Across the great shinobi nations, ninja with special bloodline limits have gone missing without a trace. After sustaining injuries during their investigation, Naruto and the rest of Team Kakashi head back to Konoha to heal, however not long after their return an apparition of a boy appears in the sky. His name is Hiruko – the mastermind behind the recent disappearances – and he has successfully absorbed four of the great bloodline traits in his quest to gain the strength to start a fourth great shinobi war. Hiruko now needs just one more jutsu to become the ultimate immortal ninja – and his final target is Kakashi! Sensing the immense threat Hiruko poses, the copy ninja decides to sacrifice himself and become an outcast for the sake of the village. Naruto and Sakura refuse to accept his decision and immediately chase after him, but can they defeat Hiruko and save their leader within the two-day time limit, especially when Shikamaru and the others are sent to stop them and bring them back home?
Where do I start with this one? The Shippuden movies are very hit-and-miss, and that continues on for the later movies as well (which I actually saw before this one). This movie has so many glaring errors that I was either scratching my head or groaning through it. One of the only good parts is that this movie wasn't one of the typical "everyone gets super quiet during talking scenes and then the volume hits max decibels during battle/tense scenes". There was a little of it, but it wasn't as bad as some of the other movies. Story Your typical Orochimaru-type bad guy who is trying to absorb five major bloodlines in order to become immortal/all powerful. The final bloodline he has yet to grab is apparently the Sharingan from Kakashi, and so he activates a mark he had put on Kakashi (who convinces Tsunade to let him go before his mind is taken over) to pull the man to him. Naruto (as well as Sakura) doesn't take that news well, and goes after him. Meanwhile, the antagonist somehow made a projection which was seen all over the nations where he announced that he is a Konoha ninja and is going to become more powerful than all of them and start the Fourth Ninja War. This prompts Nations to prepare for war, particularly Leaf and Sand, because for whatever reason they think that Konoha is behind the entire thing (I'll get to why this is stupid later on). Characters Holy OOCness, Batman! The antagonist...well, he's just another generic Naruto bad-guy doing bad things in an Orochimaru-like way (experimenting and chimeras). His minions serve little to no purpose except to be a distraction. There's not much more to say on his character. Naruto was on point for the movie, as he usually is. All the other characters were pretty much as-is... ...except for Shikamaru. While I can sort of understand the rigid thinking he did during the movie, Shikamaru is supposed to be someone who can think of dozens of possible steps and outcomes, yet we're supposed to believe that sending Kakashi to his death for the sake of Konoha was the only solution possible? Though he did gain a lot of maturity by Shippuden (and particularly after the Akatsuki incident), I wouldn't have believed Shikamaru would act the way he did if I didn't see it in the movie. The others (particularly Lee) seem to understand what Naruto is trying to do when Naruto gives them the famous line about "those who disobey orders are scum, but those who abandon their comrades are lower than scum". They even join up to hold back the minions to allow Naruto, Sakura, and Sai time to reach Kakashi before he can go ahead with his suicide plan. However, on the final encounter, they still encourage Shikamaru to go on ahead to presumably stop Naruto...which totally doesn't mesh with the understanding they had just moments ago. Gaara was also pretty OOC in this, as he knows and believes in Naruto and wouldn't have stood in Naruto's way if he was in character. Overall I did like the theme of the movie, I'll give it that. The characters are forced into a situation where they have difficult decisions to make; in Kakashi's case, he decides to sacrifice himself for the village...in Tsunade's case, she has to agree to it......and, of course, a situation where the characters are forced into actually deciding between the "mission" and "comrades"... ...if the movie didn't totally screw it up. My first major issue with the movie is Shikamaru's attitude and position. While I can understand some of his mentality, Shikamaru wouldn't sacrifice a comrade to protect something else. This is evidenced by his very first mission as a chuunin, the doomed Sasuke Retrieval mission. In the end, he felt horrible that he had to leave his friends behind one by one to fight against ninja they were outclassed by, and, in tears, swore he would never allow such a thing again when they nearly died because of it. Shikamaru even said he would stop Naruto even if he had to kill him, which goes against everything the Konoha 11 stand for. It also makes no sense character-wise, nor does it make sense mission-wise. This isn't the same as the Sasuke Mission, where Sasuke voluntarily DEFECTED from Konoha to join up with Orochimaru. Rather, this is a case where Naruto and Sakura disobeyed orders to save a comrade, not join the enemy. In conclusion, even though Shikamaru knows he has to protect the "king", he should have been able to think of other possibilities and outcomes, and not be so dead-set on Kakashi's sacrifice as being the only way to stop the war... ...which brings us to the next point. This was a huge plot hole and failing of the movie, and that was the fact that somehow, because some random ninja from Konoha declared war, everyone got it in their heads that Konoha itself was declaring war, and they should all go to war. Um...say