Friday, March 28, 2008

Naruto: The Movie- Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow

Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura have recieved a very unusual order, to watch a movie before setting out on their latest mission. Naruto is so rambunctious at the screening of "Princess Gale", and gets them thrown out of the movie.

The next day, they are waiting for Kakashi when a woman who looks just like the Princess rides past, being chased by men on horseback. Naruto takes off after her to protect her, and Sakura and Sasuke take out the men chasing her. They soon learn that the woman is actually an actress, Yukie Fujikaze, and the men chasing her were hired extras. Yukie is a well-known actress, but ever since the director of the Princess Gale movie decided he wanted to shoot the sequel in the Kingdom of Snow, she's been trying to run off. The ninja have been hired to be her bodyguards.

Naruto, who has been following her, is getting quite disillusioned with Yukie. She won't sign autographs for her fans, and she is short and abrupt whenever he tries to talk to her. She even goes to a bar in "disguise" (a pair of glasses) and drinks far too much. He tries to convince her to never give up, but she laughs at him. She drinks until she passes out, and the next day, she wakes up on a boat bound for the Kingdom of Snow.

They sail until they find a iceberg, and the director decides to shoot a few scenes on the iceberg. But three ninja from the land of snow attempt to attack Yukie and Kakashi and the others must hold them off. After the complete destruction of the iceberg by Kakashi and the leader of the other ninja. Yukie's manager reveals that she really is a Princess, Koyuki Kazehana, the last Princess of the Snow Kingdom. Her father was overthrown by his own brother, and her manager hoped to use the role of Princess Gale to lure Koyuki back to her kingdom and overthrow the usurper and put her on the throne. But her uncle is waiting for her return. He has his own plans for her.

This was an Animanga, where screen captures are used instead of drawings by the artist. Nevertheless, it was an entertaining story, based back when Naruto was 10 or 11 (The current manga has moved ahead and the characters are now nearly 3 years older). Naruto hasn't changed much at all from his manga incarnation, still one ninja who believes persistence is everything. And in this story, he is proven right once again, as his persistence gets him out of a bad situation, and even turns Yukie/Koyuki's attitude around.

This story fleshed out the Kingdoms around the Kingdom of Fire (where the Shinobi/Ninja of Naruto's village live) a little, and added a bit of backstory to the character of Kakashi, Naruto's teacher. It has everything a fan of Naruto is looking for, filled with lots of fighting, and the character moments that everyone loves. Sasuke gets rather short shrift on this point, as the main characters really push him into the background. Kakashi, Naruto and Sakura get most of the good moments, along with Yukie, of course.

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