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Kai Doh Maru

 Unrated   DVD
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
Sale: CDN$ 37.07
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Product Details

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

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but not fully realized June 28 2003
By S. Tran
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars WORST ANIME I HAVE EVER SEEN July 5 2004
By Sesho
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars This movie is awful
The animation... is there animation? I made the mistake of buying it in store. We watched 10 minutes of it ... 10 minutes of stomach churning terrible animation. Read more
Published on April 11 2009 by J. Petit
5.0 out of 5 stars Short and ends abruptly, but very well made
I bought this DVD as a set with Wrath of the Ninja, and I was not disappointed at all. The story, concerning a girl who is kidnaped and raised to become a ninja, is touching,... Read more
Published on May 23 2004 by Kindle Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Poorly done.
Kai Doh Maru had a very great story line but I found that it had no real ending. My first thought was "This must be a series! Read more
Published on April 10 2004 by Lys Takahashi
5.0 out of 5 stars I actually liked this!
I have long been interested in Japanese history, and so when I found this for a good price in Media Play I made the decision to buy it. Read more
Published on March 24 2004 by Amber
2.0 out of 5 stars Lost Potential
Kai Doh Maru, while having the makings of a great film, failed horribly in its endevor. While the film boasts highly stylized animation, computer constructed environments and... Read more
Published on March 19 2004 by Sora
2.0 out of 5 stars Well, at least the cover looks cool.........
After Kintoki's uncle murders her parents, she is rescued from certain death by the captian of the 'Four Knights.' The 'Four Knights' are the defenders of the Capital city of Kyo. Read more
Published on Feb. 23 2004 by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
A 45 minute film done by Production I.G. No plot. No animation. No anything. This film was AWFUL. I wasted my money on it, that is why I am warning you not to buy this. Read more
Published on Dec 26 2003 by Osaka
1.0 out of 5 stars Movies should tell a story
I am a long time anime fan. This movie was one of the biggest disapointments that I have ever seen. The story line had no foundation and no structure. The climax was weak. Read more
Published on Nov. 13 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Short & Sweet
The movie starts out confusing and has an abrupt, yet sad ending. I love it. Berevity is the soul of wit. Read more
Published on Nov. 10 2003 by Thomas J. Webb
1.0 out of 5 stars No story, faint colors, Bad script
Any film would follow a certain pattern that goes like this Introduction - Escalation of Events - Ending that ties together previous events
As for this film, the latter two... Read more
Published on Sept. 20 2003
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