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Naruto Times Three
on 5 November 2009
With most popular anime franchises, the need arises to make spin off movies. Some of which have relevance to the shows original story (like Fullmetal Alchemist) and others that have little to no relevance and are typically cash ins of the shows success (like all 13 Dragon Ball Z movies). The Naruto movies fall under the latter category and serve to just create an extra special, feature length episode to add to the shows evergrowing list of merchandise. This boxset contains Naruto movies 1 to 3. These are the three movies made during the first part of the Naruto story before it goes onto Naruto Shipuuden for movies 4+. What we get are two decent movies and one disasterpiece...Here we go.
Naruto - Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow
Naruto and the group travel to the land of snow to in order to protect famous actress Yukie Fujikaze while she is filming her new movie. However when they get there they discover that there is more than meets the eye and that there is something about Yukie Fujikaze that she's hiding. With every good slice of Naruto, this movie combines great action, a moral ridden story and the likeable antics of everyones favourite ninja in training. This is probably the best of the three movies and is actually a decent movie in it's own right. The bad guys may be unoriginal, but this movie delivers enough ninja action to keep you hooked. Furthermore, the special features include the Konoha sports festival OVA which sees Naruto and his friends competing in a sports event to try and earn a week off from missions. This 10 minute short is actually really funny and is the perfect compliment to the movie.
Naruto - Legend of the Stone of Gelel
While on one of the most boring missions of their lives (chasing a missing ferret), Naruto, Sakura and Shikumaru are attacked by a mysterious warrior clad in armour, who calls himself Temujin. The young ninja soon get mixed up in struggle over the powerful stone of Gelel. With the help of Gaara and Kankuro from the sand village, Naruto and co strive to stop the stone of Gelel ending up the wrong hands. Like the first movie, this is a decent enough attempt at bringing Naruto the big screen, however, it lacks the cinematic quality and memorable flair of the first outing. Nonetheless, this is still one essential movie for Naruto fans, but newcomers should really watch the show first as no real explanations about chakra or jutsu are given.
Naruto - Guardians of the Crescent Moon Kingdom
Now they say leave the best til last, but that doesn't really apply to this movie. This time, Naruto and Sakura are joined by the loveable Rock Lee as they go about protecting a wealthy Prince and his spoilt son on the way to their home - the crescent moon kingdom. However, when a vicious rebellion thratens the wellbeing of the entire village, Naruto and the gang once again dust of their jutsu's and do what they do best by kicking some bad guy butt. This third installment of the Naruto movie collection is best ignored as it is definetly the worst Naruto movie yet, but is probably one of the worst animes I have ever seen. The story jumps and jolts at a crazy pace and takes forever to get to the point. And when it just starts to kick in, the movie ends. This movie feels like it was made by a completely different team as the other two as the much loved character of Rock Lee is reduced to a boring sub character who has about 40 speaking words in the whole movie. I feel that the makers of this travesty have butchered the fun, likeable and entertaining idea of what Naruto is and have created a really hollow and uninspired movie. Avoid movie 3 like the plague.
So there we have it. Two decent movie transitions and one complete train wreck. For Naruto fans, this release is a good purchase to add to your collection, but if you take my advise and avoid the third film, you will probably be able to find the first two for a cheaper price.