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Friday, September 26, 2008

Naruto The Movie: Legend of the Stone of Gelel DVD Impression

Naruto The Movie 2: Legend of the Stone of Gelel
When a simple mission to recover and return a runaway ferret turns into a life or death struggle then Naruto has to be involved. Accompanied by Shikamaru and Sakura, Naruto finds himself in a struggle against a knight, Temujin, from across the sea looking to create a utopia, but at a high price not even Temujin understands. Led by the charismatic Haido this mysterious group is searching for the Stone of Gelel, a power that will bring out Haido’s version of Utopia. Paths cross with old enemies turned allies and unique foes are encountered as Naruto encounters another version, a shadow, of himself in Temujin and his mysterious past.

Naruto’s second movie here in the states, Naruto The Movie 2: Legend of the Stone of Gelel, carries with it the same excellent voice the Naruto series is becoming known for and an upgraded animation seen in movie specials. The animation does not shine as much as Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow, but it’s still sharp and levels above the day-to-day series. The animation, the action, is fast and furious from the beginning battle and does not stop even as the ships sail at the end; it really is all the action a good ninja movie should deliver. The character design for the usual suspects is, well it’s the same. The new characters, Temujin, Haido, three female knights Fugai, Kamira and Ranke are all solid, but not memorable. The snow ninja with their chakra gear stand out, but these knights, even as they transform into other forms, just don’t stick. Basic armor, personalities that are forgettable and limited background all hurt the bad guy’s du-jour, but thankfully out nine-tail hero helps to bring it all together, and here’s how.

Temujin is a tool, one used by Haido. The intention is to get the Stone of Gelel, which would end the world, if not destroy a few nations. Temujin was alone, the lone survivor of his village, he relates like some many before, to Naruto. This point is emphasized, in the background, with the appearance of Gaara and Kankuro, who assist Naruto and team, a duo bent on destroying the Leaf Village, but here now working with Naruto. Discovering Temujin’s origins, ties to Haido, Haido’s true origins, well that’s the fun of the movie I won’t’ ruin, but the story overall is solid. It is a drop from the first movie, something I blame more on certain missing team members and their sweet jutsu, but it’s a great addition to any Naruto fans collection.

In summary what we have is a Naruto movie that does not require too much background to enjoy that utilizes great character design (usual suspects at least), great voice work, an engaging, sometimes forgettable, but overall solid story and fast paced animation any action fan will and should enjoy. If you can only get one Naruto movie, get the first one, but if you have the duckets, pick up this DVD and enjoy solid Naruto action and you too will see what all the hype is about.

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