Boruto: Naruto the Movie is the eighth installment in the Naruto film saga, and surprisingly, one of the best in the series. Boruto follows the title character on his journey to gain the attention and respect of his incredibly busy father, Naruto, who has trouble balancing home life and his responsibilities as the village's Seventh Hokage.
Focusing on the son of the series' protagonist, rather than the main character himself, might be a precarious move, but it is one that pays off and may potentially spawn a subsequent television show. Although the film mainly focuses on Boruto, fans will be happy to know that almost all of the major characters from the popular show, Naruto: Shippuden, make an appearance during the one hour and forty-five minute film. While that sounds like a lot of fan service to fit into one movie, Boruto: Naruto the Movie handles the shared screen time with the poise of a big-budget, Avengers film.
Creator and writer Masashi Kishimoto is back on board to write and produce the film, and is joined once again by Yasuharu Takanashi in order to bring the fantastic music of Naruto: Shippuden to the big screen. All of the voice actors from the television series return to give the movie a consistency that is unrivaled. At the heart of the film is the father-son relationship between Naruto and Boruto, which keeps the movie grounded, and as a result, feels like an extended episode of the series. But while the animation for the television show is always beautifully done, it is apparent from the first shot that extra attention is paid to the theatrical adaptation.
As a fan of the series, I absolutely adore this film, but there are a few notes that any prospective viewer should take into consideration before going out to the theater to see Boruto: Naruto the Movie. Firstly, the movie takes place after the events of the Naruto manga, so if you have yet to read the latest issue, then plot points will be spoiled upon viewing this film. Also, the movie is spoken all in Japanese with English subtitles, so be prepared to do a little reading.
Overall, the film does a fantastic job of balancing the old fan favorite characters with a new crop of fresh faces. The familiar characters work well with the sights and sounds of the Naruto: Shippuden to make Boruto: Naruto the Movie feel like reminiscing with an old friend. Complimenting this nostalgic stroll down memory lane is the new team of up-and-coming ninjas who look ready to take up the mantle. I highly recommend this film for fans of the series, but only if fully caught up on the latest installments of the manga in order to avoid spoilers. It is one of the best, if not the best, movies in the long running series, and if fans have it their way, we may being seeing a Boruto television show in the near future.
Score: 8 - The movie is a must watch for any fan of the television series yet is inaccessible for newcomers to the Naruto universe.