Tag Archives: shoen

Fire Force (Season 1)

Type: This girl is on fiiiire!

Synopsis: But seriously, how great is Alicia Keys? One of our best all around singers. Anyway, this is an anime about magic firefighters.

Pros: Fire Force, or BLAZING FIREFIGHTING CORPS, is a shonen anime from Atsushi Okubo (the creator of Soul Eater) and David Productions. So right off the bat you’ll notice the unique character designs and stellar animation effects. Since this story’s power system involves creating and manipulating fire, a lot of the actions scenes are very flashy. In fact, I would say that the show’s animation effects team are the real MVP’s of this season. Each of the characters fighting styles were  pulled off well in animation, and were always fun to watch. This is definitely a youtube clip worthy show. Story wise, this is a basic shonen, but it manages to have the most important aspect of a shonen story: an interesting a likable cast. The main group is Special Fire Force Company 8, who are  the Fire Force’s internal affairs department. I liked all of Company 8, but my favorites were Captain Obi and Maki Oze. Captain Obi because he plays the “normal guy” character in a world full of super powered weirdos while also being a role model and leader to Company 8 (he’s also best boy and I love him). Maki because she’s strong and competent and feminine and feels like a legit sempai for the main characters (she’s also best girl and I love her). I like most of the scenes between Company 8, and the show does a good job making them feel like a tight knit team who would trust each other during an emergency. Ya know, like an actual company of firefighters.

Cons: Let’s talk about Tamaki. Tamaki is the youngest member of Company 8 (technically a temporary trasfer) after being rescued in the second arc of the series. Tamaki is often used for fan service jokes, a lot. Like in every scene she’s in. It’s kind of her main characteristic. Her “Lucky Lewd Syndrome” is incredibly sexist and creepy given her age. It a big glaring negative on an otherwise fun shonen story. And, it’s like, it wouldn’t be so bad if this just happened once or twice. But the writers keep using the same joke in almost every scene she’s in. Even her big emotional rescue has the main character Shinra motorboat her breasts. It was also weird because based on Soul Eater, Atsushi Okubo seems to know how to portray female characters, at least more or less. I don’t know if this is editor mandated, or if the anime writers took some liberty, or if Okubo is just getting old and pervy, but this was amateur hour fan service. All it did was detract from Tamaki’s character. A great example of this is in Episode 19, where the female members of Company 8 have to face off against White-Clad members, the main antagonists of the series. This episode kinda showcases how Maki and Tamaki are treated as characters. Against a group of White-Clad, Maki admonishes them for attacking Shinra and Arthur in an earlier episode, and takes them out single-handily. She struggles a little against the main boss, but manages to use her powers tactically to get a win. In this scene, Maki was underestimated for being alone and a woman, but uses the element of surprise and her experience to win. Contrast that with Tamaki in the same episode, who is also underestimated for being along and a woman. She even has a flashback where Shinra makes fun of her for having to be rescued. Normally, this would be the scene where Tamaki proves to herself that she deserves to be a fire soldier by beating up the bad guy. However, she instead lunges at her opponent and land her breasts on his hand. And while the bad guy cops a feel, another person bashes his head in with a pipe. So Tamaki’s big moment of self-realization ends with a grope and a joke. The entire series has a weird spectrum of how it handles female characters, from Lisa’s sexualized torture to Hibanan’s iron grip over Company 5. It all felt very dated, which I think is my feelings overall for Fire Force. Overall, the entire story had stereotypical troupes. A main character who’s secretly the strongest character, a rival who’s also his brother, as secret organization of villains, friendly/antagonistic clicks, a central mystery, etc. The only unique thing about it, besides the flashy fights, it that a lot of story beats happen a lot earlier than expected. We meet the strongest fire force fighter in the second arc, Shinra’s missing brother is revealed in the third arc, the White-Clad’s main hideout is invaded at the end of the season, and Shinra fights his brother and unlocks a crazy power-up in the last fight (Episode 22). It feels a little rushed, and kind sacrifices world building. Also, for a show about fire fighters, there is very little actual fire fighting. The show gives up on the premise right away to focus on the White-Clad conspiracy. Which again, a lot of shonen stories do that. In the main story, Naruto doesn’t actually go on Ninja missions and Ichigo doesn’t actually patrol for Hollows. Personally, I do wish that we got to see more Fire Force stuff, as I really liked the premise of super powered fire fighters. Though I suppose the premise is a little limited…which I guess is why Fire Fighters don’t get a lot of TV shows centered around them. I mean, Rescue Me sure, but even that got lost and mostly rambled at the end, just like this thought….

