Blu-ray Review: Boruto: Naruto the Movie

Naruto once again returns to Blu-ray except this time he has brought his son along. Introducing Boruto! The new protagonist of Manga Entertainment’s release of Boruto: Naruto the Movie! So what can we expect from this father and son duo? Well let’s find out!

Synopsis:

With Naruto as the Seventh Hokage, Hidden Leaf Village is planning to host the Chunin Exams to train new shinobi from the village and from five of their allied villages. Among the entrants are Sasuke’s daughter, Sarada, who adores Naruto, Mitsuki, an exceptionally talented yet mysterious shinobi… And Boruto, Naruto’s son who shows great potential, but despises his father.

Sasuke who’s been on a mission in another dimension appears before Naruto to warn of a strange impending danger he has sensed. Shrouded with an evil aura, Momoshiki and Kinshiki appear during the Exams and attempt to assassinate Naruto with the Rinnegan. Boruto is petrified and unable to do a thing while Sasuke guards him. As Naruto steps in front to shield them, he smiles faintly and disappears in front of Boruto.

An inconceivable foe lies in wait as Sasuke, the Five Kage and Boruto with a determination of steel, charge into another dimension!

Our View:

If we consider The Last Naruto The Movie to be the final entry in the Naruto timeline then Boruto: Naruto the Movie would naturally be considered the first entry into the Boruto timeline and while this may (or may not) be the case it definitely is a great starting point for anyone wanting to experience the ‘new generation’ of Boruto or rekindle their interest into the Naruto franchise.

Originally my expectation of Bourto: Naruto the Movie would be a film that saw viewers introduced to Boruto, and in turn his training, through the eyes of Sasuke and Naruto while an new enemy threat would cause Sasuke and Naruto to abandon their regular work in order to save the village. Fortunately however this is not the case and while some elements remain, such as the training sessions with Sasuke, the bulk of the story is completely different to what I had expected; and for the better.

Taking place more than a decade after The Last Naruto the Movie, Boruto: Naruto the Movie offers two major storylines; the first of which focuses on Boruto’s grudge against his father, the seventh Hokage Naruto Uzumaki, for paying more attention to his work than his family. The second story on the other hand, which rarely makes an appearance until the final quarter of the film, sees Kinshiki and Momoshiki consuming energy from tailed beasts in order to create a new fruit that will keep them alive for the unforeseeable future. In some aspect this second storyline similar to the previous Naruto film and it adds that much needed excitement to a film that focuses on character development and story.

For the most part however this film focuses on Boruto and his grudge against his father; which as a result of this grudge Boruto becomes disinterested in the Shinobi lifestyle and opts to become stronger in order to defeat his father. It seems like a difficult task, especially when Sasuke initially declines his request as a master, but when the Science Team of the Hidden Leaf Village provide Boruto with a Ninja tool his desire for power grows stronger. This particular Ninja Tool in question grants the wielder any type of Ninjstu power so long as it has been stored in a scroll and with this new tool in hand Boruto (after some persuasion from Sarada) enters the Chunin exam so that he can demonstrate his newly acquired power to his father.

In my eyes it is a self-centered quest and a storyline not seen in any other Naruto film; sure enough most Naruto films revolve around someone wanting to obtain more power but this is usually centred around the enemies and not the heroes. Naturally of course this creates some doubt and tension around Boruto as he becomes reluctant to join in with others and is cagey about how he achieved this new power with his friends and team mates. A sense of guilt and shame can also be seen when Naruto begins to praise Boruto for his efforts – a gesture which Boruto was not expecting to see and in turn becomes self-conscious about what he is attempting to do. Basically it’s a refreshing change of pace from the usual movie of saving the world or defeating the bad guy as we get to learn more about the characters themselves and the troubles they are trying to overcome; even if it is centred solely around Boruto.

Although this self-centred story of Boruto is the focal point we do have some enemies to talk about as during the escapdes with Boruto we see Kinshiki and Momoshiki do battle with numerous tailed beast users and capture the power they have inside of them. Initially it is unclear what exactly they are trying to achieve but its not until the final segments of the movie, when they finally track down Naruto, and explain their plans for the power of the tailed beasts. It’s here where the intense action that Naruto films are known for come alive and for the remaining twenty minutes or so its nothing but over the top fist-fights and team-work with Naruto and Boruto being the focus of attention; but luckily for us Boruto gets in on the spotlight to deliver his own unique attack.