what, now? There weren't even any attacks on the other villages to prompt the others into action; are we supposed to believe that the leaders of the ninja world are so stupid that they would believe that the actions of a single ninja (no matter what village that ninja is from) reflects on the entire village? That just because some (obviously rogue) ninja, with no hitai-ate and could have very well have been lying to the other nations for all they know about being from Konoha, declares the start of the Fourth Ninja war that they should just blindly start attacking each other? Not to mention that the major conflict in attack was seen between Konoha and Suna...who are ALLIES. Gaara and Tsunade were going to meet up to (presumably) discuss the situation, and suddenly a war is starting between the nations? What about the other nations who have less-than-friendly terms with Konoha (like Earth and Lightening)? Shouldn't they have been the first to point their catapults at Fire country? It makes no sense! The only explanation to that plot hole is that everyone in the ninja world is a freak'n idiot. That would certainly explain a lot about the movie, then. A couple of the fight scenes were interesting, though how Naruto defeated the antagonist doesn't quite make sense (I'm not going to go into it for the sake of spoilers) either... Aw, heck...the entire movie doesn't really make any sense besides keeping to the theme of the two bells and the "those who abandon their comrades are worse than scum". That's probably the only thing the movie got right.
This is the sixth Naruto movie, made around the time Pain invaded Konoha and the Ninja War was close to beginning. At this point the whole show turned to a slow ass war drama with overblown tragedy that had no consistency in power levels. The movie tries to build on that by keep mentioning all the people who have died so far in the show. In theory that is good for reminding us of all the cool stuff that have happened so far and the various sacrifices that were made for the sake of maintaining peace. Unfortunately the story in this movie is doing a crappy job about it. In fact, it has by far the most uninspired scenario in all the current movies, since despite the world shaking events it’s supposed to include, it happens in a most simple and dried up way. So there is this Orochimaru/Pain hybrid villain who hypnotizes powerful people and intends to turn to a god by stealing their powers. Kakashi is the last on his list and Konoha feels that they should sacrifice him in order to use some weird technique which when used will kill both him and the villain. Naruto disagrees and against all attempts to stop him, he just storms in to save Kakashi. As simple as this sounds, there are many things that make the movie to feel like it’s the end of the world when it otherwise feels like just a minor skirmish. A unique feature of this movie is how there is no movie-only emo kid that Naruto feels obligated to help. It is just Kakashi and the rest of the usual gang having some issues regarding honor and respect; so in a way the whole film was mostly a civil war. Other than that though, there is absolutely no twist or anything else to look forward to. Half of the film is an uneventful build up where Kakashi reminds everyone of all those who died so far before deciding to do the same for Konoha. The other half is mostly wasted on the characters fighting amongst each other because of that. So just expect to see things you have already seen before everything ends with Naruto using a Rasengan... as always. I must say that the whole film felt like it was full of pointless action. - The Suna village is ordered to attack Konoha just because the villain Hiruko was once part of it. Without any proof of them being allies they are ready to fight one another while the villain is calmly fulfilling his devious plan. That felt completely uncalled for and too forced to accept. Why not just teaming up against him? And as you can guess, that is exactly what Naruto does to save the day. - The characters are fighting amongst each other, something which results to nothing other than proving what a thickhead Naruto is. - There were the usual cardboard evil henchmen that needed to be defeated but they might as well not be there at all since the villain was powerful enough not to need any help and the heroes were busy fighting each other instead of the bad guys. - And what exactly is this friendship and teamwork they keep talking about if Naruto does everything alone? It sounds like a contradiction. Ok, they are working together in order to defeat the underlings but those were completely useless to the plot and winning or losing had no effect on the Big Bad’s plans. - Naruto pretty much wins by being a stubborn traitor who uses a hax power which for some unexplained reason can’t be absorbed by the enemy. That felt cheap and anti-climactic.- The villain in his dying breath has a change of heart. Which is pointless again since no time was invested on getting to like the guy. He remains as nothing more that an Orochimaru wannabe. Heck, we never even understand why he looks like a kid half the time. So as you understand, apart from the rather good production values the whole film was boring, uneventful, and full of events that made no sense. It is once again a very bad addition to the franchise.
This was by far the best Naruto movie. I've watched all the others currently out and they pale in comparison to this one. The plot was very inventive and brought many new ideas to the table. It also was not without comedic relief for the more serious parts. The animation in this movie is also superb, and it has a nice atmosphere. I definitely recommend you watch this one.
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