Watch it?: It’s hit or miss at times, but it’s a good looking shonen (3/5)

MVP: Obi and Maki

I love them, but also want to be them.

Best Episode: Ep. 2 “The Heart of a Fire Soldier” (I could have chosen the brother’s fight, but this is the only episodes where the fire fighters do actual fire fighting).

Tagged , , , ,

DBZ Abridged

Type: It was the hype!!

Synopsis: It was hilarious, and we will all quote everything it said.

Pros: Dragon Ball Z: Abridged is probably the best anime abridged series in the history of the medium. It’s certainly the standard bearer. I say this with no hyperbole. For over 10 years, Team Four Star created one of the funniest, silliest, and weirdly emotionally resonant parodies on the internet. I think that a part of being a fan is secretly wishing to add to your fandom, at least a little. Team Four Star lived out that dream. Not only did they get to play around with the Dragon Ball Z characters, they made one of the best entries in the franchise. This may sound odd, but I would argue that DBZ: Abridged is the best way to ingest Dragon Ball after the original airing. DBZ: Abridged acts as a loving reflection of all the horribly funny inconsistencies in the greatest shonen story of all time. How many of us witnessed the Saiyan, Freeza, and Cell Saga and thought: Ya know, Goku is kinda a bad father, Piccolo is much better…I wonder what the human Z-fighters think about all these Super Saiyans running around…Now that I think about it, PoPo probably is some sort of Eldritch horror. But in all seriousness, I think that DBZ’s greatest legacy is that for a group of fans, myself included, it kept the Dragon Ball flame lit during some very dark times. It was a 10 years gap between Dragon Ball GT and Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods. This show started in 2008. The abridged series made me fall in love with Dragon Ball Z again, and got me excited for new entries like Dragon Ball Super and DBZ Fighters. I guess it’s a little poetic that DBZ abridged is ending right as Dragon Ball got another resurgence. After reigniting passions for the franchise, making it’s own mark on the industry, and even creating it’s own lore, it was time to move on. Team Four Star made us laugh and care about Dragon Ball again, and they did it there way.

Cons: After reading all that, you might be wondering: What the hell is Dragon Ball Z Abridged? To which I say: You go some attitude mister. DBZ: Abridged was an online video parody series about the story and characters of Dragon Ball Z. The show covers every episode and plot-line from the original show in a condensed, often satirical version. Everything is more or less the same, just bent or twisted for comedic effect. For example, in the show Guru of Namek is still the ruler of the Namekians, but he’s also an asshole and war criminal. Piccolo is still a stoic warrior, but also a bit of a tsundere. Some characters veer off their beaten track, and others go way off. Looking at you Mr. Popo. Despite my love and gratitude of this show, it’s not perfect in any way. The early episodes are rough, and the joke very in quality. There are some very lazy dick and drug jokes. I would say that this show, on average, is about at a mid-2000’s Adult Swim level of comedy. It’s stupid funny. That could be a compliment or an insult, depending on the episode.

Watch it: A must for DBZ fans! (5/5)

MVP: Team Four Star

Now they can live their own lives, and make their own futures.

Best Episode: Ep. 60, Part 1-3 (They were perfect).

 

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Dragon Ball Super: Broly

Type: HD Remake

Synopsis: A long time ago, the author of a popular fighting manga made fun of super buff/macho characters to take the wind out of his fanbase. Years later, that same author decides to take on that same character archetype to pad out his retirement fund. The result? A pretty good interpretation all things considered.

Pros: Let’s address the Elephant in the room. Yes, Broly has been a fan favorite ever since his inception. He’s been in every non-anime release for Dragon Ball since his debut movie. And no, I don’t think the original Dragon Ball writers knew exactly why he was so popular, which is why all his subsequent animated portrayals were bad. Just the worst. Remember Bio-Broly? Because I DO. Anyway, in this movie the writers for Dragon Ball Super give something to Broly he was sorely lacking: a personality. You see, the original Broly movie was more of a Pegasus film, with Broly sorta just being there for the fight. But in this, Broly is given his own supporting cast and backstory, while staying true to the original film. The start of the film also works to canonize a few Saiyan story lines into the main continuity. Frieza is there. Bardock is there (and yes, he does the thing). Flippin’ Tarble gets a mention! Later in the movie, the fight between Broly and Goku/Vegeta is set up well enough, and the resolution worked well to protect everyone’s status. And hey, Gogeta joins the fight!

