It has begun. The war in which seven ninja summon seven Heroic Spirits to compete and obtain the
Holy Grail Box of Eternal Bliss, which grants a mi- …wait, that’s not what happens? Are you sure? Oh…okay.
Note: Spoiler warning.
After being framed for attacking the Raikage and killing Jounin from Kumogakure and Iwa, Naruto is sent by Tsunade to the Blood Prison, a facility for shinobi whose villages have lost all trust in them. Once there, Naruto is sealed off by the imprisonment jutsu Tenrou, and tries to escape in numerous ways, failing each time. After meeting an undercover ANBU named Ryuuzetsu, Naruto realizes the castle master Mui is after him due to his Jinchuuriki chakra, which will be enable the Box of Eternal Bliss to be opened, which grants a miracle.
Yeah, the summary sounds amazing doesn’t it? Pity the actual movie doesn’t live up to it – compared to all the other previous Shippuden films, and the upcoming Road to Ninja one (alternate reality where Minato/Kushina never died) this one paled in comparison.
One of the main problems with it was its inconsistency – not exactly in the plot hole sense, but with character personalities and all that. After all the main cast of Konoha have been through, they acted extremely OOC and cruel (Tsunade especially) when they randomly locked up Naruto and took him off to a prison no-one’s ever heard of before. I thought I was watching the movie version of some AU Dark Naruto fanfiction where it starts with Konoha betraying him. All of a sudden, at the end they turn up again, and Naruto employs his famous shounen trick of forgiving his comrades after they somehow manage to convince him that it was a “secret” mission. Come on, you can do better than that guys…
The characters weren’t great in development either. The secret spy for Konoha wasn’t any use in the end (nor did he explain how he managed to use a Raiton jutsu even with Tenrou on him). The person who framed Naruto, Kazan, appeared all of a sudden then disappeared just as quickly, with no motive or backstory or anything. I’m not even sure whether Ryuuzetsu was supposed to be the female lead (like Shion from the 1st movie or Amaru from the 2nd) because it was obvious she loved Muku, and we didn’t see too much of her anyway. Again, characters were like badly fleshed out OCs from some fanfiction.
Mui was slightly more interesting – his Tenrou jutsu I liked, and actually provided some sort of suspense, as well as Naruto’s various attempts to escape the prison. I was glad to see Tenrou actually causing problems – it would have pissed me off if Naruto was the only one that magically managed to escape, though he did kinda do that later on using Sage Mode.
In essence, the Box of Eternal Bliss is basically a one-trick pony version of the Holy Grail, in which instead of twisting every single wish to become a warped version of what the person intended, it releases a winged monster named Satori, which, in line with Komeiji Satori from the Touhouverse has the power to read into people’s hearts. This one can predict their actions based on their fear, meaning that it’s nearly impossible to hit. How…convenient. Satori also just happens to be the long-lost dead son of Mui. Fun times.
Overall – I guess fragmented would be the way to describe this movie. I don’t know if it was a result of trying to fit in too much into a story, or just a bad plot in general, but the end product wasn’t great. Sure, it had its moments, but when put up against the other movies and the series as a whole, this would be a bad representation.