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Boruto – Naruto the Movie (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

May 13, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

If you are a big fan of the “Naruto” manga/anime series, I highly recommend “Boruto – Naruto the Movie”. Action-packed, full of drama and excitement. Recommended!

Image courtesy of © 2002 Masashi Kishimoto/2007 Shippuden, BMP 2015. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Boruto – Naruto the Movie

ORIGINAL THEATRICAL DATE: 2015

DURATION: 90 Minutes

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, DTS-HD Master Audio: English and Japanese 5.1,  2.0 Stereo, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Viz Media

RATED: TV 14

Release Date: March 28, 2017


Originally Created by Masashi Kishimoto

Director: Hiroyuki Yamashita

Screenplay: Masashi Kishimoto

Character Design by Hirofumi Suzuki, Masashi Kishimoto, Tetsuya Nishio

Music by -yaiba-, Yasuharu Takanashi

Art by Akemi Konno, Kazuyuki Hashimoto, Kentaro Akiyama, Masanobu Nomura, Mutsuo Koseki, Naruyo Kiriyama, Satoshi Matsuoka

Art Design by Hiroto Tanaka, Masaaki Endou

Chief Animation Director: Tetsuya Nishio

Anime Production: Pierrot


Featuring the following voice talent:

Junko Takeuchi/Maile Flanagan as Naruto Uzumaki

Yuko Sanpei/Amana C. Miller as Boruto Uzumaki

Akira Ishida/Liam O’Brien as Gaara

Chie Nakamura/Kate Higgins as Sakura Uchiha

Daisuke Namikawa/Xander Mobus as Momoshiki

Hana Takeda/Laura Bailey as Kurotsuchi

Hidenori Takahashi/Max Mittelman as Konohamaru Sarutobi

Hiroki Yasumoto/Wally Wingert as Kinshiki Otsusuki

Kokoro Kikuchi/Cherami Leigh as Sarada Uchiha

Kouki Miyata/Brian Beacock as Chōjūrō

Nana Mizuki/Stephanie Sheh as Hinata Uzumaki

Noriaki Sugiyama/Yuri Lowenthal as Sasuke Uchiha

Ryota Takeuchi/Catero Colbert as Darui

Ryūichi Kijima/Robbie Daymond as Mitsuki

Satoshi Hino/Ben Diskin as Sai

Showtaro Morikubo/Tom Gibis as Shikamaru Nara

Yoichi Masukawa/Brian Donovan as Rock Lee

Atsushi Abe/Spike Spencer as Inojin Yamanaka

Hisao Egawa/Catero Colbert as Killer Bee

Kengo Kawanishi/Bryce Papenbrook as Yurui

Kensho Ono/Todd Haberkorn as Shikadai Nara

Saori Hayami/Melissa Fahn as Himawari Uzumaki

Yukari Tamura/Danielle Judovits as Tenten


Boruto: Naruto the Movie takes place in the Hidden Leaf Village with Naruto as the Seventh Hokage. The Hidden Leaf Village is planning to host the Chunin Exams to train new shinobi from the village and from their allied villages. Among the entrants are Sasuke’s daughter, Sarada, Mitsuki, an exceptionally talented yet mysterious shinobi… And Boruto, Naruto’s talented but impetuous son.

Meanwhile, Sasuke who’s been on a mission in another dimension appears before Naruto to warn of a strange impending danger. Shrouded with an evil aura, Momoshiki and Kinshiki appear and attempt to assassinate Naruto. Petrified, Boruto is shielded by Naruto, only to disappear in front of Boruto’s own eyes.


The popular manga series “Naruto” has been going strong since its debut in Shueisha back in 1999 via “Weekly Shonen Jump” magazine.   With 72 volumes published, the manga series ended in November 2014.  Meanwhile, the anime series, the first titled “Naruto” began in 2002-2007 and lasted for 220 episodes.  And would continue with “Naruto: Shippuden” which lasted from 2007-2017 with a total of 500 episodes created.