Cons: This movie is far and away better than the original. That being said, no one really explains why Broly is so strong. He just is. This would be find, except that this movie happens after the tournament of power, where Goku and Jiren surpassed the levels of gods with the multiverse at stake. So having some random dude push Goku to his limit created a bit of dissonance. And the fusion stuff reeked of fan service/marketing. Don’t get me wrong, it was cool that Gogera became cannon, but still. The movie also does retcon a few small details from the Story of Bardock, but honestly, it was nothing too controversial. And hey, Goku’s mom is here!

Watch it?: Best Dragon Ball hyperfighting you’ll see

MVP: The first half hour

Someday they will join you in the Sun Kal–I mean Kakarot.

Best Moment: The POV fight segment (I personally liked the early story stuff, but let’s be honest, everyone should watch the POV segment).

Tagged , , , ,

My Hero Academia (Season 2)

Type: Also known as That 2017’s Show

Synopsis: You get it, because the television program That 70’s Show was a thing in the 2000’s, and My Hero Academia was really popular in 2017? Yeah? Well…I-I thought I was being clever and, ah, let’s just move on. This is My Hero Academia, also know as HeroAca, Boku No Hero, HeroAcademia, season 2. It’s still pretty good.

Pros: It’s still pretty good. With the season bumped up to 24 episodes, My Hero Academia covers about 3 story arcs. The Sport’s Festival Arc, the Hero Killer Arc, and the Final Exam Arc. While the first season focused on exploring the setting from our protagonist Deku/Midoriya’s point of view, this season focuses on fleshing out the extended cast. Instead of talking about my favorite characters (Froppy is best girl, and Tokoyami is surprising top tier) I’d like to point something out. What this season did very well was establishing a clear and shared goal for each of the supporting characters. Each character want’s to be a “hero,” for their own reasons. While their motivations may differ, they each have the same goal that audience can understand. Who didn’t cry when we learned that Ochako wanted to be a hero to help her family out? Or Todoroki’s whole deal? Hell, I even sympathized with Hitoshi, the guy that wanted to be a hero even though he looks creepy. Normally, a lot of shonen stories reserved having a “dream” to the main characters. And while, realistically, not everyone would want to be King of the Pirates or Hokage, it’s nice to see such a distinct class of characters all striving for the same goal. It makes the comradery between the characters seem more natural. A lot of episodes were about pairing characters together, or contrasting characters against one another. This even happens with the antagonists, as the show introduces fan favorite, Stain, a “hero killer” who’s more of an anti-hero, which is why he clashes with the show’s main villain group. The show also explain more about the power One-For-All, and some implied multi-generational lore, but that’s going to have to wait until season 3.

Cons: The only real not great thing about season 2 was a 10 minutes segments detailing Froggy’s internship in episode 19. It felt filler-y to me. But outside of that, nothing particularly wrong with this season. The intro’s were good. The comedy was on point. The action was well handled. The character moments were incredible. As one of the “it shows” of 2017, don’t expect an artistic masterpiece, or a watershed series or anything. But My Hero Academia continues to be a stellar shonen series.

Watch it?: Yes. Yes you should. (4/5)

MVP: Ochako Uraraka

She really is a good kid.

MVP: Ep.13-18 The Hero Killer Arc (Internships, Team Work, Anti-Hero, it has it all! Plus, I didn’t really talk about it in the review)

Tagged , , , , , ,

Black Cat

Type: Tries to fit in waaaay too much

326e1007df8e266a1590d261c7ed3974

Synopsis: In the most basic terms, this is an B-level anime about a disgruntled government employee who travels around with a bounty hunter and a teenage girl. But honestly, the “main character” is the most uninteresting part. I was way more enthralled by oddly cute story about a father figure taking his charge for ice cream, fireworks, getting her tones of books, and letting her hunt down criminals by utilizing her super soldier abilities. Maybe my tastes are maturing….

