The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Naruto the Movie 2: Great Clash! The Illusionary Ruins at the Depths of the Earth

Title: Naruto the Movie 2: Great Clash! The Illusionary Ruins at the Depths of the Earth
Company: Studio Pierrot/TV Tokyo
Genre: Action
Format: Movie; 96 minutes.
Dates: 6 Aug 2005

Synopsis: Mysterious invaders have begun their assault on the outskirts of the Hidden Sand Village. These foreign warriors have superhuman strength which allows them to take the advantage on the battlefield. Thanks to Gaara, the Sand ninjas are not completely decimated, but a few rounds from a warship canon make quick work of the stragglers. Elsewhere, Naruto, Sakura and Shikamaru are on a mission when they are attacked by soldiers from the same group as the invaders of the sand nation. Where do these soldiers come from, and why are they so set on fighting? It’s up to Naruto and friends to find out.

The Highlights
Animation: Solid, as expected from a movie.
Story: Even more filler.
Fan service: Gaara and Shikamaru do not deliver.
Choreography: Lame

The first Naruto OVA was a sophomoric attempt to milk a cash cow. The second was actually a decent product. The first movie was a foreseeable ante booster with high budget gloss and low intelligence script.

Naruto the Movie 2 is a piece of trash.

For a second, please ignore any fan boy – or fan girl – reactions about Gaara, Shikamaru or the franchise as a whole. The movie does absolutely nothing that previous incarnations haven’t done better. It doesn’t help that the story feels copied and pasted from some random filler arc originally slated for the television series. For comparison’s sake, let me give you a sample of what to expect: A new character with a traumatic childhood memory is introduced to Naruto and friends. Through his energetic demeanor, Naruto miraculously saves this person’s tormented soul just in time to fight the antagonist. Sound familiar?

This movie’s selling point is the appearance of Gaara and Shikamaru. However, even these two characters feel like shells of their former selves. Gaara’s cameo fight scenes plain out sucks, and Shikamaru’s “brilliant” strategies are plans that the even hardheaded Naruto can come up with. These two characters have about half of their usual coolness factor, and they have absolutely no reason to be in this movie.

Aesthetically, there are few complaints. The music is solid Naruto fanfare, and the animation has a noticeable boost. The fights, however, are a step backwards from some of the television show’s brawls. This leads me to my next qualm. Who cares about pumped up animation when you have generic choreography? I want to watch jaw-dropping fight scenes, not pretty explosions that I can just as easily find in Dragonball Z. At this point, the franchise is only good for its fights, so why not go for “cool” instead of “pretty”?

For all my complaints, I must shamefully admit that I knew this was coming. The franchise has grown too lucrative not to poke, prod and sodomize everything good about it. Those people who love the filler in the television series may find this entertaining, but I can’t recommend it to anybody else. Your time is better spent re-watching some of the more impressive fights from the television series.

The Rating: 3

Reviewed by: Shadowmage

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