The original manga by Masashi Kishimoto is about a young ninja named Naruto Uzamaki, a ninja of the Konoha leaf village who grew up facing prejudiced within his fellow ninjas because the evil nine-tailed fox was sealed inside him. But throughout the series, we have seen how Naruto is a kind-hearted boy who has worked hard in protecting his friends and staying true to his word with the goal of someday becoming the next Hokage of the village.

In 2014, Kishimoto wrapped up the “Naruto” manga and in the final chapter (featured in volume 72), Naruto would eventually become the Hokage of the Leaf Village and he and his wife Hinata would have two children, Boruto and Himawari.

Meanwhile, Sasuke and Sakura would have a daughter named Sarada, Shikamaru Nara and Temari would have a son named Shikadai, Sai and Ino would have a son named Inojin and Choji Akimichi and Karui would have a daughter named Chocho.

Everyone has grown up and Naruto is busy as the new Hokage at the village, this causes resentment from Naruto’s son Boruto who feels that his father was never there for him or the family.

This leads us to the film “Boruto – Naruto the Movie” which featured anime production from Studio Pierrot, direction by Hiroyuki Yamashita, a screenplay by Masashi Kishimoto, music by -yaiba- and Yasuharu Takanashi and character design by Hirofumi Suzuki, Masashi Kishimoto and Tetsuya Nishio and art design by Hiroto Tanaka and Masaaki Endou.

The film begins with Boruto telling his story and him and his team partners, Sarada and Mitsuki being trained by Master Konohamaru and trying to capture a bear (or panda).   After their mission, the four go to see Naruto, the Seventh Hokage.

And as Boruto gets into a little argument with his father (for not being part of his life due to his duties as Hokage), he reminds his father about his sister and Naruto’s daughter, Himawari’s birthday and how he needs to be there.

Meanwhile a scientist comes in and introduces the group to a new invention.  Now, a jutsu can be contained in a mini-seal and put into a bracelet which gives anyone, ninja or not, the power to use a jutsu.  No chakra is even needed to use the new technology and the scientists want it used for the upcoming Chunin exam but Naruto is against it and believes a ninja should use their own skills.

Meanwhile, Boruto meets with the scientist and takes the special bracelet.

With the next Chunin exams coming up, Sarada and Mitsuki want to take the exam but Boruto, he has no desire.  He doesn’t want to be like his father and that means not wanting to be Hokage.  But for Sarada, she wants to be Hokage and tries to get Boruto to take part in the Chunin exam to let his father know he could do it.

Meanwhile, Sasuke Uchiha returns to the village and Boruto, not wanting to be anything like his father, goes to Sasuke to take him in as a pupil.  But Sasuke will only agree if Boruto can learn the Sharingan jutsu.

As the groups get ready for their Chunin Exam to see who will become a ninja, round three will be in front of a public audience.  During a battle Boruto uses the bracelet to best his opponent, but for Naruto, he is disappointed that his son resorted to such a tactic and disqualifies his son from the Chunin exam and also taking away his ninja bandana as punishment.

This leads to an argument and Boruto complains that his father is never there for him.  Meanwhile, a new evil force attacks everyone at the Chunin Exam.


VIDEO:

“Boruto – Naruto the Movie” is presented in 1080p High Definition and the film looks vibrant.  Colors look fantastic in HD and with this being a film ,there is a good amount of backgrounds and detail in the background artwork.  Picture quality is fantastic!

I didn’t notice any artifacts or banding issues during my viewing of the film.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Boruto – Naruto the Movie” is presented in Japanese and English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0. Both soundtracks are fantastic and dialogue and music are both crystal clear through the center, front and surround channels.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Boruto – Naruto the Movie” comes with the following special features:

  • Special Naruto OVA – (10:23) It’s Naruto’s big day as his inauguration as Hokage is about to take place.  But time’s getting late because Boruto and Himawari are arguing.  But what happens when Boruto upsets his little sister?
  • Clean End Credits
  • Storyboards – Featuring a gallery of the storyboards for the film
  • Art Gallery – Featuring an art gallery from the film.
  • Trailer – Featuring the Japanese trailers.