Pros: As stated above, this anime is a really fun B-anime. I’d put it right up there with Outlaw Star and Negima!? There are really 2 main plots that run parallel to each other in the anime. The primary plot is about Train, an ex-government assassin who’s on a quest for revenge against the man who killed a girl he kinda, sorta liked. I mean, they only met for, like, 30 minutes combined, but she was being all manic pixie. Boys like that. Train’s rival starts a revolutionary terrorist, “Apostles of the Star,” who drive the main plot. The other plot involves Eve, an artificial life form who’s powers drive the plot of the last arc. But really, the anime is mostly about 3 people going on wacky adventures with one another. That’s when its at its best. Train’s the wacky one, Sven’s the straight man, and Eve’s the deadpan girl. And sometimes they’re joined by Rinslet, a sly con woman. The three had great chemistry, make a great comedic team, and I honestly could have lived with the entire series just being them going on jobs.

Cons: There is actually a lot wrong with Black Cat. The story is rushed. The original manga was 20 volumes. The show is only 24 episodes. That’s practically a volume per episode. The show tries it’s best to cram in as many characters and villains as it can, but most are forgettable. I mean, yeah, Creed’s obsession with Train was unique, but he’s outfit was just too much to take him seriously. And the Apostles and the Numbers aren’t really given enough time individually to establish themselves as credible threats. This is a rare case where the “read the manga” ending would have been better than the “let’s get as many plot points as we can” ending. You never really get a chance to “know” any of these characters. And the English Dub dips in quality one too many times. Train’s story is ultimately uninteresting, and he’s more of a poster boy than compelling protagonist. Eve’s story isn’t as fleshed out as I would have liked it. And Sven isn’t really given an arc at all. He has a quick flashback and that’s it. I liked Rinslet’s addition, but she usually stayed at arms length most of the time. But the most jarring this about watching this show is that ep1-7 feels very removed from the rest of the show. The first seven episodes are the intro arc, which is way more melodramatic and dark than the rest of the show (the first arc is literally all at night). And Train is way more of a emo anime boy than the happy go lucky guy he is later. I would actually not recommend watching ep1-7 first. I would actually watch these between ep10 and 11, or even until ep20. I think this anime would have been truly great if it’s story had been given more episodes to breath.

Watch it?: For all it’s faults, it’s still a fun ride (4/5)

MVP: Sven

36544df81c438b11442567272e5d5eaf

This is an alternate version of Kenji Harima. This is my headcannon now.

Best Episode: Ep.8 “The Sweeping Cat / A Traveling Cat” (adventure!)

Tagged , , , ,

Cyborg 009 VS Devilman (OVA)

Type: Dawn of Trends

cyborg009vsdevilman

Synopsis: I was rooting for Devil Man.

Pros: Cyborg 007 vs Devilman follows the classic superhero vs superhero story points. The two heroes fight one another because of a misunderstanding, it turns out there’s a bigger threat, they work together, hugs and kisses and goodnight. The plot is more Cyborg 009 heavy. After the fight with the Olympian styled cyborgs, the Cyborg 1-9 are alerted to the dangers of a “demons,” run into newer cyborgs, and then have to fight cyborg/demon hybrids. The Cyborg side of the story is more proactive, giving them more presence in the story. On the other side, we have Devilman, who sorta just reacts to the plot. His involvement doesn’t become justified until the halfway through, when his girlfriend(?) is kidnapped to get his devil genes, or something. The crux of the story relies on the fact that both sides find the others existence possible. Having fought god themed cyborgs, Demon Cyborgs aren’t too crazy, and Devilman will mostly fight anything. I actually really found myself liking the Devilman aspects of the show. In a way, it completed its mission of making me curious about one of the franchises. As crossovers go, mushing these two seemingly antithetical franchises made in the 1970’s together worked surprisingly well.

Cons: I’m going to put this out there: I am not a fan of Cyborg 009. And it is for the pettiest reasons. Back in the day, Toonami replaced Rorouni Kenshin with Cyborg 009 on their 6pm slot, moving Kenshin to Saturday Nights. This occurred before the resolution of the Kyoto Arc, meaning I had to stay up late to watch Kenshin, which was now once a week instead of every day. As you can imagine, child-me did not appreciate this. And even since, I’ve been very bitter towards Cyborg 009 (even though I know that it was probably some dumb program managers fault). So naturally I found myself rooting for Devilman in this and resenting the plot heavy Cyborg 009 elements. That being said, this mini-series is very cannon plot heavy. It seems to occur after a big arc for Cyborg 009 and an early arc for Devilman. This was clearly done for the benefit of long time fans, because new viewers will feel lost and confused. In fact, I’d hazard to say that this film is meant to be a cannon occurance instead of a stand alone adventure. Did this make me a fan of Cyborg 009? No. It’s still not for me, and I still find Cyborg 009 and 002’s power redundant (if they both and super speed, we keep both?).

