Ten years ago, a gigantic demon beast known as the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox was released from its jinchuuriki by an unknown shinobi wearing a mask. The village of Konohagakure was close to destruction by the attack of the Nine-Tails, but the village was saved by its leader. Minato Namikaze and his wife Kushina Uzumaki—who was the jinchuuriki at the time of the attack—sealed away the demon inside their new born son: Naruto Uzumaki. However, this act of saving the village cost them their lives and they left the future of the ninja world to Naruto.
With the demon fox sealed away, things continued as normal. However, the peace of the village would not last long, for Pain, Konan, Itachi Uchiha, Kisame Hoshigaki, Sasori, Deidara, Hidan and Kakuzu—members of a dreaded shinobi group called the Akatsuki—attacked Konohagakure. Naruto narrowly manages to launch a counter-attack but why have these shinobi appeared when all of them were meant to have died? The mystery remains, but the shinobi are praised by heir families for completing such a dangerous mission. However, one of them who has never known the faces of his parents, Naruto, cannot help but feel lonely. At that exact time, suddenly, the masked man makes his appearance in Konoha. Naruto and his allies are both attacked by the man's mysterious new doujutsu.
Singapore decided to show us anime fans some mercy by screening Road to Ninja, Houou no Miko and Tiger & Bunny: The Beginning in the cinemas.
Road to Ninja is a little different from the previous movies. While movies 1 to 5 introduce new characters—protagonists and antagonists—with plots that totally differ from the original story's, RtN is almost like a possible subplot of the main story.
With the exception of some, we get the same characters we see in the main story, but with a strange twist that would greatly appeal to the audience. It’s like a dream come true to some fans. It also keeps your mind going while you watch it, which personally, is what makes Naruto fun to watch. There’s also a hidden message in it, that is actually quite obvious in the starting of the movie.
There's a big chunk of flashback in one of the parts though, but it was from my favourite episode, so I'm not complaining.
Same art, new soundtracks, and overall it’s unique, funny and (kind of) tear-shedding, what I find—unbiasedly—worth skipping work for and the S$16.90 (large bottle of Coke with a free refill included) I spent on. I actually managed to get my non-Naruto-loving sister to watch it. And hey, more MinaKushi loving here!read more
Have you ever seen a Naruto movie before? Yes? Good.
Do you have the intention of watching this movie thinking it'll be something new? Yes? Alright, I want you to open a new tab and search up in Google, a montage of the "Best scenes" from this movie. Said montage will inevitably contain the much-talked about bath scene involving all the AU characters, a few scenes involving Naruto and his parents (perhaps Sakura if the person is a fan of that pairing), and his fight with the movie's big baddy (whom I won't spoil just in case, although if you don't know by now I doubt you actually cared about this movie much).
Do it, truly, come on. I'll be waiting.
Done? Congratulations, you do not need to see this movie anymore.
No, I am not kidding. You've seen all this movie has to offer; You do not need to bother with it anymore.
I am being as frank as I can be: This is what people for buying into it. No matter what they promise, it's always the same -- Their promise and promotion were bullshit, and ultimately it's another rasengan/shadow clone wank fest. It happened with the second movie when they promised us that Sasuke would be an integral part of it (He was barely there in the end), when they promised us that Minato would play a big role in the fourth movie (He was pointless to the story), it happened with the fifth movie (Or so I'm told, I was not following this one so I am not completely certain what was the case here), and now it happened with this, and will probably happen to the 2014 movie too.
Literally, the movie has no story; It's a holding pattern -- Naruto gets sad then something happens (he goes into the AU with Sakura), they faff about for like an hour, then the movie's bad guy pops in out of nowhere and with no explanation, ending with Naruto using a bunch of Rasengan and Shadow Clone and doing the whole "believe in myself" thing (Although, to it's credit, this one didn't end up with Naruto rasenganing the bad guy's ass, but rather with a fist fight, so there's that), even though said bad guy had previously nuked ENTIRE VILLAGES to ashes with a cough and the only reason he didn't vanish him out of existence with another nuke is because the movie didn't wanted him to.
