Boruto: Naruto the Movie
|Boruto: Naruto the Movie|
|Directed by||Hiroyuki Yamashita|
|Story by||Masashi Kishimoto|
by Masashi Kishimoto
|Music by||Yasuharu Takanashi|
|Box office||US$39.5 million|
Boruto: Naruto the Movie (ボルト ナルト・ザ・ムービー) is a 2015 Japanese animated film and the directorial debut of Hiroyuki Yamashita. It is based on Masashi Kishimoto's manga and anime Naruto. It stars Yūko Sanpei, Junko Takeuchi, Kokoro Kikuchi and Noriaki Sugiyama. Set after the finale of Naruto, the film focuses on the title character Boruto Uzumaki, son of Naruto's protagonist, Naruto Uzumaki, who cannot stay with his family due to being the leader of his ninja village. Vigilante Sasuke Uchiha returns to the village with warnings about two beings who might become a big threat to the world peace the ninjas managed to bring about in the original series.
The film was first teased in the post-credits scene of the previous film, The Last: Naruto the Movie (2014). Kishimoto took a large role in the making of The Last, handling the script and character designs. However, Kishimoto took an even larger role in the making of this film, handling the script, character designs and screenplay. This brought him difficulties, because of which he required help from other staff members, such as the writer Ukyō Kodachi and director Yamashita. They created new scenes that left a deep impression on Kishimoto.
Released in August 2015, the film became the franchise's highest grossing film, and its home media versions had good sales to the point of becoming Japan's best-selling releases in 2016. Critical reception of the movie has been mostly positive, with writers praising the animation, fight scenes as well as Boruto's growth. However, there was criticism that the antagonists were not memorable and that Boruto's relationship with his father was not explored deeply. Yuko Kodachi and artist Mikio Ikemoto adapted the film as the first story arc of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations (2016), a manga sequel of Naruto.
The film opens with a battle between ninja Sasuke Uchiha and an unknown adversary being watched by another enemy. The plot then moves to the protagonist from the Naruto series, Naruto Uzumaki, who has become "the Seventh Hokage", the leader of the village of Konohagakure. He is married to Hinata Uzumaki and has two children, Boruto Uzumaki and Himawari Uzumaki. Boruto, Sarada Uchiha (Sasuke and Sakura Uchiha's daughter), and a child named Mitsuki become an elite ninja team under their teacher, Konohamaru Sarutobi. Boruto is upset at Naruto for focusing more on being Hokage than on their family.
Sasuke returns to the village to warn Naruto about the powerful opponent he faced earlier. After Naruto misses Himawari's birthday, Boruto meets Sasuke and asks him to train him so that he can become strong enough to surpass Naruto. Sasuke agrees on the condition that Boruto performs the Rasengan technique, which he then learns from Konohamaru. Sasuke then honors his promise and helps Boruto prepare for the upcoming Chunin Exam, a test taken by young ninjas. Boruto, hoping to convince Naruto to spend more time with him, is tempted to cheat on the exam by using a prototype device, Kote, that stores each type of jutsu. It was given to him by the arrogant scientist Katasuke, who wanted his experiment to gain publicity for marketing purposes before Naruto shot down the proposal. In the exams, Naruto catches Boruto cheating and disqualifies his son. Before Naruto leaves the arena, the two figures Sasuke previously encountered, Kinshiki Otsutsuki and Momoshiki Otsutsuki, appear and destroy it.
The duo is revealed to be after the Nine-Tails creature sealed inside Naruto's body to create a chakra fruit so that they become immortal. Naruto sacrifices himself to protect everyone and entrusts Boruto's safety to Sasuke. Sensing that Naruto is still alive in another dimension, Sasuke allies himself with the other Kage to rescue him. Boruto insists on joining them to make amends with his father. They arrive in the other dimension and find Naruto bound by the Otsutsuki duo, and the four Kage engage Kinshiki in a fight. Across the battle, Momoshiki devours Kinshiki to increase his strength, while Naruto joins forces with Sasuke to defeat him. However, Katasuke shoots Momoshiki with a Kote that restores his strength. Weakened, Naruto lends his remaining chakra to Boruto to create a giant Rasengan while Sasuke distracts Momoshiki long enough for Boruto to use his attack and finish him.
In the days following the victory, Naruto reconciles with Boruto. Boruto resolves to become a ninja who protects the village from the shadows; he supports Sarada's dream of becoming Hokage. After the credits, Mitsuki reveals he is the son of the criminal Orochimaru, surprising both his teammates.
