Naruto Shippuden: Blood Prison No-Spoiler Review

This is a retroactive movie review meant to bring this movie back into the minds of both selective anime-viewers as well as those who’ve kept with the times and given Naruto its proper burial after Shippuden – I intentionally disregard Boruto for reasons I will later explain.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1999167/mediaviewer/rm1336026880

The IMDb plot synopsis for Blood Prison is to the point, “Naruto Uzumaki is framed and sent to an inescapable prison where he must escape by any means necessary.” Given a deeper analysis, there are things that we get from this movie that result in a polished execution:

  • Naruto’s being framed reestablishes him as the outcast that he was wen the series began. Teenage Naruto’s glowing personality often makes us forget that he spent the early years of his life hated and quite literally demonized.
  • Naruto at this point in the franchise is unquestionably in the top tier in terms of fighting ability, so the fact that he is able to be kept imprisoned means that the quality of the antagonist must be top notch.
  • Escape by any means necessary really embodies the noir vibe of this film. Naruto is not the type of person to accept anything as it is. The anonymous framing done to him creates an epistemic brick wall that Naruto runs headfirst into for the entirety of the film. The viewer is able to admire the full extent of Naruto’s most endearing quality, his determination, in a place devoid of hope.

To properly compare this to other Naruto movies – and dub it “best of” – I believe it is important to disregard the franchise’s last three movies, because Naruto is not yet a fully realized individual at the time of this film. Naruto has two defining goals: save his best friend Sasuke from his darkness and become Hokage. Road to Ninja, The Last, and Boruto all strip him of one or both of these quintessential pieces of his character. These three movies serve specific purposes by exploring aspects of the series that we are deprived of through the main storyline. Road to Ninja is a cute storyline in which Naruto’s parents don’t gruesomely sacrifice themselves for Naruto’s sake. The Last is the love story that finally place Naruto with his bride. Boruto focuses on the coming of age story of Naruto’s foil-like son. The sentiment on Boruto extends for the rest of the series as I feel that the lack of an ineffably lovable protagonist with the watered own universe building detracts from the quality of the series. These were/are all nice formulations nested inside the Naruto universe, but when it comes to the core of what Naruto stands for, Blood Prison is a beautiful opus.

Blood Prison is the best filler-style movie that the Naruto franchise has to offer. No other movie captures the essence of Naruto’s character, portrays the themes the that franchise was built on, and strays from the conventional mode of storytelling as well as Blood Prison. It is for all of these reasons that I suggest Blood Prison to anyone on the fence about getting into Naruto.

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About the Author

Daniel Johnson is from Laurinburg, NC. He's currently a junior here at UNCC with majors in Philosophy and Political Science. He enjoys internet surfing, sleeping, and listening to music. Music, visual art, and philosophy are interests of his, but he really enjoys writing poetry and listening to spoken word. His enjoyment of the arts drew him towards volunteering with Sanskrit and being a part in assembling the great conglomerate of work that caught his eye during his very first week on campus.
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