Watch it?: Now I wanna read Devilman (4/5)

MVP: Devilman

maxresdefault

I just think he stands the test of time better

Best Episode: Ep.1 Cyborg 009 vs Devilman (hero fights!)

Tagged , , , , ,

First of the North Star (1986)

Type: You’re already dead

91SN3SkQMHL._SL1500_

Synopsis: You blew it up! Damn you! Damn you straight to hel…wait a minute, did that man just blow up another mans head? Huh, did that other man just cut those people in half with his fingers? Wha-is that man’s horse eminating some sort of terrible yet noble aura? Maybe this apocalypse won’t be so bad…

Pros: The First of the North Star movie is based on the Fist of the North Star manga, a very seminal and very bloody manga from the 80’s that influenced a bunch of stuff, most notably Berserk. The story is basically a Martial Arts drama set in a Mad Max world. In fact, if Mad Mas is what’s happening is Australia, then Fist of the North Star is probably happening in Japan. The star of our tale is Kenshiro, the current master of Hokuto Shinken, a pressure point fighting style. Kenshiro’s fiance is kidnapped and Ken is left for dead, only to wake up a few years later to look for her. What follows is Ken going from town to town, helping the survivors of humanity along the way. And by helping, I mean using Hokuto Shinken to make bandit heads blow up real nice. This is a very bloody movie, so much so that the animators actually had a few joke decapitations here and there. The film does capture the spirit of the source material, even if it takes some liberties with story points like Roah showing up way too early). Overall, pretty good.

Cons: It’s not that the animation is old, it’s that some of the special effects used in the movie did not age well. The English Dub could be hit of miss for some people. I found it charming, but purist may not be able to deal with it. And his is very gory. If your not a fan of that, then you won’t be a fan of this.

Watch it?: If you’ve never been exposed to Fist of the North Star, this is a good first look

MVP: Kenshiro’s Beard

fist_of_the_north_star_cartoon_2014_wallpapers_hq

It kills you with its manliness

Best Moment: Kenshiro’s revival (what is he, a monster!?)

 

 

Tagged , , , , ,

Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic

Type: Arabian Nights starring Jake Gyllenhall!?

11jqbk4

Synopsis: In a time long ago before, there was a movie franchise of movie franchises called Aladdin, of Studio Disney. So popular was the story that it sprang forth two direct to video sequels, a cartoon show, and some pretty good video games. It’s also the reason why this wasn’t just called the “Adventures of Aladdin” or something. Copyright is a scary thing. Anyway, this stars a little magician called “Aladdin” with a non-talking Genie and “Alibaba,” a thoroughly not old woodcutter. Oh, and sometimes it also has a slave girl named Morgiana, but according to the show, she’s not super important.

Pros: I’ve said this before, but I always find anime adaptations of non-Japanese stories really fascinating. In this case, the anime borrows heavily from One Thousand and One Nights, one of the definitive bedrocks of modern fiction. Having never read the collected works (It’s on my list), I can’t really speak that much about the allusions the anime uses. What I can say is that the Magi anime itself is pretty good. It sets itself up as an adventure story, but quickly becomes a sociopolitical tale with social inequality as it’s main topic. The villains used in this are often drunk on other own power, either because of owning slaves, or holding titles, or simply being powerful. A lot are simply bullies, which irritated my a lot, meaning that they work as villains (because you’re not suppose to like the villains!). And because most of the story arcs boil down to the harshness of inequality, something that has stayed consistent throughout history, the plots often pack an emotional punch. Just look at Morgiana, a slave from early childhood with the mental scars to prove it. The use of the colorful world was a great juxtaposition with the ugly actions of some of it’s inhabitants, as well as the power source of the true antagonists being hatred and negativity. I should also mention that the openings for this anime are really good. Not artsy, as they mostly use scenes from the upcoming episodes, but they were really fun to watch.

