Honoring their pact with the Hidden Sand Village, Team 7 sets out to capture the rogue shinobi Mukade. Mukade has fled to the lost city of Loran, once a thriving utopia before some mysterious doom came upon it. The secret of the city's power was its Ley Line, a natural and near-limitless stream of Chakra generated by the Earth itself. Although it had been locked away by Fourth Hokage Minato Namikaze, Mukade intends to break the seal.
Naruto and the others arrive to stop him, but are too late. An explosion of pure chakra energy engulfs the area, taking Naruto and Yamato with it. Upon awakening, Naruto finds himself in a strange underground ruin, and his only companion is a young girl singing there. Attempting to follow her out, Naruto is attacked by puppets. However, barely escaping them is the least of Naruto’s problems...once outside, he finds himself not in the ruins but in Loran during its heyday twenty years in the past!
Things get even more complicated when a group of Hidden Leaf Shinobi rescue Naruto from the malicious marionettes, a group led by Minato from before he became the Hokage! Turns out that they've come to Loran on a mission to diffuse the sinister plot brewing within the city. And as Naruto struggles to find his teammates, he discovers that the girl he'd met before is actually the city's queen, Sara.
The Lost Tower truly shines in how Naruto gets to spend some serious quality time with Minato. Although neither realizes their actual relationship, their various moments throughout the movie display their similarities and unconscious affinity. The times that Naruto trusts him without realizing why are especially heartwarming, giving the audience a good sense of the relationship they might have shared.
Visually, The Lost Tower's biggest draw is actually the tower itself. The movie's various fights draw the reader from down below Loran to high above it, giving viewers a comprehensive look at the city and its architecture. The animation ranges from good to amazing, and it's obvious that the animators and design team put a lot of thought into giving the place a unique look. The battles themselves are also pretty grand, and the fights they get into are very decidedly epic. (And hey, who doesn't secretly yearn to fight a giant wooden-puppet centipede?)
On the whole, this movie's a great watch for resident Naruto fans. A lot of the story's key events hinge on spoilers, so if you haven’t gotten deep into Shippuden, you might get a little lost. But if you’re up for a fun romp filled with epic batlles, then this is the Naruto flick for you!
English & Japanese 2.0 Audio / English Subtitles
DVD: Animated Short: Naruto and the Three Wishes, Clean Ending, Japanese Trailers
Blu-ray: Animated Short: Naruto and the Three Wishes, Production Art, Clean Ending, Japanese Trailers
by Chris Turner
© 2002 MASASHI KISHIMOTO /2007 SHIPPUDEN
© NMP 2010