Boruto was first announced in December 2014 by a post-credits scene in The Last: Naruto the Movie. Kishimoto stated the film would star the son of Naruto and Hinata, Boruto Uzumaki, as well as Sasuke and Sakura's daughter, Sarada. While not knowing what the film would be about, voice actress Junko Takeuchi was pleased with the announcement. While having too many thoughts about the film, Kishimoto stated he was not sure what technique Boruto would use in the story. Director Hiroyuki Yamashita was added to the project in December 2014, and Masashi Kishimoto began writing the script the following month. Yamashita said that he had felt pressured due to the time constraints, owing to the movie's planned release date, and had almost refused to direct it. Kishimoto explained that he felt he could rely on Yamashita based on his work on the animated adaptations of the Naruto manga. Kishimoto had originally envisioned the film's storyline as a manga, but did not feel there was enough time to complete it and chose to write a screenplay instead.
Kishimoto requested that the characters rely on the hand-to-hand combat moves from taijutsu rather than the regular ninja techniques from ninjutsu. This was a change from the previous Naruto films. Kishimoto identified Naruto's fights alongside Sasuke against Momoshiki as the highlights of the film and asked that the film's staff pay close attention to those sequences. He said that the staff had very few ideas on how to advance the story; writer Ukyō Kodachi developed the idea that Boruto Uzumaki's Rasengan move becomes invisible when activated.
The script was initially completed around the end of January 2014 and was finalised a month later after a few corrections. Even though Kishimoto had worked before on Road to Ninja (2012) and The Last (2014), this time he encountered various problems because of his greater involvement with Boruto — specifically writing the script. To prepare for Boruto, Kishimoto said that he had read a book about the process of creating screenplays. He added that in Boruto he paid tribute to several movies, the most notable being the 1996 film The Rock and the 2002 film Spider-Man. The tribute to The Rock was mostly done by using Kishōtenketsu, which is a common way of structuring stories in Japan. Kishimoto developed Boruto and Naruto's relationship based on his relationship with his own sons. Yamashita said some scenes had to be removed from the film because of the short time the team had to develop Boruto. Yamashita's favorite scene was Sasuke's fight against Kinshiki. The initial scene was also revised multiple times to reduce its length. Yamashita said they had to remove scenes that featured Shikadai and other characters from the film. He also added that the film's success was mostly due to many of Kishimoto's ideas which the staff liked.
One of the earliest scenes Kishimoto conceived for the movie was that Boruto would follow the steps of Sasuke Uchiha rather than his father during the ending while talking with Sarada Uchiha. Boruto was supposed to have another teacher, but because Sasuke had not made many appearances in the previous films, he took this place as Kishimoto wanted him to have a larger role. This is also a reference to Piccolo and Gohan from the Dragon Ball manga series by Akira Toriyama. The director also conceived the idea of Boruto putting on a bandana to convince his mother, Hinata, that he would aid his father and get approval to go with Sasuke and all the leaders of the villages. This scene from the movie made the deepest impression on Kishimoto. Two other scenes written by the staff that Kishimoto enjoyed were Sasuke's use of one of his taijutsu moves and the combination of his Susanoo technique and Naruto's recreation of the Nine-Tailed Fox, Kurama. Kishimoto felt the cast's facial expressions were realistic, which made the film look more appealing. In the climax, when Naruto passes all his energy to Boruto to create a giant Rasengan, Yamashita added multiple flashbacks of Naruto's past, which Kishimoto liked. In developing Naruto's role, Kishimoto felt it would not be entertaining to see him as a flawless father and instead decided to make him an incompetent one. However, he wanted Naruto and Boruto's bond strengthened during the plot. Yūko Sanpei was thankful for being offered this position and joked about how Junko Takeuchi became a "father" as her voice role was Naruto. Initially, Sanpei recalls having difficulties voicing Boruto; when she received her script for the film, she began to understand Boruto's concept as the boy who loves his father dearly, which helped her voice the character better. Noriaki Sugiyama expected to see a bond between his character, Sasuke, and his student Boruto.
Yasuharu Takanashi composed the music for Boruto: Naruto the Movie. The soundtrack was released in Japan on August 5, 2015. Kishimoto wanted the band Kana-Boon to play the main theme song, having been impressed with their work on "Silhouette" which was originally used as an opening theme for the anime of Naruto: Shippuden. Titled "Diver" (ダイバー), Kishimoto called it "an amazing song that many people can feel for. When this song plays during the ending, even I'd be definitely crying." A fan of the Naruto series, vocalist and guitarist Maguro Taniguchi, wrote the song and was pleased to be working for the Naruto franchise once again. The theme serves as a reference to Boruto; one of the band's singers stated that it reflects how the character constantly changes from the beginning to the end of the story. Another aspect of the theme song was the relationship between a father and his son and the difficulties in expressing their bond. The CD single of this theme was released on August 4, 2015.
