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Kai Doh Maru

2.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 43.58
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Product Details

  • Format: Animated, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Manga Video
  • Release Date: June 24 2003
  • Run Time: 50 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00009MEJX
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #127,666 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

A brief (43 minute) drama set in 894 A.D., Kai Doh Maru is an eerie mixture of history and supernatural fantasy. After her uncle usurped the family domain, Princess Kintoki was raised as a boy-warrior under the tutelage of the elegant Lord Raiko and the other stalwart Knights of Kyo. Pitted against the Knights is the Oheyama gang, led by the icy Princess Ohni and her crazed assassin Ibaragi. Ohni retains her childhood love for Kintoki, apparently unaware of her gender. American audiences unfamiliar with the intrigues of the Heian Court and the rise of the Fujiwara clan will find the story puzzling, just as many Japanese viewers would be lost at a stylized production of The Crucible. Kai Doh Maru is a strikingly handsome film that uses computer graphics to suggest the look of antique Japanese art filmed through gauze. (Unrated: suitable for ages 15 and older: considerable violence) --Charles Solomon

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I was quite excited at the perspective of watching another production from IG, especially since they featured such an interesting mix of visual and editing approaches in Blood: last vampire. On top of that, some of the earlier screenshots I saw looked very promising in terms of reproducing the aesthetic/cultural qualities of medieval Japanese illustrations. Unfortunately, my feelings end up being mixed regarding the entire narrative. While I'm familiar and enjoy the implicit meanings or broken-up narrative structure of animes, this one is a little obscure at times and requires you to review some of the background information to begin understanding characters and plot. Innovative in its aesthetic approach (pastel colours in a very limited hue range associated with thin outlines), this choice becomes too much at times, as most colours end up being washed out on your regular TV. Whereas the historical sources for this visual approach are relevant, this inspiration is being interpreted too literally, and ends up getting in the way of the dramatic tension of the story itself. The anime is inspired, but never quite beautiful nor emotionally moving...The theater version probably turned out quite different, but I never saw it. In terms of the production value of the DVD, the interviews are pretty worthless, since the production team seems either too tired and/or not really inspired to talk about anything substantial regarding the movie. Some 3D reproductions of scenes/objects are placed on the DVD with no particular comments either. They'll give you an insight on techniques pioneered to a great effect in Blood, but won't give you a good idea on the approach regarding their integration into the narrative itself.
So, somewhat disapointed by a studio that was aiming at a great initial start with Blood, but failed to carry on their innovative edge.
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Format: DVD
This anime was awful. The back of the dvd case actually give you more informative information on the backstory than the feature itself. Its set in the Heian era of Japan in which different political factions, organized gangs, and hereditary rulers were all vying for power. Kintoki is a young girl raised as a boy whose parents are murdered by her uncle and she is next except she is rescued by Raiko, the captain of the "Four Knights", an elite guard of the city of Kyo. She is raised as a samurai and as she reaches the age of 17, she is an equal partner in the defense of the city. Thats when a sorceress, unaware that Kintoki is a woman and is consequently in love with her comes to stir up chaos and death.
Why was this dvd awful? The same people that created Kai Dah Maru created Blood The Last Vampire. That movie was too short. The storyline was very simple so that its brevity didn't interfere with the enjoyment of it that much. The same does not hold true for this movie. You have all these complex intrigues and assasinations and backstory and presentstory and you're cramming it into 45 minutes. Think of any anime series ending after its second episode and you'll understand the problem here. I am not ignorant of Japanese history but I really never understood what was going on in this story. You really can't even figure out who is who character-wise until the show is over. It's like they were trying to do Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in the space of 20 minutes. Truly awful. No development.
In addition to the shortness of the feature, the animation was sorry. I know by reading the cover that the palette was supposed to be influenced by the art of the time period and all this seasonal blah blah blah. What you get is the effect of watching the entire anime through a fog.
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Format: DVD
I gave this DVD 4 stars mainly because of the style of animation that was used. The story line had me interested, however it just ended, leaving me wanting more!! I also got the impression that this was supposed to be the begining of a series, but it was not to be true. I'm just still really confused to why it ended where it did, it had soo much potential to be somthing truly magnificant, yet it fell short with ending the movie where they did...
The style of animation that they used was truly amazing, this is the thing I liked most about this movie. I think that IG Plus / Production IG team did a great job of capturing the look and feel of the Japan's Heian era. Though I was obviously not around during these times, I really think they really captured how things would have looked during that time period. I loved how everything appeared to have a foggy-haze sourounding it and how the characters would sort of glow in the moonlight. The animations reminded me a of a old style painting, which I believe is what the production team was aiming for.
The story, though historical and interesting, was just missing something at the end. The story just all the sudden ended, and I still am pondering what could have been. Truly, though the story lines were completly different, this movie reminded me alot of another IG Plus / Production IG realese, "Blood, The Last Vampire". Both are visual masterpieces in their own unique way, and that both have great potential story lines that just end in the middle of the story!! It kind of upsets me that this is the second time that this production team has done this because of the fact that the story lines had potential.
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