The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Naruto the Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow

Title: Naruto the Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow
Company: Studio Pierrot/TV Tokyo
Genre: Action
Format: Movie; 82 minutes.
Dates: 21 Aug 2004

Synopsis: Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura are ordered to protect a well known actress named Fujikaze Yukie as she is escorted to the Snow Country. At first, the mission seems like a walk in the park, but things quickly become complicated as rogue ninjas begin to attack the actress. Yukie’s mysterious past holds the truth behind the attacks, but she is not willing to divulge any of her secrets.

The Highlights
Animation: Notably superior to the television series’.
Choreography: Far from impressive.
Story: Filler.

For a series that places so much value on eye candy, the silver screen is an oddly appropriate setting to end up in. Naruto has long been known for its absolutely stunning action choreography, so the big screen finally gives the franchise a chance to flaunt its assets. Ironically, it seems that the creators were so interested in giving a bombastic presentation that they started cutting corners during choreography. The end result is a piece of mindless entertainment that is all too forgettable.

If you have seen any of the Naruto filler arcs, you have already seen this movie. The music is the same, the story has the same structure and the characters are as generic as ever. Once again, the tragic childhood motif rears its head and Naruto’s upbeat attitude along with his overpowered jutsus save the day. As with any franchise, fan favorites such as the younger Kakashi make brief appearances only to do absolutely nothing. As the movie progresses, it quickly becomes obvious that the story is not a product of thought but one of greed.

The redeeming factor of the franchise has always been the fight scenes, but even that department fails to deliver. Yes, the animation is indeed bright, detailed and consistent, but I would have been willing to sacrifice an hour of this generic fluff just to get ten minutes of jaw-dropping, edge-of-your-seat fight scenes. It doesn’t help that absolutely nothing in the movie is remotely memorable.

Avid fans of the franchise will probably enjoy this movie. The story requires little thought, and the constant bombardment of explosions will cater to those with short attention spans. I’m just disappointed that the increased budget did so very little for the fight scenes.

The Rating: 4

Reviewed by: Shadowmage

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