The Last: Naruto the Movie [Naruto Movie Month]

Type: Years in the Making

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Synopsis: Mission 10- Save the World, Fall in Love, Live Happily Ever After

Pros: Hmm….ah, excuse me. I have to wipe away these tears of joy I have here. This movie is so…cathartic. It’s the perfect emotional endpoint for the Naruto franchise. The Last focuses on the relationship between Naruto and Hinata, finally affirming their status as a couple. You see, in the actual manga, Naruto and Hinata’s romance is not a main plot. It’s not even a subplot. It’s a sup plot twice removed. It’s such a slow burn that you almost can’t believe it finally paid off. But it’s also something you can only pull off if your series has lasted consistently for this long. In the film, Naruto FINALLY realizes that Hinata loves him, and he realizes that he loves her. Because Hinata was the first person to ever believe in Naruto. He inspired her, which eventually evolved into love. The film was actually a good showcase of Hinata’s overall character arc, from being riddled with self-doubt to standing tall in the face of overwhelming danger. That’s one of the reason’s why Hinata is my favorite Naruto character (sorry Lee!), because her personal anxieties weigh on her the most. She struggles, she falls, but she keeps on trying and becomes a lot stronger as a result. She also rips a man’s eyes out of their sockets, which was pretty bad ass. Now, if you’re not as invested in the Naruto/Hinata story as I am (you monsters), the movie was also a pretty cool way to see the progression of the main characters. Every character was aged up to about 19-20 years old, so they all got really neat redesigns. And taking place after the series ended, you get to see Naruto be really popular and  fight at his strongest, throwing wind-rasengans left and right. Plus, you get to see Kakashi as Hokage, which was cool, and all this growth was fun to observe because Naruto has been around for soo long. In some ways, it’s like we’ve seen actors grow up before our eyes.

Cons: While I stand by my assertion that this was the best story to end the Naruto story on, the plot if pretty cookie cutter. One person has a crush on the other, they bond, something dramatic happens, the other tries to reciprocate but is “rejected,” the girl is “kidnapped” or somehow removed, the boy wallows in self pity for a little but is roused by his friends to save the girl, rescue occurs and romantic kiss ends it. This has literally happened at the end of so many romantic anime that I’ve lost count (it even happend in Ouran Host Club). To top it off, the villain is even that douche anime character that thinks the girl likes him just because he says so.  Yuck. And it took Naruto a magic memory pool to realize Hinata likes him, the knucklehead! While the plot can make the film a little too romantically generic at times, the movie as a whole does tie up two crucial loose ends. First, the Hinata-Naruto story, and second, the Other Sage of the Six Paths. In the Naruto story, the creator of the Ninja arts had a brother, but the manga never really says what happened to him. Turn out, he went off to live on he moon! Who knew? It was also cool to state that Hinata’s Byakugan is tied to the Sages, just like the Sharingan. (P.s. In the movie, the moon is falling, which leads to everyone deciding to destroy the moon because some crazy guy is trying to kill all Ninja. Stop trying to destroy the moon anime characters! That’s an incredibly bad idea on several levels!!)

Best Naruto Movie: YES

Villain: Toneri

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Forgettable Villain #10

Best Moment: The Post Credit Scene (Naruto and his Family…ah, here come those tears again:))

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