The Last: Naruto The Movie to Play in U.S. Theaters
posted on by Egan Loo
North American anime distributor Viz Media announced on Friday that it is collaborating with film distributor Eleven Arts to release The Last: Naruto The Movie in theaters in the United States. The English-subtitled theatrical run will begin on February 20, and it will "initially screen in 20 major U.S. cities including New York, Boston, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and more."
Tickets will go on sale in mid-January. While supplies last, attendees will receive a special commemorative Naruto film poster.
Weekly Shonen Jump and Jump J Books describe the story of the movie and its novelization:
The moon has begun moving closer to Earth! As it is, the moon will crumble and meteorites will rain down on Earth's surface. As the last days of Earth approach, Hanabi Hyūga is abducted by a mysterious man in Konoha, and Naruto, Sakura, Sai, Shikamaru, and Hinata set off on a rescue mission! Can Naruto and the others overcome this crisis?
The film debuted in Japan on December 6 as the first Naruto film in two years. Madman Entertainment will open the film in cinemas in Australia and New Zealand on January 17.
Manga creator Masashi Kishimoto is credited with the original story, character designs, and chief story supervisor of the film. In particular, he drew 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) directed the film, and Sukima Switch contributed the main theme song as well as voice-acting ninja.
Kishimoto announced more details on next August's new Naruto movie during a stage greeting at a Tokyo screening of The Last -Naruto the Movie- earlier this month. He is serving as chief production supervisor for next year's movie.
The Last -Naruto the Movie- is part of the larger "Naruto Shin Jidai Kaimaku Project" (Naruto's New Era Opening Project) marking the 15th anniversary of the original manga. The Naruto manga by Masashi Kishimoto ended in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine on November 10 after 15 years of serialization. A new mini-series by Kishimoto with "a newly budding Konoha story" will launch next spring. An art exhibition and a stage play will also debut next spring.