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NARUTO: LEGEND OF THE STONE OF GELEL

Director: HIROTSUGU KAWASAKI

JAPAN • 2005 • COLOUR • DIGITAL BETACAM VIDEO • 96 MIN


Masashi Kishimoto’s mega-hit manga Naruto originated in 1997 and became a huge hit in 1999 in Weekly Shonen Jump, one of Japan’s longest-running boys’ manga anthologies. It’s still running in Japan and is a best-seller in America. It has spun off a long-running TV series, five films (with another expected in 2009), straight-to-video features, games, novels and other merchandise.
The films retain the TV series’ essential outline of the hero’s journey, the path travelled by most heroes of myth and legend, from insecure and friendless youth to the maturity that comes with self-knowledge and acceptance. Packed with action and peopled with engaging characters, Naruto has been criticised for using many of the same tropes as earlier boys’ manga and anime, but the series packages and delivers them in a very appealing style. Its mix of action, comedy and powerful emotional ties between characters accounts for its huge popularity with teenagers and pre-teens.

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