The Last: Naruto The Movie
Genre: Animation, Action
Director: Kobayashi Tsuneo
It has been two years since the Fourth Shinobi War, and the world is at peace. Konohagakure is getting ready for its Winter Festival, during which Hinata (Mizuki Nana) is planning to give Naruto (Takeuchi Junko) a present as a symbol of confession. However, she finds herself competing for his affection with hordes of other girls who are head over heels with the hero of the war.
Whilst trying to find her courage, Hinata encounters the mysterious Otsutsuki Toneri (Fukuyama Jun), the last surviving descendant of Otsutsuki Hamura. Toneri is determined to carry out his ancestor’s will and destroy the world of The Sage of the Six Paths. Toneri kidnaps Hinata’s sister, Hanabi (Asai Kiyomi), and plans to use her Byakugan to aide with his scheme, part of which includes crashing the moon to the Earth.
It’s a bit obvious that if you haven’t finished the manga of Naruto, this talk will spoil a lot of information. So, proceed at your own risk!
Many fans teared up at the ending of the Naruto manga, and they either cheered or booed at which character ended up with who, and the kids that came out as the result of the matchmaking. However, one thing that the manga did not explore is the events between the end of the Fourth Shinobi War and the final chapter. That’s the role this movie is supposed to fill.
Well, at least when it comes to explaining how Naruto and Hinata end up together.
The story starts off two years after the war finishes, and every character has been redesigned to represent the passage of time. Fans might think it hilarious to find Naruto, the hero of the war, experiencing moteki – when a man suddenly finds himself the target of the affections of many women. Naruto – or Senpai, as the girls call him – finds himself talking to cute girls every day. And since the Winter Festival is approaching, he is seen accepting presents left and right, to the dismay of the shy Hinata.
As you can already tell, The Last is more of a romantic story than anything else. Sure, it features the ninja action that one would expect from a work with the name Naruto slapped on it. However, the focus is how the dense and oblivious Naruto finally realizes his love for Hinata, and how he develops the resolve to rescue her from the clutches of the new villain, Toneri.
There is nothing new and groundbreaking when it comes to the film’s storytelling. It is, after all, a Naruto movie. The story relies on so many cliches and shounen tropes to keep moving, from the overpowered villain, to the girl duping the hero who’s too naive to realize what’s happening.
However, it’s safe to say that nobody will go into watching The Last expecting something revolutionary. Rather, the enjoyment fans will get out of watching this film is seeing the story come more into light, with many favorite characters returning and continuing to do what they do. In that aspect, this film delivers.
The action is fun and the animation is as fluid as it can ever be. The music is moving, and the humor involving Naruto and either his stupidity or absurd logic is intact. The story also revisits many early parts of the story, filling us with waves of nostalgia, and even diving more into important back story.
Above all else, we finally see a romantic plot involving everyone’s beloved underdog…which may or may not be good for every fan of the shounen genre. It’s important to point out that at times it feels like the romance outweighs the action. But, for those who have been cheering for NaruHina all these years, that can be satisfying.
And a final note: prepare for some feels when the end roll plays its way through.
Watch this film…
…if you have been a Naruto fan for the past 15 years or 15 days; it’s for every one of us to see.