Boruto: Naruto The Movie
Original title: BORUTO: NARUTO THE MOVIE
Genres: Animation, Action
Director: Yamashita Hiroyuki
Let’s go back to the village of Konoha; the village hidden in the leaves and watched over by its chief Naruto. We are taken to a world which happens years after the Fourth Ninja World War. The ninja villages are at peace and are raising a new generation to one day be leaders.
We meet Boruto (Sanpei Yuuko), the son of Naruto (Takeuchi Junko), who is fed up by how much he doesn’t see his father at home with his family. After all, bratty kids don’t appreciate the amount of work and dedication it takes to lead a ninja village.
Though initially not interested Boruto, alongside his teammates Sarada (Kikuchi Kokoro) and Mitsuki (Kijimi Ryuichi), have decided to enter this year’s Chuunin Exams. But while Boruto and his motley crew of next generation ninja kids prove themselves worthy of ranking up, Naruto’s best friend Sasuke (Sugiyama Noriaki) makes his long-awaited return to the village. He brings a warning that new enemies has made their faces known, and Sasuke warns that they are an even more fearsome foe than their previous one, Kaguya.
Boruto is loads of fun because not only does it bring a lot of amazing ninja action, but also nostalgia by the bucketload. The debut story of the titular character is very reminiscent of his father’s, in that he is a bratty kid trying to find his self in the world. Boruto’s situation is also very much different however; he is born into royalty, being the son (and grandson) of a Hokage and a Hyuuga princess, and is accepted among his peers.
But the one thing that ties them together, which also serves as one of the prominent themes to Boruto, is that they try to find themselves in the world without their father. Naruto’s parents passed away when he was born, and he didn’t know of their identities until his teenage years. Boruto’s parents are obviously alive, but his father Naruto ties himself to his office with paperwork and duties around the clock, leaving no time to even go home.
This upsets Boruto, who swears he will become strong enough to kick his father in the ass.
To tell its story, Boruto utilizes all the shonen tropes that we come to expect from a story of the genre. There is a training montage, and there is a lot of (amazingly animated) fighting sequences. There are also plenty of flashbacks. All in all, it feels like an honest genre piece, unlike the film’s predecessor The Last: Naruto The Movie, which was more of a romance story.
In true shonen fashion, a huge part of the film is Boruto finding strength by using his own power. Throughout the story, Boruto finds himself relying on a mechanical armband that stores ninja techniques as tiny scrolls. These scrolls allow him to have access to powers and attacks that he would have needed more training to learn. This weapon, of course, gets him into trouble, especially when he decides to use it during the Chuunin Exam.
But at its core, Boruto is a story about a son learning to love his dad, and a dad learning how to be one. Naruto, the hero of the war, isn’t as almighty as his reputation might make him out to be; he has major flaws when it comes to balancing his home life. This, in turn, turns up the angst in Boruto, whose rage against his father stems from him wanting Daddy-o to be at home. Through pain and fisticuffs, the two slowly come to understand the other’s sufferings, and we can see a great relationship form between the two.
The weakest part of the film would have to be the villains. There was more time spent on developing Boruto and Naruto’s relationship than hyping up the bad guys. So, other than the connection to the original story’s final boss, Boruto‘s bad guys were typical Naruto-movie throwaway characters, acting as a plot device to bring Boruto and Naruto together. But, as expected, their fights were animated amazingly.
Overall, Boruto acts as a gateway to really introduce the titular character as part of the Naruto mythos. Whether or not his story will develop further has yet to be confirmed, but the film and the manga have introduced so many characters that could use their own time in the spotlight. So, in the meantime, get ready to enjoy this restart. It will feel like a trip down memory lane, with a new generation of characters to get to know.
Watch this film…
…if you felt cheated out of awesome ninja fighting when watching the previous Naruto film. Also, if you want to see NaruHina’s lovechild in action.