Cons: A story set in the Middle-East, and you couldn’t give one character a tan? For reals!? Hollywood gets a lot of flack for white washing its films (deservedly so), but anime ain’t exactly innocent of this either. Like, why is Morgiana of the “Dark Continent” (cough Old 1800’s Racist English Name for  the continent Africa cough) a pale girl with red hair? Why does Alibaba have Blonde Hair and Blue Eyes? This is almost as bad a Gods of Egypt, which I’m sure will stay a topical reference…Anyway, there are other problems. For a story whose opening sells itself as an adventure series, Aladdin and crew don’t really do a lot of traveling together. And despite all this talk of Dungeons, you only get 2 in the show. A lot of the story arcs just have them hanging out in one city at a time. You never see them hit the road as a group, which would have been fun. Speaking of groups, I feel that Morgiana gets short changed, probably because she’s “the girl.” The anime is more of the Aladdin and Alibaba story. Spefically, Alibaba’s hero’s journey with Aladdin as his wizard advisor. Morgiana’s just there for the ride. Story wise, this is a meaty anime. Some arcs drag, like the Balbadd story. Ultimately, my biggest problem with this anime is that I feel that it sells itself as a fun adventure story, but the levity never arrives outside of a few boob jokes. It’s really more like a disingenuous Fullmetal Alchemist.

Watch it?: Yeeeeah, but do realize it does feel long. (4/5)

MVP: Morgiana

-GotWoot-_Magi_-_06_-FACEB00B-.mkv_snapshot_09.42_-2013.03.16_11.07.35-

Always has the best fights

Best Episode: Ep6 “Warrior Tribe Fanalis” (showcase of the anime’s story structure)

Tagged , , , , , ,

Boruto: Naruto the Movie [Naruto Movie Month]

Type: Confusing Title

Boruto_the_Movie_poster_2

Synopsis: Mission 11- Milk the Franchise for all it’s worth!

Pros: Boruto: Naruto the Movie is…wait, before we start, can we all agree that “Boruto: Naruto the Movie” is a very dumb title. “Boruto: The Movie,” “Naruto Legacy: Boruto,” or even “Naruto the Movie: Boruto,” all these would have made more sense. Also, “Boruto?” as in “Bore-uto?” did no one make the connection? Anyway, Boruto is a sequel series to the Naruto franchise, following the life of Naruto’s son Boruto. Specifically, right after Naruto has become Hokage, but before Boruto takes his Chunin Exams. The plot of the film revolves around Boruto feeling neglected by his father, who’s very busy with his duties as Hokage. His growing resentment leads him to attempt to surpass his father, either by tutelage under Sasuke, or via a cheater Ninja device. Then the bad guy shows up and almost kills Naruto, making Boruto realize what a shmuck he really is. The world that Boruto shows is pretty interesting, as it has modernized quiet rapidly since the end of Naruto. Seeing the character’s kids in action was neat (though their similar ages makes me think the cast of Naruto coordinated their pregnancies). It’s a fair start to a new chapter, and I look forward to seeing more of it, and I applaud the franchise for daring to follow a new protagonist (unlike other series cough Dragon Ball cough). (P.s. However, personally, I would have liked the story to focus on Sarada Uchiha, because I find the story of an Uchiha who wants to be Hokage much more interesting).

Cons: So I think the big question in everyone’s mind upon hearing this was: Is Boruto any good as a character? Because he look’s just like his Naruto, and acts just like Naruto, but we just went through 12 years of Naruto. Is he redundant? The answer is yes and no. Boruto’s situation and motivation are different from Naruto, and that will determine whether or not you like him. Unlike Naruto, his son is every talented and popular, with a family that loves him. In fact, the reason he lashes out in the movie is that his father works too much (which is implied to be a recent thing). Which is different from Naruto, who lashed out more as a way to validate his existence. Or to put it another way, Naruto needed to prove that he mattered, while Boruto his just a brat. But the whole movie is Boruto having to realize this, so narratively, his behavior is justified. Personally, however…yeah, he’s annoying. More annoying than Naruto was? No, but Naruto had the orphan excuse. But his whole analysis does bring up the glaring fact that you can’t talk about Boruto without bringing up Naruto. And to it’s credit, the movie’s writing owes up to this, very much stating that “Yes, this is a continuation of the Naruto story” while also stating “but, this is a new story.”

Best Boruto Movie?: Yes

Villain: Momoshiki

Ōtsutsuki_Momoshiki

Forgettable Villain V.2, #1

Best Moment: The Last Fight (Hokage Level Combat!)

Tagged , , , , ,

The Last: Naruto the Movie [Naruto Movie Month]

Type: Years in the Making

k31o8nvhiavsvruhhl7q

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

Toneri_Headshot

Forgettable Villain #10

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

Tagged , , , , , ,