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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Naruto Shippuden the Movie Impression

Naruto Shippuden Movie
The first Naruto Shippuden movie from Viz is what fans expect and so much more. Naruto is assigned a mission and of course influences those he’s assigned to protect (hey, he does this in every movie it seems) but this Naruto is more forceful.

With a legendary evil unsealed from its prison the Leaf Village is called into action on the front line. As Naruto is assigned to a squad including Sakura, Rock Lee and squad leader Neji he is disappointed to find the front line is not his calling but rather its bodyguard time. In order to re-seal this evil the priestess Shion must make it to the Land of Ogres underground palace and re-establish the seal. All that stands in her way is an insane group of jacked-up chakra users, a ghost army and her own doubts. Top it off with Shion’s ability to foretell the future, one where she has viewed Naruto’s death, and this may be too much for even the obnoxious Naruto to overcome … or not.

Like prior Naruto movies this outing has excellent animation that takes it levels above the series and includes action sequences that will captivate viewers. Rock Lee’s … inebriated battle is excellent as is the use of light and dark special moves, bright vivid attacks in dark backdrops as well as elemental attacks that will delight the eye. What add to the animation are the mature Shippuden designs. Seeing the grown up version of our favorite heroes and their attacks in action is the best looking of any Naruto animation yet. So yes, the animation is solid but it’s the story that stands out from the previous movies which all felt so similar with their base stories. It’s a tale of body guarding and changing the attitude of one spoiled girl but how Shion learns what she needs to, how she changes … well I’ll leave that out, what it boils down too is yes, Shion is a pain at first but her growth is influenced by Naruto but she does much on her own also. Her comment at the very end of the movie shows a major change and is one funny episode, so pay attention.

The other story point worth mentioning is the bad guys, Yomi and his group. Yomi is creepy in how he uses his medical jutsu and his group of four underlings are like drug addicts in how they jack up their powers with chakra worms. Gross, yes, creepy in appearance, yes and it works very well as this is not some group trying to take over a kingdom, it’s a group of true monsters looking to bring destruction to the world. Been a long time coming that a demon and his minions are the foes … and you though ninja were tough. These are the main players with Sakura really doing not too much, Rock Lee showing off some great moves while drunk and Neji learning to use Naruto to his abilities and not force on him what does not work well. What’s missing … well any sign of nine-tails, but he’s not missed.

Overall this is the best Naruto since the land of snow. Good bad guys, great action and animation and an overall package that will please fans and leave you fulfilled.

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