Naruto Shippuden the Movie: The Will of Fire [Naruto Movie Month]

Type: 10th Anniversary Edition

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Synopsis: Mission 6- Going Rouge

Pros: As this movie is a celebration of Naruto after 10 years, it does the really smart thing of focusing on the characters from the Hidden Leaf Village. Instead of adding some random film only character, the person that needs rescuing in this movie is Kakashi. Long story short: A former Leaf Ninja is kidnapping Ninja with Kekkei Genkai, or “Bloodline Techniques.” With the other nations blaming the Leaf, everyone decides to sacrifice Kakashi to stop the threat. Everyone except for Naruto, who predictably is not down with letting his teacher die. So what we get is a movie where Naruto is racing to stop Kakashi, while everyone else is racing to stop Naruto. The film uses the entire “Leaf 9,” or Naruto’s graduating class. This was also very smart because it uses characters that aren’t often showcased, and because the Naruto story is a Generational one, so having Naruto’s generation take center stage was smart. Each team gets a fight sequence, and we even get a pretty cool Naruto vs. Gaara rematch. The movie also throws in political issues and themes of friendship, making this an excellent primer for what the Naruto franchise had evolved into.

Cons: The backgrounds are boring. It’s mostly a bunch of rocks and spiky rocks. Kakashi’s plan was a little ill thought out, because he should have known how Naruto would behave as his teacher. And while I did like Naruto’s resolve to save Kakashi, his stubborness did make his annoying at times. We get a few random flashbacks here and there, but they do work in context. Interestingly, no Sasuke. I don’t like the guy, but even I feel he needed a mention for the 10th anniversary movie.

Best Naruto Movie?: Yes

Villain: Hiruko

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Forgettable Villain #6

Best Moment: Naruto vs Gaara II (my favorite rivalry in the franchise)

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