So I’ve Watched The Last: Naruto the Movie

Hey guys! Some quick update before we get into the review.

Anyway, the final exam is finally over! All I need to do know is to wait maybe a month or so before I found out whether or not I’m going to graduate. I did well……I think?

So…..yay! 😀

And then I have to prepare myself for the college entrance exam in June……

Yes. There’s still another one. God bless Indonesia education system.

Although, my mom did offer me to get into a private(?) college, so I don’t have to go through the pain of studying once again, but I’m still not quite sure. I mean, it really feels like I’m just using my money instead of hardwork that way. So yeah, I’m still juggling my options now.

Buuuuttttt anyway, I couldn’t exactly leave the blog dead for too long, so I decided to post in some of my thoughts on The (not) Last: Naruto the Movie. Aka, the movie where NarutoxHinata shipper lifetime dream comes true.

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Well, this is really it huh? I mean, there’s still technically that Boruto movie coming out this year, but technically speaking, this is it. The last ‘Naruto’ movie.

If you seen my MAL profile, you’d probably noticed that I listed Naruto as one of my favorite manga of all time. Well, I’m not gonna lie that the fact I grew up around the series ever since I was child is definitely play a large factor to that. Meaning that I loved it in an unexamined way fans supposed to (you may feel free to call me a Narutard now). I definitely understand the series issue in the writing, the last arc’s dragged out, the shonen power creep factor etc. But looking back, out of any shonen that I’ve read years ago (not many admittedly, I’m mostly into Jump stuff back then), this one feels closer to home for some reason.

So, you can probably tell I’m quite excited when I’ve heard my local theater are going to run the movie. And in 15 April 2015, I have the honor of finally seeing the movie on the big screen.

The movie set around two years after the end of the Fourth Shinobi World War with Naruto now finally becomes a hero complete with his own fangirls. However, the moon slowly descended and threaten to destroy the earth, while at the same time, the mastermind behind it, a man named Toneri, who have a connection to the Rikudo Sennin, kidnap Hanabi Hyuuga. Konoha village decided to send Naruto, Sakura, Sai, Shikamaru and Hinata to rescue Hanabi and to stop Toneri’s plan to destroy earth.

Talking about this movie is kinda tricky because despite the fact there’s an overarching plot revolving Toneri and his plan to destroy earth, the movie largely function to bridge the gap between the end of the World War arc with the timeskip manga ending (to which I could only describe with a word ‘wow’). Or to be more precise, answering the question of how the heck Naruto and Hinata ended up together in the end. Romance is not exactly something the main Naruto series focused upon (or handled well for that matter), so when the manga ending comes around revealing each of the characters got paired of and have babies, it does ended up rather baffling for many.

So yeah, the movie’s kind of a romance story within the framework of a shonen battle story. But, to the movie’s credit, I did liked the romance.

Majority of the romantic beat is something that’s familiar, but its executed well without over-reaching. Its started off with Naruto’s realization of Hinata’s feeling toward him as the team are stuck inside the enemies bubble trap that made them relive their memories and from there, the two of them spends time together somewhat awkwardly, before Hinata carried away by the enemy. Thus, leaving Naruto to rescue her and confront his own feeling.

What’s nice about it is that the romantic part paced itself naturally and conveyed through both verbal and non-verbal small interaction such as when there’s a spider web stuck in Hinata’s head and Naruto has to removed them (later on, she did the same thing to him) or when Naruto accidentally fell of the stairs, hurting his back and Hinata has to put the medical cream to his back (the same one she uses back at Chuunin exam arc). The way Naruto’s clueless-ness and dumbfound-ness on to handle the realization of Hinata’s feeling also fits his personality well. All of these event build up to a fantastic romantic finale as Naruto and Hinata ran hand in hand escaping through the memory bubble once again while racing through the memories of their time together during the mission’s finale.

The rest of the team are also had a purpose that ties to the plot and aren’t just simply there. Sai’s ink jutsu functioned as the team’s transportation, Shikamaru becomes the brain as per usual, and Sakura’s the one who free the team inside the memory illusion and also the one who gives Naruto the final push he needed to save Hinata and tell her how he feels. There’s plenty of short appearance of popular characters, but the narrative ultimately narrowed down on the team. Making the story more focused.

The problem with the movie however, lies with the overarching shonen plot. There’s really no surprising twist to the story nor there’s a potential thematic thread throughout. Toneri himself aren’t very engaging nor complex as a villain despite the clear motivation. There’s also several plot holes such as why Toneri wants Hinata to be his and why did Hinata let herself to be captured just because it was revealed she’s the only one who can destroy the enemies weapon instead of just stay with the rest of the team until they finally find the weapon. Making the entire event felt contrive just so Naruto can save her.

On the technical front, the movies have generally a solid aesthetic with lovely visual and several beautiful background such as Konohagakure’s village detailed and lively street, and also Toneri’s castle. The fight scenes are well choreographed and animated, but suffers due to the lack of weight and impact in each blows, and bland directions.

So on the whole, I enjoyed Naruto the Last. Its a cute romance which unfortunately laced together with a meh shonen plot. Not exactly the finale I’d wish for, but its a pretty proper send off to the series on the whole.

So yeah, so long Naruto……..

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