Watching “Boruto – Naruto the Movie”, I can’t help but be entertained by the fact that the film focuses on the children of the characters that many of us grew up reading.

“Naruto” having lasted so long as a manga and anime series was a big part of the lives of many people who watched “Naruto” grow from a child, to a teenager and a young adult.  Seeing how his heart and his passion would inspire so many but also seeing him determined to defeat those who threatened the village or his friends.

With Naruto, he is a student that felt he had to prove himself through hardwork and determination.

So, it’s fascinating to see how Boruto is much different than his father.  Naruto, who had always said he would become Hokage is now the new Hokage of the Leaf Village but this new role means being busy with work and unfortunately, that means no time spent with the family.

Hinata is literally taking care of both children and you can see how Boruto is upset at his father for neglecting them, but he harbors a bit of anger for his father not being there for him.

What’s even more interesting is that Boruto is not too aware of his father’s past and how he grew up, so he is not aware of the challenges or difficulties his father grew up with.

And because of his feelings towards his father, he asks his dad’s rival, Sasuke Uchiha to become his master.

But during this peaceful time, a lot has changed as well.  Scientists have developed bracelets with technology that allow anyone to harness jutsu used by ninjas and to make things worse, a new evil has decided to attack the Leaf Village during the Chunin exams (like what happened to Naruto and friends when he was much younger).

And I’ll leave it that.

This is a new beginning, a new chapter as Boruto will continue the storyline of the ninjas at the Leaf Village and while I’m not sure if “Boruto” will last for another 15 years but for this film to jumpstart the new generation and Naruto’s son, Boruto, now the focal point, needless to say, this series will be interesting, considering that he’s not like his father at all.

And if you think Boruto Uzumaki has special skills learned from his father, wait until one gets to see the included OVA which shows us how powerful Himawari Uzumaki can get.

As for the Blu-ray release, the film is vibrant and with it being a film, has more detail when it comes to art backgrounds.  Lossless soundtrack is also well-done and the voice acting for both Japanese and English dub are magnificent.

Overall, if you are a big fan of the “Naruto” manga/anime series, I highly recommend “Boruto – Naruto the Movie”.  Action-packed, full of drama and excitement.

Recommended

 

Eureka Seven: AO (Astral Ocean) – Part 1 (a J!-ENT Anime on Blu-ray Disc Review)

August 13, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

e7-ao-1

The sequel to the original “Eureka Seven” series, for those wondering what happened to Renton and Eureka, will definitely want to watch “Eureka Seven: Astral Ocean”.  An exciting mecha anime series from anime studio, BONES… “Eureka Seven: Astral Ocean is a series that I definitely recommend!

Image courtesy of © 2013 FUNimation Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Eureka Seven: AO (Astral Ocean) – Part 1

ANIME RELEASE DATE: 2012

DURATION: 11 Episodes

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:78:1), DolbyTrue HD 5.1, Japanese DolbyTrue HD 2.0, English subtitles

COMPANY: FUNimation

Release Date: August 13, 2013

Directed by Tomoki Kyoda

Series Composition by Kakuto Takeyoshi

Music by Koji Nakamura

Character Design by Hiroyuki Oda

Art Director: Ayumi Sato, Kazuo Nagai, Makoto Ujiie, Takeshi Waki

Mecha Design by Takehiro Ishimoto

Anime Production: BONES

Featuring the following voice talent:

