It’s hard to believe that it was a little over ten years ago when I first got into Naruto not long after the anime adaptation of the manga came along. When it started out, it was one of the best new shows I had seen, but months of filler episodes to make sure it wasn’t surpassing the manga’s storyline and other troubles lead me to drop out of watching it. But it’s good to know that the series has reached a conclusion and that it will continue to live on even after it’s latest film, The Last: Naruto the Movie has come and gone. Our friends at Eleven Arts gave me the opportunity to dip into this ninja-filled universe one more time with a movie that helps fill in some gaps in Naruto’s journey of love and more.
The story takes two years after the Sasuke and Naruto’s epic battle, with Naruto now being a teacher in Hidden Leaf village. One of the female ninjas there named Hinata has loved Naruto ever since they were kids at the start of the manga / anime, but has always been to shy to tell him how she feels. Naruto on the other hand is too dense to see the signs she drops and writes them off as awkward moments. Right when things seem to be getting close for them to finally being together, a man named Toneri Otsutsuki comes along and demands Hinata marry him, all while the Moon mysteriously begins to head to Earth and threatens to destroy it. After her younger sister is kidnapped by Toneri, Hinata sets off to get her back, leading Naruto and his old teammates to band together once more to save them, their village and the Earth.
While I had fell out of watching Naruto, it was nice seeing some of the old gang being older, wiser and getting back together again. I actually enjoyed them going on another adventure that was very reminiscent of a story arc from the series. One of the coolest parts of the film was the beginning of it where it looks like it was being drawn in a Japanese watercolor fashion similar to the classic video game Okami. The artwork and animation is pretty good and the soundtrack continues to get viewers excited with it’s traditional Japanese flair that hits all the right notes for both the action and drama scenes with pan flutes, drums and vocals.
While those who have seen everything Naruto may think otherwise, The Last: Naruto the Movie was a pretty good entry in the series’ universe as far as I’m concerned. While I dropped out of the loop a long time ago and haven’t seen most of the later half of the series and movies, I enjoyed what I saw in this film and I’m sure those who watch will be glad this isn’t “the last” of Naruto and his friends.