- 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:
- Studio: Manga Video
- Release Date: June 24 2003
- Run Time: 50 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- ASIN: B00009MEJX
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #164,073 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
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Kai Doh Maru
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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
Top customer reviews
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I will admit that the filter over the film makes it difficult to look at after a while, but I appreciate what the makers were trying to do. It is made to look sort of like an old watercolor, and that really just adds to it's charm.
The dialogue is consistent with the speech patterns you would expect to hear in a period drama. There is some haiku thrown in, which is also historically correct, as that was how many types of people communicated. Granted, my own exposure to poetry being used as formal communication is with lovers from the period, but it still gives the film an authentic feel for me.
The characters are admirable. Kintoki is a strong, confident young girl who knows her place in her chosen world, and is happy being there. Her love for her commander/rescuer is merely implied, not stated. But that is how things were back then, so there is another point in the historical aspect's favor. Her cousin comes across as someone who is not entirely sure what to do with what she wants--she knows what she desires, but it doesn't seem as though she has thought everything through. The leader of the Knights is an eminently likable person, and I felt myself drawn to him as well.
The art is fantastic. The backgrounds are done with ancient paintings in mind, and you can clearly see that, especially with the gardens and forests. The fight scenes rival those in Kenshin.
And I actually found the character designs quite pleasing to look at.
The music is more like what you would have heard then as well. While not the most pleasing sound at times, it is still appropriate.
When all is said and down, I enjoyed this. I like watching it, and I hope you will too.
There is a slight but definite lesbian subtext in this movie that may be confusing or even off-putting to some viewers, but it is there for a reason. The subtext lends an undercurrent (or is it an overcurrent?) of obsession to the villainess's motives, and makes her perhaps the most complex Japanese villainess since Throne of Blood's Lady Washizu.
Yes, this one ends suddenly, but that adds an air of tension that would be lacking if we knew what came next. In this way, the film does a good job of showing that not even the strongest warrior can fight fate.
Good movie. Buy it and enjoy it.
So, somewhat disapointed by a studio that was aiming at a great initial start with Blood, but failed to carry on their innovative edge.
see Kai Doh Maru sometime. It's great in what it could've been.
The movie has a very realistic atmosphere, too. The rain makes you feel like you are wet. Serious. It's wierd. The seasons progress in the movie and anyone who's been to Japan will appreciate how realistically it represents her seasons.
The only minus is that in parts of the movie, things just look too much like an OpenGL demo. For the most part, they did a good job at making an all-digital movie look like old japanese scrolls, but there are parts where the suspention of disbelief could have been better. All I can say is I hope they try again.. The ending cries "prequel" I don't care what happens next. probably nothing exiting, but I'd like to see the backstory unfold...
oh, and whatever you do, don't watch the dub! watch it subbed. the dub sounds awful.
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