Kanako Miyamoto/Lindsay Seidel as Naru Arata

Yūtarō Honjō/Micah Solusod as Ao Fukai

Akio Nojima/Charlie Campbell as Alexander Boyd

Ayaka Ohashi/Sainty Reid as Fleur Blanc

Chiaki Omigawa/Jad Saxton as Elena Peoples

Chie Nakamura/Jamie Marchi as Rebecka Halström

Hidenobu Kiuchi/Tyson Rinehart as Georg

Ikuya Sawaki/Kent Williams as Stanley Fry

Kaori Nazuka/Stephanie Sheh as Eureka

Katsunosuke Hori/R. Bruce Elliot as Toshio Fukai

Kazuhiko Inoue/Todd Haberkorn as Truth

Keiji Fujiwara/Johnny Yong Bosch as Renton Thurston

Keikou Sakai/Matt Thurston as Pippo

Kouichi Toochika/Duncan Brennan as Yasumochi Nakamura

Nao Tōyama/Monica Rial as Noah

Rokuro Naya/Chuck Huber as Christophe Blanc

Takuya Kirimoto/Brandon Potter as Gazelle

Tetsuo Goto/John Swasey as Ivica Tanovic

Yoshinori Fujita/Anthony Bowling as Han Juno

Sequel to Eureka Seven.

The year is 2025. Earth is engulfed in the crossfire between massive warring alien life forms that leave annihilation in their wake. While searching for clues about his past, Ao is caught in an attack and forced to fly a giant humanoid fighter craft to save himself and his island. Fragments of the teenager’s origin come to light when a hostile shape-shifter seeking revenge on Ao’s missing mother – who vanished two years after his birth – targets him instead.

Consumed with learning how his machine of war is connected to his mother and the monster that now pursues him, the young pilot will fly full throttle into combat zones without hesitation.

Contains episodes 1-12.

“Eureka Seven”, the 2005 mecha anime series from BONES that captivated viewers all over the world.

The popular mecha anime TV series from Bones has spawned video games, novels and a movie.  But the animated series also was adapted into a manga series which ran in Kadokawa Shoten’s “Monthly Shonen Ace” from 2005-2006 with a total of 23 chapters.

As the anime series was a big hit in the US airing on the Cartoon Network’s “Adult Swim”, the six volume manga series was previously released in the US.  But with the new “Eureka Seven” film released in US theaters in Sept. 2009 and in 2012, a new series titled “Eureka Seven Astral Ocean” was aired on television, a sequel to the first anime series and now the first part of the Blu-ray release will be released in the U.S. courtesy of FUNimation in August 2013.

“Eureka Seven: AO” has received three manga adaptations (“Eureka Seven: AO”, “Eureka Seven: AO ~Save a Prayer~” and “Eureka Seven nAnO”) and also an OVA release.

“Eureka Seven: AO” is directed by Tomoki Kyoda (“Eureka Seven”, “Halo Lgends”, “Wolf’s Rain”, “RahXephon”), music by Koji Nakamura and character design by Hiro Kanzaki (“Oreimo” series).

First, getting to know “Eureka Seven”

While it helps to watch the original “Eureka Seven” series, it is not necessary.

The series takes place 10,000 years after humanity left their planet after an intelligent, sentient life form known as Scub Coral attached itself and merged with the planet.  Humanity was forced to find other planets to live.

Which now leads us to the original series. “Eureka Seven” revolves around a boy named Renton Thurston, a young 14-year-old who is brash and tends to enjoy living for the moment.  His hobby is grabbing his lift board (somewhat like a surf or skateboard but is used for floating in the air) and just riding it and having fun.  Renton, also happens to be the son of the late military hero Adroc Thurston and the grandson of famous scientist Axel Thurston.  But unlike them, Renton is not into studying nor does he have any career ambitions, he’s just a boy who idolizes Ray-Out Magazine’s Holland Novak, a professional lift board rider.

