Kamui Gaiden - The Movie (2009)
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The timeless legend of the lone, outcast ninja is brought to life in Kamui Gaiden, a vibrant film directed by acclaimed Japanese Academy Award® winner Yoichi Sai. Kamui trusts no one. He was cruelly shunned by his people as a child. Now a solitary warrior, he wanders Japan, surviving on lethal skill and instinct to evade countless violent attacks from the ninja clan he left behind. A turn of luck brings a band of fugitive ninja who offer Kamui a new life amongst them as a pirate, killing sharks for suffering fishing villages. While the tempting promise of respect and protection leaves him conflicted, the merciless members of his former clan are closing in, and his deadliest foe is poised to strike. The battle is never over for Kamui, the ninja who stands alone.
Top Customer Reviews
With a dvd cover of a ninja, and explanations of the world of the shinobi, I did expect to have action scenes where shinobies kill each other. through the lenght of the movie, which is a 2 hours, maybe only 10-15 minutes of fighting actually exists. The rest of the movie is some talking, and slowly paced progress into the storyline, which isn't much nor was it even exploited.
This movie is above the normal low budget production. Although the times they do use 'special techniques and effets' you clearly see it coming and it feels much out of place and bad taste.
STORY : It is simple, the shinobi world, you stay and do what you are told, if you don't or want to leave, you get killed by your clan. If you manage to escape, well you get chased down until you are dead. Simple, and yet way not developed in the storyline. The actor who plays Kamui, was the same who played L in the Death note movies, however he doesn't speak much in this movie. so there is lots of silent moments. One thing I did hate was the way the movie ended, some stories just didn't get any finish nor development. I was left with a WTF look at my TV...
For 20$, I am disappointed because of what they represented, in the end was false presentation.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
my desbelief but did not take away my enjoyment from the film after all he is a Ninja.The majority of the action
is in the beginning of the film and the end of the film.
The story revolves KAMUI a ninja constantly being hunted for leaving his clan, struggling to find a place to call home where he is safe.
Through a series of events he is taken in by a small fishing village, where he might finally find what he is looking for.
I enjoyed this story as well though there are some slow points in it and can be a little bit confusing half way through the film at first
*SPOILER* (pay very close attention to the old man who likes to paint.) then you will have a better understanding of whats going on.
To some it up i really Ilked it,
if your skeptical of the cgi and the plot i recommend renting it. but if that does not bother you and your a fan
of Japanese films like me, I say buy it its worth it.
Thank You for reading i hope it's helpful.
Directed by Yoichi Sai (Quill, Blood And Bones), "Kamui Gaiden" (translating as something along the lines of "A Supplemental Biography of Kamui," to distinguish it from Sanpei's original "Kamui Den"), this version of the Kamui story retains the political nature of the character while thrusting him into an action-packed ninja spectacular. In this film, Kamui is not only an outcast ninja but a member of the hinin-caste. Hinin, which translates as non-human, were the Japanese equivalent of the Indian Untouchables, a caste so low that they had no legal rights or dignity. Discrimination against the hinin caste continues even today, known by the term burakumin.
From birth, Kamui (Matsuyama Kenichi, Death Note) faces horrendous abuse and discrimination, like all of his caste, and his experiences causes him to harden and dedicate himself to becoming strong. He is adopted into the Iga ninja clan, where as a young boy he takes part in the assassination of Sugaru (Koyuki, The Last Samurai), a woman seeking to escape the clan. It is one of their rules; no one leaves the shinobi. Years later, now a ninja of some strength himself, Kamui finds the hunter/prey role reversed as it is Kamui who flees the shinobi and is pursued. He fights and fights, and eventually finds some sort of shelter with a fishing village on an island far from the known cities. There he meets a man Hanbei (Kobayashi Kaoru, Princess Mononoke), who offers him a life of peace and the hand of his daughter in marriage However for a man like Kamui there can be no peace, as Hanbei's wife is none other than Sugaru, still alive, and both Sugaru and Kamui find that there is nowhere they can run from their troubles.
As befits the character, "Kamui Gaiden" is a pretty dense story. Those looking for some light ninja action might find themselves with a little more plot than they bargained for. You can enjoy the film without the political background of the hinin and Japan's Edo period caste-system, but some of the finer points might be lost, as well as some of the motivation of the characters. Especially at the beginning, when a young Kamui rages against the children who pelt him with rocks asking "What is so different about me?" and in classic Shakespeare style shots "Prick me, will I not bleed?"
But the film does a good job of lightening its heavy moments with some over-the-top ninja wire-fighting. Sadly, this is something Japan has just never done as well as China, and the fight-scenes are never really more than decent. This is the first CGI-heavy film that Yoichi has done, and that is his weakness. In his films like "Quill" and "Blood and Bones," he has shown he can do intense human drama, but he is not really an action director. There is a particular rubbery shark in one scene that ruined my suspension of disbelief.
Funimations release of "Kamui Gaiden" is superb, with other 45 minutes worth of extra features including a "Making of" and "Behind the scenes."
Also while the character stories and personalities aren't bad for the movie story line I actually preferred the previous other two ninja movies more then this one. Overall it's not a bad action movie but not a great one either but if you're looking for something to pass the time and have a need to watch a ninja action flick this one is an alright one to check out.
The title of my review comes from a line in the graphic novel, the full meaning of which I will keep to myself lest I spoil the endings of either the movie or the books. I thought S.Miranda and Zack Davisson wrote excellent reviews and my reason for chiming in was to assure readers of the Manga that it was a well-done adaptation; conversely, those who enjoy the movie may want to check out the original source material! You can't lose either way!