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A peak achievement of Japanese animation (anime), a propulsive mix of samurai action adventure and supernatural fantasy from writer-director Yoshiaki Kawajiri (Supernatural Best City). This is defiantly animation for grown-ups, complete with fountains of blood, plenty of naked flesh, and (in both the subtitled and dubbed versions) some decidedly strong language. (Students of Japanese language could pick up some useful expressions.) The plot sounds like a 16th century variation on the X-Files: An entire village has been wiped out by a mysterious plague and an anti-government conspiracy of invulnerable demons seems to be responsible. A wandering ninja, Jubei, and his female counterpart, Kagero, team up to defeat the plotters. Jubei is a classic reluctant hero, agreeing to participate in the mission only after being fed a slow-acting poison; the antidote will be supplied after he cooperates. And Kagero, a looker whose embrace is lethal, is a femme fatale with a difference that seems distinctively Japanese: sexual contact itself is poisonous, especially for a warrior with a pure-soul. --David Chute --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is one of those "three-watchers": watch once to get acquainted, twice to fully understand, and three times to get the full effect. You could very well leave impressed after your first viewing, but numerous viewings reveal more and more each time.
Wandering ninja Jubei Kibagami (based on a popular swordsman of Japanese lore) is drawn into a battle with the Eight Devils of Kimon, with the beautiful and lethal Kagero on his side, as well as a government agent. Jubei must survive battles with each of the Devils--a rock-skinned hulk, a blind swordsman, a portable wasp hive, a snake-controller, a re-animator/shadow manipulator, a wire-toting electrecutor, an explosives expert and a resurrectable boss--all the while attempting to solve a mystery revolving around gold, murdered villagers and a mysterious plague.
The animation is top-notch. It isn't thin and computer-like, as in Ghost in the Shell, but it's as close as you can get to a moving Marvel or Image Comic. Everything is lightning fast and no sounds are wasted: you'll notice every chirping bird or falling leaf with the tension that this film builds. The shots are masterfully beautiful--a charging Jubei is shown via reflection on the blind swordsman's sword held close to his face--and the animation is consistent throughout.
Not to confuse what you might have heard--the violence is extremely graphic, not the sex scenes.Read more ›
However, after a few years of loving Neon Genesis Evangelion and then returning to Tolkien mania with fanfiction, Harry Potter with the release of Book 5, and a generous gift of the Gundam Wing Series from said same sister, I decided to come back to Ninja Scroll. And whoa! It was beyond great! The plot is balanced so nicely with just enough character development to satisfy your cravings whilst also supplying violence in the amount to be perhaps gruesome, but quite necessary to both balance the tension in the plot and also keep me convinced of the storyline (well, they are devils that Jubei's fighting). The characters were all wonderful in that they managed to blend so well to support the plot. My only qualm was that Jubei always seemed to reach near death with coughing up blood and everything, and yet he still managed to get up and walk or climb away from the deathscenes with grace. Maybe the script writer noticed this too, because in Ninja Scroll: The Series (Vol. 1), they showed him bandaging himself up.
Highly recommended, even for those people who don't like violence or rape scenes. Ninja Scroll needn't be just about violence, nor just about the characters. It's a movie that both groups can enjoy. The graphics are believable (Kagero's assault is believably drawn). And as for the bishounen yaoi fans? Well - choose it! Yurimaru is a bit arrogant, but he's full of angst and of course is also quite beautiful (and hilariously huffy)!
The story is fairly simple and straightforward as one epic fight leads to another but it's very intense, well thought and it's animated beautifully. The combat choreographs are diverse and entertaining and the quality of the image is beautiful and clean.
Be aware that it's very violent, bloody, gore and sexually explicit so if you intend to show it to your anime-loving kids you'd better wait a couple of years.
On a side note, it is specified that the disc has been manufactured to be played in Canada and USA only and I had some issues playing it on my Panasonic Blu-Ray player as it wouldn't detect my location properly. I am not sure if the issue comes from the disc (as I was able to play it on my PS3) or the player (which I find crappy for many reasons) but I thought it was worth mentioning.
Yoshiaki Kawajiri's known for his violent and 'mysogenistic' anime work, and Ninja Scroll is definitely no exception, as it has gratuitous nudity and lots of brutal violence.
The film itself is about Jubei, a vagabond ninja who stumbles upon a government spy who pretty much blackmails him into fighting the seven demons of... something (I honestly forgot, I can't believe it!) and topple a plot to start a civil war in Japan. Jubei's pretty reluctant about this whole ordeal (since he's basically doing the spy's job) until he finds out that the leader of the demons is his own nemesis returned from the dead named Genma. Tagging along on this journey is the beautiful kunoichi Kagero who has a special poisonous defense mechanism that comes in handy in more than one situation (Yes, a female main character in an anime who ISN'T a useless fan service gimmick!). All of this chaos that was cleverly woven together eventually comes down to (in my opinion) one of the greatest showdowns between the main protagonist and the main villain ever animated in an anime film (and realistic, too... to a point, of course!).
The only problem I have with this movie was that in about the first quarter of the film there is an annoying background noise effect going on (you know, the one that kind of sounds like waves on an ocean), but luckily this noise vanishes in an noticeable fashion, quickly enough as to not take away the complete enjoyment of the film.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Watching this on blu-ray was surely a treat. I have not seen it before and when I saw this was releasing I had to add it to the collection. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Darren