And, the biggest offender is that this wouldn't even be so bad if the movie wasn't so fucking AFRAID to go out of its comfort zone despite this being virtually an entire new canvas for work -- The much anticipated (and HEAVILY advertised) personality switches mean absolutely NOTHING to the story or plot and the explanations for them are entirely nonexistent, something that also wouldn't all too bad (it certainly wouldn't be good, but yeah), if it wasn't for the fact that they're literally only there for (Legitimately) FIVE MINUTES (ten, max); Naruto and Sakura get in the AU and immediately find Team 8 (Hinata, who now is mean and bitchy and one of the few characters with clothing switches, and Kiba and Shino who look the same and behave the same except instead being good with dogs and bugs, respectively, they're now bad with them), they runaway and find team 10 (Ino, who now is shy and soft spoken, and Chouji and Shikamaru who essentially switched personalities, Chouji now being fit and stoic and Shikamaru being hyper active and dumb, although not fat, funnily enough), then Sasuke (Whom, despite now being a "playboy", is also basically the same outside of that, and this is literally pointed out by Naruto himself, plus a completely clothing switch), then that bath scene (No explanation is given for why they go there) where upon the last team shows up in medias res (Team Guy, compossing of Neji, who now is perverted and lacking in discipline, and Lee and Tenten who are the same except Tenten is now clumsy with weapons and Lee is a, well, I won't spoil just because the reveal of that makes for one of the better scenes in the movie), some faffing goes on before Hinata spots his cousin spying on the girls, causing her to get angry and attempt to beat him up until Lee shows up out of nowhere by falling through the ceiling (Much the same way he did in the manga preview, since the scene is essentially a reinacting of that with the personality switches), he runs away, they chase him ending in an actually pretty humorous scene, and then... They're gone. Literally. They just disappear, completely. They're not mentioned or seen ever again, with two exceptions: Shino, for no reason other than to show off his new found disdain for bugs (Him also being the second character to show no signs of change in the previous scene), and Sasuke who shows up two more times, one to give Sakura a flower (Which was in the trailer) and another where upon he flirts with some more girls causing Sakura to realize she's not a special case to him and making her sad.
The rest is entirely going through the motions; Sad scenes with Naruto's parents (some of which are, admittedly, fairly poignant), who are also exactly the same with the exception of one trait that I won't spoil, a bunch of pretty damn useless fights and missions, and then the ultimate bad guy shows up, destroying the village and ending in a long fight with Naruto, before he goes back to his world because he doesn't want to be there anymore.
And, I'm saying all of this with a pain, because this movie was one of thing that sparkled back my interest with the Naruto fandom (Where upon I got a lot of friends that I'm quite grateful for, even though I don't quite follow the series anymore those people keep me tangled back to it), and I really did wanted it to be good; I love its concept, I truly loved AU Hinata and the bad guy especially, and for the most part, while the animation is nothing outstanding, it's nice and pretty, a good treat for the eyes, ESPECIALLY on high resolution. But concept can never make up for lacking execution, and what the execution gave us was a reskinning of an already done movie with a more than questionable marketing campaign. Also, contrary to popular belief, the creator of the series, Kishimoto, didn't actually write this whole movie, he just designed the alternative characters and a few touches on the script and plot line, for the most part this was done entirely by the same thing that has brought us the same movies from before and that "Gold mine" of filler which makes the anime such a classic.
Admittedly, this does make it a little less sad considering that if it really was written and done by him and this is all he could do then it would tell you just how much wasted potential this series has had to suffer.
Still, all in all, what we have here is nothing more than a reskinned retread. There's nothing wrong with retreads, many forms of art have been essentially retreads of old formulas in order to explore new ideas, and, to a small (Literally microscopic) degree, this does explore new ideas. But at the end, we're still watching the same shit we've already seen with some added scenes of silly "what ifs" that amount to little more than "what could've been".
I don't believe in scores, but I have to rate this, so I'll just go with 5 because it's in the middle.read more
This movie was horrible. Shitty pacing,timeline doesnt make sense,bad use of characters and I cant emphasize this much. I mean they bring characters like Sasuke back and he does absolutely nothing. They did the alternate rookies even worse as they were hyped so much in the trailers as if they were going to be important but they were good only for a hot tub scene(Neji spying on hinata in a hot tub - weird) and thats it.
This highlight of this movie was to be the relationship between naruto and his parent but even that was depicted poorly. I do not get how they did not know their son had become evil and was capturing tail beast and killing people when they went on a mission.How long was this mission? How did the village not know this? Shouldnt they have captured naruto when he came back?
This movie had only one good part in it and thats when menma uses the great spiraling ring on the village. That was awesome then it started sucking again. Everyone was reduced to fodder level ninja. Minato, Kakashi, Gai, Kushina was taken out easily.
Akatsuki shows up again in this movie as mercenaries which is cool also but not that great. The final battle was just awful. It was alright till they both transformed into foxes and started spamming bijuu bombs and clawing each other. The movie finishes with tobi fusing with menma and nauruto throwing a kunai whcih passes through him but somehow destroys the orb that is conveniently in the eye that was struck.
This movie had so much potential due to the setting but the managed to ruin it and kishi did not help with all them flashbacks. read more
Story - 7/10
Art - 6/10
Sound - 6/10
Character - 7/10
Enjoyment - 7/10
Overall - 7/10
Hearing about how this movie was supposed to be one of the better (if not the best) Naruto movies because of its interesting plot and nice twist at the end, I decided to give this movie a shot even though it's been a very long time since I've watched any sort of Naruto animation (been sticking to reading to the manga).
