The latest Shippuden movie is quite straightforward and drops you in the middle of the Naruto universe, so I wouldn’t recommend just watching this film as a stand alone. This one is about a former leaf ninja who’s trying to make himself invincible. In order to achieve this goal, he needs to absorb certain powers. He managed to gather them all except for one and goes after Kakashi to complete the transformation. During this time Gaara is attacked by one of Hiruko’s goons while on the way to meet Tsunade since she asked him for help against this new foe. After inheriting charms left by Kakashi, Naruto fights through friends and foes to prevent his death while changing the minds of those who’ve inherited the will of fire.
I like this movie. It’s funny both deliberately and accidentally. My favourite thing about this movie is that it embodies what I loved about Naruto when I started reading it. Naruto remains the naive obnoxious character that he’s always been, insisting that they stop Kakashi because they can’t just sacrifice someone to save everyone else. The fight scenes aren’t what I would consider epic but they were fun. They are mostly based on teamwork. Overall, the movie evolved around Kakashi’s famous quote: “Those in the ninja world are scums…that’s true. But those who abandon their friends are worst than scums.”
The rasengan move was really overused and I have made up a theory that the rasengans in each final attack get bigger and bigger as each movie goes by. After 7 movies, the final attacks seem more like Dragon Ball Z than anything else. Seeing both Shino and Kiba was also great, Kiba did a getsuga and Shino covered his enemy with bugs, and that’s all I ever needed from either of them. Now, seeing characters used well is always nice to see but any anime pushing over 200 episodes is bound to have some filler. Luckily, this film keeps it to a minimum. As I mentioned briefly, Gaara makes an appearance, and fights Naruto at some point before the final battle. It didn’t really make sense why they gave him such a role, but it allowed me to make a pretty nice slider image for this review, so no fuss there!
Something that I should mention is that I loved Hoshi Souichiro as Hiruko, he was absolutely amazing as Shirazumi Lio in the seventh Kara no Kyōkai movie and he does a great bad guy here as well. Aside from voice acting, animation is also top notch. If they had the budget to constantly animate the anime like this, they should. If you are a follower of the series, sadly, this film does little to furthur the storyline. The abrupt ending also ruinswhatever emotional build up they were going for, but all in all, I left feeling like it was an O.K. movie. I did enjoy the last Naruto Shippuden movie so it’s nice to see that they’re at least maintaining a standard with the movies. Thumbs in the middle as it is a solid entry but doesn’t add nor take away anything from the franchise.