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mdchan

  • USA
  • Joined Aug 9, 2011
  • 39 / Other

Was I entertained by this movie?  Mostly.

Do I think it was one of the better Shippuden movies?  Definitely not.

Would I watch it again?  No.

Time travel is a tricky thing to deal with.  Let's get started.

Story

The movie opens up with Naruto fighting a weird looking thing which turns out to be a puppet controlled by the rogue ninja (Mukade) he, Sakura, Sai, and Yamato were sent to capture.  Their battle takes them to the ruins of Rouran, where Mukade absorbs a seal placed on a powerful energy substance called Ryuumaku and plans on taking over the five elemental countries.

Naruto and Yamato are sucked into the vortex created when Mukade absorbs the Fourth's seal on it, and when Naruto wakes up, he's 20 years in the past.

A girl named Sara is supposed to become the queen of Rouran since her mother died, but there is something sinister going on in the background as her life is put in danger when she's pushed off a balcony.

Naruto saves her, and also runs into three masked Konoha ninja (the identity of one being super obvious, and the identities of the others also a little more obvious even before they eventually take their masks off).

The events unfold from there.

Characters

Fairly one-dimensional.  Putting main characters such as Naruto aside...

The antagonist is Mukade, a puppet master who wishes to violently take over the entire country.  For that, he need the chakra enhancing power of the Ryuumaku found in Rouran.

Sara is, like most of the girls in the Naruto-verse, a headstrong character who at first doesn't really know what it means to do what needs to be done and rule over Rouran, or how she can help her people since she is still broken up over her mother's death.

Minato Namikaze appears in the movie for brief moments, and longer during the final battle.  The same goes with Shibi Aburame and Chouza Akimichi.  A young Kakashi also appears about two or three times, for maybe a total of three minutes of screentime (if even that).

Overall

I've said it before that the Shippuden movies are hit-and-miss...well, mostly misses.  This was another miss.

The concept of the time travel was probably the most interesting part of the entire movie, though it was never properly explained.  Then again, most people who watch the movie probably haven't dabbled into quantum theory (and similarly, parallel world theories).

I'm no expert, but a brief explanation is that, for each possible choice one encounters, there's a possible future. 

Let's say that I can either watch a Naruto movie, or an Inuyasha movie.  Once the choice has been presented, it branches off into two possible futures:  One where I chose to watch the Naruto movie, and one where I chose to watch the Inuyasha movie. 

Now, I am going somewhere with this.

In the movie, one of the confusing issues is that Team Yamato came across the seal on the Ryuumaku as it eventually wound up by the events of what occurred 20 years ago, which involved Mukade absorbing the seal and going back in time to set all of the events in motion before they even happened.

In one sense, that sounds impossible.  But look at it this way:

The second Mukade found out about the Ryuumaku and decided he was going to find it, that could have set in motion all of the events.  That means that he set in motion a possible future where Rouran was threatened by him, which then looped to the premature death of the queen of Rouran and the events of the movie rather than one where the queen survived and the Ryuumaku wasn't disturbed.

So even though it somewhat doesn't make sense that he was able to travel back in time and create the path which the characters had to deal with (since this would require a future which hadn't happened 20 years in the past), it actually does make sense if one takes into consideration that one of the possible futures for Rouran was that someone interfered with the city to gain access to the Ryuumaku, which is the past (or probably more precisely, the parallel world) which the antagonist and Naruto (and Yamato) wound up in.

Enough food for thought, I suppose.  Frankly, I found that concept more interesting than anything else the movie provided.

Minato and his team were barely even seen in the movie.  They were apparently on some sort of "mission", which remained unsaid throughout.  One can guess that their mission (besides protecting Sara, which they did a lousy job of) was to find and stop the puppet army being amassed.

They did a lousy job at that, too, and only came through in the end (and via Kakashi).  To me, it felt like they were there just so that Naruto, who at this point in time in the canon timeline hadn't found out who his parents were, could interact a little with his father.

That, or just give Minato some screentime in a point in time where I don't think the manga had gotten far enough to the final battle to stop Madara's plans.

But really, it felt like Minato and his team did relatively nothing, while Naruto took care of everything (protecting Sara, changing her mind/heart, and finding the source of the Ryuumaku).

Yamato also did pretty much nothing, and only appeared at the end when the final battle was over with.

There's also the issue of the sound; like many movies, the sound wasn't adjusted to be at a proper volume throughout the movie.  Rather, I had to turn up the volume to hear the characters talk (and I have sensitive hearing), and turn down the volume during the intense/battle scenes.

The final battle was cliché.  I don't think I even need to hold back on saying what was used to defeat the antagonist, because it's the same thing which is used in every movie.

Speaking of, I believe Naruto used the Rasengan in front of Minato twice (if I remember correctly), but Minato only noticed and was shocked during the second time.

There was also a point where Naruto said he ran out of chakra.  Keep in mind he has huge reserves normally, and when he runs out, he can pull on the Kyuubi's chakra if needed.

I'm giving this a 2 out of 10 for time travel and a minor character who rallies the adults (though similar to the case of Inari during the Wave Mission); otherwise, I would have given this a 1.

1/10 story
8/10 animation
5/10 sound
1/10 characters
2/10 overall
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