One day, a mecha (an LFO known as Nirvash typeZERO – the world’s first humanoid mobile machine – Light Finding Operation) crashes near his home and inside it comes out a girl who piloted it.  While repairs are being done on the LFO, Renton becomes happy when the girl tells him that she knows Holland (Renton’s lift board idol) and immediately, Renton becomes happy but the more he sees this girl, he starts to fall for her.

The military (U.F. Force) then disrupts their meeting as they try to get the girl and the two quickly escape on the LFO together.   While being pursued, somehow the two managed to create “The Seventh Swell” and grabs the attention of Holland and his crew (known as The Gekko State).  Can Renton be the source of hidden power of the Nirvash?

Meanwhile, we learn from the military why they are pursuing Eureka and that she and the Nirvash were part of a major military secret project that was stolen by Holland and now they want her back.  Meanwhile, the crew wonder if Renton is the real deal of what happened with the Nirvash or was it freak situation that just happened.  As for Renton, he’s just happy to be part of a group that Holland belongs to and most of all, to be near Eureka.

The storylined featured The Gekko State trying to hide from the military or getting into battles with each other, a third party, an alien race known as the Coralians have reappeared and for some reason, they are also going after Eureka.

Outside of the storyline involving the Gekko State and UF Force, the other primary storyline is Renton and Eureka’s storyline as two people who don’t understand their emotions but they are attracted to each other.  The other storyline focuses on the Novak brothers as we see Holland doing what he can to protect his team but trying to calm his hatred towards his brother Dewey, and vice-versa as Dewey tries to put his plan to rule UF Force and using anemone (a girl who looks similar to Eureka but are quite different) to destroy Gekko State and those who will stand in his way.

Leading up to “Eureka Seven: AO”

This series takes place in the year 2025 in Okinawa on the island of Iwato Jima and is about a 13-year-old boy named Ao Fukai who lives with Dr. Toshio Fukai.  His mother mysteriously vanished 10 years ago and one day while he and his friend Naru Arata are on the beach, he is nearly hit by a group of people (Gazelle, Pippo and Han Juno).  As they get into an argument, Ao accidentally takes a bracelet that was trying to be smuggled out by the group.  But somehow a Scub Coral and a G-Monster appear out of nowhere.

The group led by Gazelle were trying to smuggle an item to the Japanese Armed Forces with a hefty payday in return, but missing is a bracelet.  As the group go on to retrieve it, another Scub Coral and G-Monster appears and Cristophe Blanc of Generation Bleu makes a deal with the Union of the Okinawa Islands government to fight the G-Monster.

As for Ao, he realizes that the bracelet that the guys had actually belonged to his mother and Gazelle is wanting it back.  Ao refuses but as the they continue to argue, the G-Monster attacks Iwato Jima and in the mayhem, Ao escapes with the men for safety and ends up inside an IFO that was transported by the Japanese navy and defeats the G-Monster.  But while inside, his hair changes to turquoise.

It is revealed that the people of Iwato Jima have blamed Ao’s mother for the terrible accidents that the island had suffered and because he now has her turquoise hair, they begin hunting down Ao.  Ao is taken in by Kazuyuki Kinjo, a local musician who is apologetic for the behavior of his generation.  Meanwhile, Ivica Tanovich of Generation Bleu is looking for Ao, because he piloted the IFO..the Nirvash.  But how can that be possible?

As for the woman with turquoise hair, Ao’s mother… she had a name.  Eureka.

VIDEO:

“Eureka Seven: AO (Astral Ocean)” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:78:1 aspect ratio).  As always, when it comes to mecha series, BONES does a fantastic job with character and mechanical designs but also a good blend of CG with art backgrounds to create a futuristic but beautiful landscape.  Mechanical design for this latest series is well-done.  Colors are vibrant when they need to be but if anything, for fans of the original animated series, will enjoy the character designs and overall look of the series.  I didn’t notice any banding or artifacts during my viewing of the series.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Eureka Seven: AO (Astral Ocean)” is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (English) and 2.0 (Japanese).  As always the case, the English soundtrack has much better dynamic range and use of the surround channels thanks to its 5.1 mix.  During the action sequences throughout the first 12 episodes, scenes are immersive and dialogue and music as well as the special effects are crystal clear.  As for the Japanese stereo soundtrack, dialogue is clear but doesn’t have the same immersiveness as the 5.1 soundtrack, which is understandable.  But I did like the Japanese soundtrack for the way the emotional scenes were done, but for the most part, both English dub and Japanese voice acting are well-done!

