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The Last -Naruto the Movie-'s Sakura, Shikamaru, Sai Character Sketches Unveiled

posted on by Sarah Nelkin
Kishimoto designed new, mature looks for characters for December film

The combined 37-38th issue of Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine is revealing on Monday the character designs for Sakura Haruno, Shikamaru Nara, and Sai for the upcoming The Last -Naruto the Movie- film.

The descriptions for Sakura read, "Sakura, who has grown up to have a mature expression! ...Sakura's gently smiling expression makes quite the impression. Her body's form is also somewhat feminine."

The notes on Shikamaru's designs read, "Shikamaru with a tranquil face!... Shikamaru does not appear to have much change to him, but the look on his face looks quite manly!?"

Sai's designs read, ""Sai has changes to his clothes, too!? ...Sai's bangs have gotten a bit longer, and his face has a cooler expression. The sleeves on his shirt have gotten a bit longer."

The designs also confirm that original creator Masashi Kishimoto will also provide the original character designs for Sakura, Shikamaru, and Sai.

The Last -Naruto the Movie- will open in Japanese theaters on December 6, and will be the first Naruto film in two years. The film is also part of the larger "Naruto Shin Jidai Kaimaku Project" (Naruto's New Era Opening Project) marking the 15th anniversary of the original manga. Manga creator Masashi Kishimoto is credited with the original story, character designs, and chief story supervisor of the film. In particular, he is drawing new designs for the title character in the movie, as well as for other characters. Tsuneo Kobayashi (The Twelve Kingdoms, Emma: A Victorian Romance, Kurokami The Animation) is directing the film.

A new Naruto film has debuted in Japan every year between 2004 and 2012. The ninth film, Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie, opened in Japan in July 2012 and became the highest grossing film in the franchise. Viz Media has released several of the films in North America, and it will present Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie in select cities on August 29.

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