Screening today across North America is Masashi Kishimoto’s final (hopefully not) chapter in the Naruto series, with the movie, Boruto: Naruto The Movie. In the movie, we move forward several years after the Fourth Shinobi World War. We are now looking at the next generation of shinobi from Konohagakure (Village Hidden In The Leaves, or Hidden Leaf Village), which itself has become a very advance city.
The movie opens with Sasuke Uchiha battling two unknown opponents. We later learn that they are Kinoshiki and Lord Momoshiki of the Otsutsuki Clan, the clan that the Sage of the Six Paths comes from. After a well choreographed and destructive fight, Sasuke manages to escape, but Kinoshiki and Momoshiki soon follow him.
The main part of the story follows Boruto Uzamaki, the son and eldest child of Naruto. We quickly learn that he is not happy with his dad and resents him a great deal because he never has time for him See at this time, Naruto is now the Seventh Hokage and this takes much of his time. So Boruto pretty much defiant of his father is almost a mirror image of Naruto at the same age.
There are also a number of other children of the characters that many fans will instantly recognize, as they share traits from their parents. This includes Sasuke and Sakura’s daughter, Sarada; Shikamaru and Temari’s son, Shikadai; Choji and Karui’s daughter Chocho; Ino and Sai’s son, Inojin; and the mysterious Mitsuki, a team member to Boruto and Sarada. There are a number of new characters that make eye-blinking appearances, but you will enjoy seeing them still.
We are also introduced to a new Science Ninja Weapons Team tech called, Kote, which is boasted as next-gen weaponry for shinobi. The Kote is a gauntlet like weapon worn on the forearm that allows its wearer to wield technique without having the need for any chakara. We quickly learn is that is viewed as nothing more than a shortcut, or a cheat, and is banned from the Chunin Exams by the Seventh Hokage who says that is not fair to those work hard to become a true shinobi.
I would say that you could sum up some important life lessons from the film — like shortcuts don’t lead to good things and only prevent us from becoming better; and that the more things change, the more they stay the same — which may seem trivial or stereotypical, but how these lessons were laid out was resonating, at least for me.
The Good: It’s more Naruto! After spending 15 years telling the story of Naruto as a child, then becoming the man he is, it was fun seeing what would come after. I would certainly welcome more stories set in this time and I would hope that Naruto creator, Masashi Kishimoto, would want to revisit again at some point. The animation was great looking in my eyes. I’m sure some could mention others that looked better, but for me, I couldn’t have asked for anything better.
The Bad: Felt as though the movie could have been just a little longer, even though it is already an hour and forty-five minutes. I say this because once Kinoshiki and Momoshiki arrive at Konohagakure during the Chunin Exams, things kind of feel like they were on fast-forward. And probably the worst thing for me (and I’m sure many other fans as well) according to Kishimoto, this is the last chapter in the Naruto saga.
Overall, I enjoyed Boruto: Naruto The Movie. It was sad to see the Naruto stories come to a close and I suppose that says something about it. If after 15 years the stories you are telling are still interesting and capture fans around the world, then I would say you have done something right. Very right.
So thank you Masashi Kishimoto. If you never return to Naruto again, know that you have indeed created something special.
If you get a chance, I definitely recommend checking out Boruto: Naruto The Movie, it’s a fun final ride.
One final note, if you want a little more story from this era of Naruto, then I suggest picking up Naruto Gaiden: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring, a spinoff miniseries sequel to Naruto. In the timeline of events, it takes place right before this movie. It available now in digital format only, with a paperback book being released in January.