The Last: Naruto The Movie | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 05, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 05, 2016

ANIME REVIEW

The Last: Naruto The Movie

When the Naruto manga ended in late 2014, fans were left excited by the announcement that a new Naruto movie was on the way. Titled “The Last,” this movie would work as a bridge between the main plot's ending in chapter 699 and the epilogue featured in chapter 700. Unlike the earlier movies, this was going to be canon and a part of the main storyline, focusing on the romantic relationship between Naruto Uzumaki and Hinata Hyuuga.

Sadly though, it becomes quite clear that the main story wasn't really meant to go in this direction. Author Masashi Kishimoto had already been pressurised into stretching the story to make it last 700 chapters, having to add a heavily criticised plot twist to go the extra 50 chapters. And this new addition gives us even more proof that authors really shouldn't be forced into stretching stories. 

The movie starts off some years after the end of the 4th Shinobi World War and shows Naruto and his classmates, now young adults, living a peaceful life. But then strange people appear from the moon, seemingly interested in gaining possession of the Byakugan, the special eye that members of the Hyuuga clan possess. There's nothing much wrong here apart from the fact that, at the end of the original story, Naruto Uzumaki and Sasuke Uchiha had reached levels of shinobi prowess hitherto unknown. They were quite literally shinobi Gods. So for Naruto to get outmuscled by a new group of enemies seems confusing. Toneri Otsutsuki, the leader of the group,  kidnaps Hinata's younger sister. As Naruto and friends chase after her, Hinata strangely agrees to accompany Toneri to the moon, leaving Naruto and co dumbfounded.

The movie seems to follow the Dragon Ball Z principle of coming up with villains that were stronger than preceding villains without really giving us a power scale or anything to measure them by. This hurts the Naruto franchise because the main story always had power scaling. And with the extensive way in which the manga has already argued about the morality of war, ways to avoid conflict and whether humanity will ever find peace, the villain, Toneri, and his ambitions of ending the world because "humans have failed" seems like someone beating the same old drum that Madara Uchiha and Kaguya Otsutsuki have beaten so many times in the main story.

Masashi Kishimoto said this was a "romance more than action." Even then, it's rushed. At the start of the movie, Naruto is his old clueless self, oblivious to Hinata's feelings. Roughly two hours later, he has the whole concept of love figured out without yet having a proper eye to eye conversation with her. 

This movie had potential, I don't deny that. But condensing everything into a 2 hour movie did not work out. The villain is rushed, the fights are rushed and so is the romance. Nothing really makes sense. If you're someone who was really desperate to see Naruto and Hinata get together, this will do for you. If you wanted to see Naruto's character develop the romantic aspect gradually, you'll be left wanting. This is clearly nothing more than a way to milk the franchise. 

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