One of the most popular anime and mangas around the world in recent times has got to be Naruto. With such fame often comes fan fiction, and thanks to the development of easily available production equipment, fan movies are an ever improving art form.
The fledgling American production team Thousand Pounds Action Company has put together a YouTube movie with an original story based on the Naruto universe. A follow-up to their celebrated Street Fighter X Tekken video, the Naruto movie has been getting an equally good reception and then some.
However, would Naruto fans be offending with their handling of the source material, and could this tiny movie company grab the attention of non-fans with their talents? We take a look at it from both sides to see.
Titled Naruto Shippuden: Dreamers Fight the video centers on two main characters from the series, Naruto and his buddy Rock Lee. In an effort to perfect his skills Rock Lee challenges Naruto to a fight… and they fight.
Japanese Naruto Fan’s Review
Our Japanese reporter who is an avid Naruto fan was understandably skeptical at first but quickly found the small two-man show had engrossing non-stop action, where the 20 minute runtime seems to fly by.
According to his report on the Japanese edition of RocketNews he found himself uttering “whoa…” and felt that it was very respectful to the source material. What impressed him the most was that the American producers made the film entirely in Japanese. This conveyed a sense of respect for the Naruto franchise that really won over this fan.
In closing he recommends the video to everyone whether a fan or not, which is where I come in. Being a fan of anime in my younger years Naruto came after my time so I never got into it. So I decided to take up his recommendation in my unclouded non-fan eyes to see if it can stand on its own and entertain.
American Non-Fan’s Review
Before starting the video I felt that my expectations were set unreasonably high for a production posted on YouTube. However, it did deliver the goods. The story is simple enough that you don’t need any knowledge of the series to follow it, although there were probably some references tucked in that I missed.
The martial arts were well done and the special effects were surprisingly seamless. I did notice a few bad angles where the punches were revealed to go wide. If they had cut those out it would have been a much tighter scene.
I don’t know if I would recommend this to everyone because it’s really just one long fight scene, but for any martial arts fan it’s worth watching and stands up well against major studio productions. From the Japanese dialog to the smooth CGI and sound, it’s clear the small group at Thousand Pounds put a whole lot of effort into making this production and deserves the high praise they are getting. So check it out below and let us know what you think.
▼Here is the complete edition (Parts 1 & 2) of Naruto Shippuden: Dreamers Fight
▼And here is the trailer that was used for Part 2
▼If you enjoyed that, you’re sure to get a kick out of Thousand Pounds Action Company’s take on Street Fighter X Tekken
[ Read in Japanese ]