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Eureka Seven AO (Astral Ocean) – Part 1” features the following special features:

  • Episode 5 Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Chuck Huber (voice of Blanc), Jad Saxton (voice of Elena) and Sainty Reed (voice of Fleur).
  • Inside the Booth: Eureka Seven: AO – (13:55) A special look at the voice recording of “Eureka Seven: AO”.
  • Episode 10 Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Zach Bolton (ADR Director), Tyson Rinehart (voice of Georg) and John Swasey (voice of Ivica).
  • Original Commercials  – (3:17) The original Japanese commercials for “Eureka Seven: AO”.
  • Textless Opening Song – Featuring four different opening songs for “Escape”.
  • Textless Closing Song – Featuring three different closing songs of “Stand By Me”.
  • U.S. Trailer – FUNimation trailer for “Eureka Seven: AO (Astral Ocean) – Part 1”.
  • Trailers – FUNimation trailers

EXTRAS:

“Eureka Seven: AO (Astral Ocean) – Part 1” Blu-ray also comes with the DVD version.

“Eureka Seven: AO” has been an enjoyable series to read thus far.

If anything, I’m glad of the connection between the original series and the sequel and the whole mystery of what happened to Eureka?

For those of us who followed the original series and even watched the original film, you would hope that the storyline between Renton and Eureka ended with a happy ending.  But sure enough, “Eureka Seven: AO” continues with this all new storyline surrounding a new young teenager named Ao, who has the power to pilot a Nirvash and now he has the same hair color of his mother…. Eureka?

But just when you think that Ao was the focus, by episode 7 we are introduced to the antagonist known as Truth and he is not after Ao, he is after his friend Naru?

But so far for the first half, the storyline features Team Pied Piper along with the military engaging in war against The Secret which is appearing in various parts of the world and Team Pied Piper stand buy, wanting to intervene but the U.S. Government is against it.  So, as Teamed Pied Piper goes on various missions, more questions are left for the viewer especially towards fellow pilot Elena Peoples.

While the 12th episode leaves with a teaser, which I don’t want to spoil.  But I think fans of the original series will enjoy it!

As for non-fans who have no intention of watching the original series (especially since only the film and not the TV series are available on Blu-ray), for those not familiar with “Eureka Seven”, I think those who have followed the “Mobile Suit Gundam” or “Gurren Lagann” series will definitely find “Eureka Seven” to be an entertaining series.  You get a large group of characters but a storyline focusing on the underdog who turns out to be quite the hero but yet has the low self esteem issue and tends to doubt himself.  Sure, it’s a prevailing theme with many mecha series but in this case, where Gundam focuses on survival and “Gurren Lagann” focuses on eradicating the evil on the planet, “Eureka Seven: AO” so far has been a storyline about humanity trying to rid of the Scub Corals while a Secret tries to attack them and areas around the world.

While the first half of the storyline featured more about the Secrets attacking and the military’s response, with how the 12th episode ended, it definitely makes me excited to see what happens in the second half.

As for the Blu-ray release, the anime series looks great and the voice acting is well done on both the Japanese and English dub.  But with the English dub having the 5.1 lossless soundtrack, it has better dynamic range and use of the surround channels for more immersiveness.  You also get special features including audio commentary and more.

I definitely look forward to conclusion of the “Eureka Seven: AO” and for fans of the original series, because it is a true sequel, you’ll definitely want to check this sequel out!

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