Summary: 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 their allied villages. Among the entrants are Sasuke’s daughter, Sarada, Mitsuki, an exceptionally talented yet mysterious shinobi…And Boruto, Naruto’s talented but impetuous son.
The film starts off with a Q & A segment which was filmed at this year’s New York Comic Con where Naruto series creator, Masashi Kishimoto and the voice actress behind Naruto, Junko Takeuchi took questions from the audience. They ranged from “What do you think of your characters going on this new chapter in their lives?” to Takeuchi being asked “What was it like playing a father figure to Boruto?” to which the voice actress replied, “I’m a girl so I don’t know what’s like to be a father.” After this segment, which people could have easily seen on Youtube (here is the link if you’re interested), the movie got started and made up for the padding from this opening segment.
If it’s not already clear, this review will has a SPOILER WARNING for the entire Naruto series. This should be obvious as the series is about Naruto’s son and is taking place after the end of the manga and anime (which as of this review has yet to be animated to completion). Just giving you a heads up as it’s really impossible to talk about the movie without making comparisons to the original story.
In this new future wherein the original cast has now grown up, gotten married, and had kids, a great deal of world building takes place. The hidden leaf village is much more advance than it once was, complete with computers, video games, and wrist devices which shoots out ninja moves stored on tiny scrolls.
In this more advanced future, series protagonist Naruto has become a workaholic who doesn’t have time for his kids. His son, Boruto is less than understanding of his father’s situation and takes training under his dad’s former rival, Sasuke to train him for the sole purpose of taking his dad down. Sounds a bit harsh, but it’s amusing to watch Boruto undertake his own path to become a warrior, even if it’s just to get his dad to notice him.
Fans have been quick to harshly judge Naruto from the early rumors which circulate around this film. Yes, he may have become a workaholic who has to send his Shadow Clones to important events and have them disappear on him at the worst possible moment but don’t be so quick to dismiss him without taking the time to watch this film.
Through the course of the film it becomes apparent to Naruto he hasn’t given his son the time he deserves and Boruto himself hasn’t taken the time to understand where his dad is coming from. There is a particular moment which truly reflects the disconnect the two are experiencing where Naruto is in his son’s room trying to find the words to give him encouragement but doesn’t know what to say because he never had parents growing up. It’s a quiet scene but one fans secretly hope for which help to show characters bonding between the countless battle which can occur in fighting anime like Dragonball Z or Bleach.
If you’re more focused on the action, you should know there is plenty to spare. Once the villains from the opening scene finally return (they really are absent for most of the film), Naruto is able to cut loose and showcase just how strong he truly is, impressing his son and the audience. Also, there is a father and son Rasengan attack the fans are really going to enjoy. Also, there is after credit sequence which is particularly entertaining.
It should be again noted this film is an epilogue to the original series and runs the risk of spoilers for original series. Also, the villains are tied to the previous film, The Last: Naruto The Movie so see it is also helpful to understand who the villains are. Basically, if you didn’t finish the manga, are only watching the anime, and didn’t see the last film, you may have to wait a bit before watching this one. Unless, you don’t care for spoilers.
Though fans are quick to judge the new spin on the characters and are still probably annoyed some of their personal favorite pairings didn’t end up together, the movie does offer a lot of heart, action, and nods to the series fans have been enjoying for over a decade. For all the Naruto fans out there, this is a movie you owe it to yourself to check out.