This is the 7th movie instalment of the Naruto series and the directors are still somewhat able to come up with new ways to endanger the ninja world. The movie ranks just as poor as the other ones and is pretty much near being the worst Naruto movie out of the 7.
Our antagonist, Hiruko, is up to his final stage in creating the “perfect” ninja through his chimera technique; a body which contains 5 bloodline limits. The last one that needed to be obtained was the Sharingan from Hatake Kakashi. He activates a curse he placed on Kakashi long ago that “zombifies” him and makes him walk from the Leaf Village to his lair. Naruto and friends give chase, stop Kakashi and defeat Hiruko.
What? Did you expect more? Of course not.
Let’s take a look at Hiruko first. I’m still getting confused at whether our main antagonist is male or female, once again. He stays mummified for the entire film but you do get to see his ugly face at the very end before he dies. Essentially he’s the same character as Orochimaru, did forbidden experiments and eventually got booted out of the village. His motive for trying to become perfect stems from nothing more than mere envy; being laughed at for being weak by the Legendary Sannin. And on top of that, he wants to start a 4th ninja war; not the most creative thing to do with power, but it sure beats taking over the world (again) any day. Hiruko starts of having already stolen 4 bloodline limits. They’re all simply made up, so don’t think it has anything to do with the eyes: Byakugan, Rinengan. But it does beg the question why the Sharingan was involved. Hiruko’s 4 abilities that stem from the bloodline limits are:
Storm element: some large area of effect lightning burst
Darkness element: a “Kazaana” type ability that absorbs chakara through the palm of his hands; can nullify all ninja techniques and can be used as a weapon in return. Pretty much the most hacked ability out there
Steel element: pretty straight-forward. He can turn into steel to negate physical attacks
Swiftness element: Hiruko can flash step
Anything that deals with technical details of the anime will be placed in a quote box and in red.
How does the Sharingan make a ninja perfect? It’s not like Hiruko could use the Sharingan as well as Madara anyhow. And on that note it’s funny to see that Hiruko miserably aims for the weakest Sharigan user around, and there aren’t many to choose from anymore. This was probably a sad excuse to make Kakashi a central character in this movie.
Apart from Hiruko, there are three more bad guys, making a total of 4 bad guys in this movie. What’s worse is that the other three don’t even get named; one of them uses snakes, another is a beast specialist (like Kiba) and the last one uses a weird bird that can drop a lot of explosive feathers (like explosive tags).
The fight scenes are really disappointing, the first proper one doesn’t even come in until halfway through the anime. Meanwhile all we see is a zombified Kakashi advancing very slowly towards Hiruko. Prior to being controlled, he requests to Tsunade not to be followed and that he be made a ticking time bomb to blow up Hiruko when he tries to absorb the Sharingan. The rest of the anime just drags on with Naruto and Sakura trying to follow Kakashi while everyone else is trying to stop them on account of Tsunade’s orders; one sacrifice is enough.
Naruto remains the naive obnoxious character that he’s always been, insisting that they stop Kakashi because they can’t just sacrifice someone to save everyone else. He relates back to the first couple of episodes in the anime with the bell training (the same bells appear as a recurring motif in this movie) where Kakashi tells them its better to break rules than to let your friends down. But of course Naruto doesn’t think with his head about the matter and that’s how we actually get a movie going on.
Shikamaru takes on a larger role than the other characters; apart from being told exactly what Kakashi and Tsunade want to happen, it’s up to him to reason with Naruto and try to stop him. In the pursuit of Naruto, he is the last one to finally let him have his own way, reflecting back on Asuma and what he says about protecting the village and all.
It’s strange how it takes the entire village to stop Naruto and Sakura. All the regular characters make a fair appearance in the movie (by that I mean they get a fair amount of air time and action). Funny how you don’t see any other random ninjas, just the main characters. Anyway they all chase Naruto and Sakura up to Hiruko’s lair where they get confronted with the three nameless bad guys. It was a 9 on 3 fight (10 if you count Akamaru) which makes things just as unfair as the Bleach movies, where the protagonist to antagonist ratio is just unreasonable. Again like I said none of the fights were spectacular, which is fair since all the characters need some air time, so each character only gets enough time to do a simple technique and then leave the scene.
Interesting side notes: We get three flash backs that are worth considering. The first is of Naruto, Sakura and Sasuke’s bell training in the opening episodes of the anime; it was probably good of them to highlight a previous notion they raised there when Sakura and Sasuke tried to feed Naruto despite Kakashi’s orders. Second is of Shikamaru reminiscing on Asuma and the last words he left. Third is of Kakashi back in the third ninja war, where Obito dies and gives Kakashi the Sharingan; you don’t see that particular scene, which sucks, but it sort of adds to context I suppose. The second note is that the summoning technique does what we would’ve thought it does: it teleports the summoned object from one place to where the caster is. The three bad guys can summon each other, and Hiruko can summon all three of them as well. It was funny to see them get smashed individually and then have them teleported from their individual torture (reminds me of Syllabear, and teleporting the bear to save it, like that).
Perhaps the most pathetic thing in the movie was the final scene; skip all the intermediate fighting because it just isn’t worth mentioning. Who defeats Hiruko? Of course it’s Naruto. Nope, not even Kakashi is important enough to get the honours of doing so; he does spend half the movie possessed. How does Naruto beat Hiruko? With shame, that’s how. Remember my theory from many Naruto movies back that the rasengans in each final attack get bigger and bigger as each movie goes by? Well, the theory still stands after 7 movies. The final attack sort of followed a Dragon Ball Z: Goku’s Final Spirit Bomb against Frieza. Naruto’s clones and Kakashi cause a distraction, and Naruto comes from above and launches that humungous rasen shuriken. Minus the 5 episode delay, it was a pretty lame climax.
Note 1: Out of some misfortune, Hiruko could not absorb the spirit bomb rasengan, which is stupid and a lame excuse to die. It would’ve been more reasonable if it was the Nine-Tail’s chakara; a blood-red rasengan would’ve been kind of cool. But then again that’s impossible since nobody was in danger to trigger Naruto’s rage.
Note 2: Naruto probably summons more shadow clones in the movie alone than in the all anime episodes put together. On top of that, he makes them all conjure up rasengans, twice! It’s difficult to believe that Naruto would still have had enough chakara to summon the spirit bomb at the end; you know it doesn’t make sense.
Oh, and Gaara makes an appearance, and fights Naruto at some point before the final battle. Didn’t really make sense why they gave him such a role, even the other characters are like: “Why are you here?” He just didn’t belong in this movie. The movie closes with Naruto returning the bells (that he fixed) to Kakashi, who replies with: “You remind me of him (Obito).” Kakashi gives a weird smile, not that you could even see it under his mask, and all the other characters call him gay. Naruto runs away thinking Kakashi is gay, and Kakashi chases after him. Cut to credits.
No, I’m serious, that is how the movie ends. Stupid right? I think so too.