Haikyu! – all of which are being distributed within the UK by Manga Entertainment UK.
Running Time: 1:52:03
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: DTS-HD 5.1 (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Grey)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps
The LAST: Naruto the Movie is an attempt at providing closure to a situation we’ve wanted for quite some time; a relationship between Hinata Hyuga and Naruto Uzumaki and through this-near 2 hour-feature length film that relationship is created, presented and finalised for the viewer. Hinata and Naruto’s budding relationship, something which has always been one-sided in Hinata’s favour, is something that has plagued the Naruto timeline from the moment she made an appearance and in this film its brought to the centre stage for everyone to see; including support characters that don’t often comment on the situation. Disappointingly however it is done in a way that brings no real entertaining merit to the viewer and as such this LAST film in the Naruto Shippuden saga is easily one of the most disappointing; which is a real shame.
Why is it so disappointing? The introduction of Toneri and his fixation on Hinata results in his plan of destroying the earth with the moon progress forward and in turn sees Naruto, Sakura, Sai and Shikamaru travel to space, and battle on the surface of the moon, in order to defeat him. It’s not the enemy that is the problem but more of the location and how we they get there as Toneri is actually a pretty cool opponent for those involved and leads to some interesting, and spectacular animated, fights taking place. Basically the characters and the portrayal of Hinata’s feelings towards Naruto are superb; but the story itself – which sees the entire planet in danger – just adds unnecessary events to a film that would’ve been better without it.
While i have mixed feelings about the film itself its presentation and selection of bonus content on offer is worth commending. For starters the picture quality and animation quality throughout is top notch and the 5.1 Audio Mix, for both Japanese and English, is one of the best i’ve heard in an anime film since Bandai’s mix of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. Small bits of rumble, explosions and trickles of water can all be heard through the surround speakers while voices, loud or soft, can be heard clearly through the centre speaker – all of which adds to the overall cinematic experience of the film and, from a presentation aspect, makes it one of the better Naruto films.
Overall this Blu-ray release of The LAST: Naruto the Movie is a mixed bag; as while the content and presentation of disc is superb it is the film itself that I find to be unworthy of your time. If you were hoping for an emotional story that sees two life-long characters discover bonds for each other through struggle then this film does have it; but prepare to sit through the consequences it brings when Toneri becomes angry of this bond.
The Last Naruto the Movie is now available on DVD and Blu-ray within the UK.