Overall, I was entertained by the movie and enjoyed the divergence from the typical Naruto movie formula, at least in the movies I've seen so far (Naruto meets new character X, learns a lot about X, grows closer to X, and eventually Naruto + crew + X team up together to beat new villain Y who is extraordinarily evil with no redeeming qualities). That's not to say that the plot is anything groundbreaking as the idea of a character slipping into an alternate world is something that's certainly been explored in movies like the newest Gintama movie and The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. Nevertheless, the characterization of Naruto and Sakura in this movie is a breath of fresh air and it's nice to see these characters being explored more thoroughly instead of the movie original characters that all seem to have the same tragic past. There are certainly well done scenes/moments in this movie where Naruto and Sakura feel very human and relatable which I believe is where the movie shines the most. It does not quite make up for the numerous plot holes, the horrid pacing at some points, blatant use of TV footage, and awkward characterization(yes, the characterization is also a con), but it does make the movie more watchable. With a movie that is good but not great in most of the categories (art/sound/plot), characters go a long way to making this movie something that you won't quit halfway on. I would say this movie is something you can definitely watch whenever you're bored or have a lot of free time. Just don't expect to be blown away.
***IN DEPTH REVIEW BUT WITH SPOILERS***
Art - 7/10
Art and animation in this movie was about what you would expect: fairly good(it's a movie after all) but nothing too crazy. There were a few shots of the city that I thought were nice and particularly detailed, and some of the fighting animation was pretty good. Other than that, I would say everything else was simply satisfactory.
Sound - 7/10
Once again, all the sounds were fairly good. There were a few emotional/battle tracks I enjoyed but I would not say they were on my "man i gotta look this up on youtube" level. Even the theme song by AKFG was probably not one of their better songs. Overall, the background music felt appropriate.
Story/Character - 7/10
With all the praise for the creativity with the plot and the characterization I gave the movie above, I had numerous gripes with the plot/characterization. Maybe I missed an explanation somewhere but for the most part, these things stood out in my mind while I was watching the movie:
1) Other than for plot convenience, why would Konoha only send out Naruto and his friends to fight the Akatsuki if they had revived/regrouped. And what was the explanation for this battle anyway? Were they an illusion? What was the point of the severed hand?
2) Why is Iruka such a dick in the beginning of the movie? He should know what Naruto is going through. He seemed very out of character during the scene at Ichiraku ramen. What happened to first episode Iruka?
(Small issue :The memna part was a good way to introduce the story behind/poke fun at Naruto's new name in the alternate world but the ramen cook should not just be adding random ingredients to people's orders without telling them man.)
3) You're telling me Madara managed to teleport straight into Konoha and that he decided that best way to capture the Nine-Tails was to throw Naruto (and Sakura too, you know, for the lulz) into an alternate dimension so that Naruto could POSSIBLY tire himself out while fighting his alternate self. And what was up with him getting defeated by the same move. I know it's a nice nod to Naruto becoming more like his father but man... Madara why you such a scrub?
4) Naruto getting angry at his parents when he first sees them also felt weird. I get that he feels that they're impostors at first, but I don't know if anger is how someone would normally react in that situation. Then again I've never been an orphan who slipped into an alternate dimension where his parents were alive so what do I know. This is something they could have corrected with more insight into Naruto's thoughts.
5) That one scene where Naruto and Sakura meet up to talk but for some reason decide that they don't want to see each other face to face. And the awkward walk away?
6) Honestly that Rasen-nuke was kind of unnecessary. And would a Rasengan really be able to do that much damage in the first place?
7) Naruto saying unnecessary things to his alternate dimension parents who have no idea WTF is going on just so Naruto can look cool. Check. I guess they did come and save him at the end so this works out.
8) Man that one scene with TV footage that just dragged on and on.
9) Why didn't Madara just make Sakura lose her memories while they were fighting.
10) So what was the deal with evil alternate Naruto? When did he change to the masked villain? Why did he change back? I mean I thought Madara said he couldn't interfere with the world even though he was the creator.
Overall though, the plot/characterization though was fine. I liked how they opened with the idea that "a ninja is one who endures" and closed with that idea as Naruto walked back home alone after watching Sakura reunite with her family only to suprise us with the non-dick version of Iruka. I liked how the spiral of the scroll reminded Naruto of the Rasengan after he loses his memories. It was a nice small twist on its own. I liked all the incarnations of the alternate world and wished I could have seen more of them. As I mentioned above, I particularly enjoyed the focus on Naruto and Sakura as well (this movie was first time I ever saw Sakura's parents to begin with. Sakura's dad seems pretty awesome too).
Their parts in this movie made the movie. read more