Box office and sales
The film was released on August 7, 2015. Theatergoers were given two different types of hand fans — one of them using images of Naruto and Boruto, the other Sasuke and Sarada's. Boruto became the 11th highest-grossing Japanese film (and the 7th highest-grossing anime film) at the Japanese box office in 2015, with ¥2.62 billion. It earned ¥680.1 million yen (around US$5.46 million) during its debut, giving the series its highest-grossing opening. On August 25, the film became the highest-grossing movie in the Naruto series, earning ¥2.02 billion in 19 days with 1.56 million admissions. The film grossed US$919,651 in the United States and Canada and CN¥103.2 million in China.
Its DVD and Blu-ray versions were released on July 6, 2016, by Aniplex. They include the original video animation The Day Naruto Became Hokage showing how Naruto Uzumaki becomes the Seventh Hokage but does not make it to the ceremony. During its release week, the Japanese Blu-ray of the film sold 30,758 units while the DVD sold 24,372 units. By the end of 2016, the DVD had sold 35,183 units.
Manga Entertainment released the movie in cinemas in the United Kingdom on November 10, 2015. Manga Entertainment released the home media release on June 5, 2017. Licensed by Viz Media in the United States on July 2015, the film was screened in over 80 cities in October of the same year. Its home media release was published on March 28, 2017. In Australia and New Zealand, the film was licensed by Madman Entertainment and earned $216,943 in Australia. A fan film was developed by Deerstalker Pictures to promote the Australian release. The home media version was released on May 25, 2017.
Yahoo! Japan offers Boruto a rating of 4.31 out of 5 stars. Amy McNulty of Anime News Network gave the film an overall grade of "A-", calling it "a step in the right direction for Masashi Kishimoto's Start of a New Era Project"; McNulty and UK Anime Network's Andy Hanley enjoyed Naruto's relationship with his son and how the differences between their childhoods become the focus of the film. The Fandom Post's Richard Gutierrez called it a "wonderful coming-of-age film", remarking the focus on the theme of generations, Naruto's growth since his first appearance, as well as how Boruto seeks to surpass him but ends up caring more for him by the time the film finishes.
The fight scenes have been the subject of major praise for their animation. Dan Rhodes said that Sasuke and Naruto's fight scenes are some of the best parts of the film, predicting longtime fans would look forward to them. However, some writers felt the villains were forgettable. Christian Chiok of Japanator and Charles Solomon of the Los Angeles Times agreed with Rhodes, comparing the fight scenes with those from the famous Dragon Ball franchise based on their animation. Solomon found the enemies interesting and concluded that "no Naruto fan will want to miss Boruto, which suggests a new direction the franchise may take, now that the long-running TV series has finally concluded". Alexandria Hill of Otaku USA enjoyed Boruto's fight against the film's villain and his team-up with Naruto and Sasuke, despite being sceptical while watching it for the first time.
Japanator's Christian Chiok enjoyed Boruto's character development, his relationship with his father and how heartwarming it becomes in the movie. Toon Zone agreed, stating that despite possible flaws in Boruto's character, his growth through the film makes him a more appealing character, saying the movie "is one of the better films in the Naruto canon and shouldn’t be missed by fans of the series". Chris Zimmerman of DVD Talk remarked how the writers portray Boruto's poor relationship with his father and how it improves during the climax of the film. Alexandria Hill agreed, feeling the fractured relationship between Boruto and Naruto was the main point of the story, while the subplot about Boruto's use of technology to win fights was not explored. On the other hand, Kotaku's Richard Eisenbeis was critical of Boruto's development, feeling that the bond with his father at the end of the film was weak and not believable. In contrast, Chiok felt the bond between Boruto and his father was well developed and said that, while Boruto and Sarada do not wish to follow their fathers' paths, there was proof that they still loved them. Both Mcnulty and Toon Zone were also pleased with the title character's voicing by English voice actress Amanda C. Miller. The soundtrack gathered mixed opinions while Thais Valdivia of Hobby Consolas enjoyed the theme song provided by Kana-Boon.
Pleased with Boruto: Naruto the Movie, Sanpei asked Kishimoto to make a sequel which elicited the wry request that she let him rest. A novelisation of the movie written by Ukyō Kodachi was published by Shueisha on August 10, 2015. Manga author Kenji Taira released two gag manga series that parodied Boruto: one is set when Konohamaru's team is formed and the other is when Boruto requests Sasuke to become his teacher. CyberConnect2's fighting game Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 (2016) was given an expansion that adds returning characters such as Naruto and Sasuke in their Boruto forms as well as new ones from the film in order to retell the story but under the subtitle of Road to Boruto (2017). In May 2016, Boruto writer Ukyō Kodachi also started his own manga series with artist Mikio Ikemoto, which begins by retelling the events of the film under the title Boruto: Naruto Next Generations (2016). The television anime series of Boruto (2017) retells the events of the feature but with additional content.
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