Boruto: Naruto the Movie is not the film I expected it to be; but because of it it has turned out better than I could have ever hoped. It is a rather natural progressing story with a simple agenda and it is backed up with crisp-clear animation and superb fighting scenes all of which reignite my passion for the Naruto franchise.

To an extent this film may have been produced as a way of getting newcomers interested into the Boruto timeline – which has since become its own TV Anime known as Boruto:Next Generation with events taking place before this film – and if so then it has managed to do so effectively.

Extras:

This Blu-ray release of Boruto: Naruto the Movie, which has seemingly been authored in-house by Manga Entertainment UK, includes a reasonable selection of bonus materials in the form of a Ten-Minute OVA episode, known as The Day Naruto Became Hokage, and two English Dubbed trailers for the film.

The Ten Minute OVA episode, which realistically takes place before the events of the film, is an event which sees Naruto left in charge of Boruto and his younger sister Himiwari while preperations are being made for his ceremony later that day. However when Himiwai’s favourite toy gets destroyed in a argument between herself and Boruto she becomes insanely strong and tries to extract revenge of Boruto. It is a funny side-story and possibly one of the most enjoyable OVA episodes I have watched – mostly because of how ‘down to earth’ it is.

Unfortunately however the OVA episode is only presented in English; so those wanting to watch it in Japanese (with English Subtitles) will have to look elsewhere. It’s unclear why the Japanese Audio is absent as Australia’s release (via Madman Entertainment) features both English and Japanese audio tracks on the OVA episode (according to a tweet they made). That’s not all either as the Australian release will also feature Promotional Videos, Character Artwork and Story Board concepts all of which that are absent from this UK Blu-ray release.

Naturally it is great a selection of bonus features are included; but considering the lack of Japanese audio on the OVA episode and the fact that a wide selection of bonus materials are missing from this UK release it is hard not to feel disappointed when past releases have usually featured the same content across all regions.

Specs:

Media: BD50
Region: B
Running Time: 1:35:19*
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: DTS-HD 5.1 (English & Japanese) LPCM 2.0 (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

Boruto: Naruto the Movie is the film which introduces viewers to the next generation of the Naruto timeline, in this case the Boruto timeline; but instead of acting as a proper introduction – through way of first battles and shinobi school – we see Boruto tackle his own independent issues of getting stronger and gaining his farthers recognition. For a Naruto project it is a relatively unheard of story; but it works exceedingly well with Boruto trying anything he can, including being taught by Sasuke, to become a stronger shinobi – but not exactly a good shinobi.

Elsewhere however we have the impending threat from two mysterious characters that plan to harness the power of the tailed beasts in order to create a fruit that will grant more power and life. This is your typical Naruto project storyline but as it acts as a background story it doesn’t effect the overall enjoyment of watching Boruto during his daily activities. At times we do see these two character partake in their own evil quest but its not until the final moments of the film do these two characters openly get any screen time; and even then it is an artistic explosive fight to the death with two generations of family fighting for their survival. It’s a good fight to end on; not only for a film but for a new entry as well.

From a film perspective Boruto: Naruto the Movie had everything I could have wanted and personally I found it to be the best Naruto related experience I have seen (and that includes Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4) as it has the perfect balance of comedy, action, story and emotion that never out stay their welcome and once ended leaves nothing left over but a small comical truth. It’s a contained story that not only introduces new characters but paves the wave for a possible future – which by now has become a reality with the Boruto TV Anime series. Alas although the film was highly entertaining to watch (both in English and Japanese audio) this Blu-ray release (when compared to other English releases) isn’t as good and that’s mostly due to the missing bonus features. Personally im not too bothered by the lack of Japanese audio (as I prefer the English Dub) but the fact that it is not included does raise questions; the same can also be same with the missing bonus features.

Ignoring my complaints about the missing bonus features Manga Entertainment UK have once again provided us a compliant Blu-ray release that looks and sounds great to watch on any setup; but even more so when watched through Surround Sound. Boruto: Naruto the Movie is a film worth adding to your collection whether you be a fan of the Naruto franchise or not.

Score: review-stars-4

Borate: Naruto the Movie is now available on Blu-ray and DVD within the UK.

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About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked on ZOMGPlay and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita or Xbox One.

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