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Red Shadow: Akakage (2001)

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Aka Kage, Aoi Kage and Asuka are trio of ninjas sent to perform dangerous secret missions for their master. Although Aka and Aoi are both in love with Asuka, the friendship built from their... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Masanobu Andô ...
Akakage
...
Koto-Hime
...
Asuka
...
Aokage
...
Shirokage
Fumiya Fujii ...
Ranmaru
Shûhei Mainoumi ...
Rikimaru
Kei Tani ...
Roushi
Ryôko Shinohara ...
O-Rin
Kitarô ...
Roushi, Mura no chourou
Denden ...
Bonnobei
Shigeru Kôyama ...
Kyougoku Kanemitsu, Sengoku-Daimyou
...
Sasai
Yôji Tanaka
Kouji Yazawa
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Storyline

Aka Kage, Aoi Kage and Asuka are trio of ninjas sent to perform dangerous secret missions for their master. Although Aka and Aoi are both in love with Asuka, the friendship built from their years of training together prevents any jealousies from forming. When Asuka is killed during a mission, however, the heartbroken Aka and Aoi both go their separate ways before returning to avenge their friend's death. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ninja | spy | japan | remake


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Release Date:

11 August 2001 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Der Schatten der Ninja  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Connections

Spun-off from Samurai Fiction (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lot's of fun, but not as good as Samurai Fiction
26 August 2004 | by (Dallas, USA) – See all my reviews

From the great Hiroyuki Nakano who proved himself with "Samurai Fiction" comes an entertaining, if not wholly fulfilling, Ninja movie!

If you enjoyed Samurai Fiction, then you should have a blast watching Red Shadow. It's one of the most entertaining films to come out of Asia in the past few years, with some really breathtaking stunts, great costumes and sets, and some charismatic characters. Still, at the end of the film I felt a bit that a little something was missing. I still can't quite put my finger on it.

Stylistically, Red Shadow is at least on par with Nakano's earlier masterpiece. The cinematography is beautiful (and in glorious color this time), and Nakano gives us some extremely cool crane shots. The humor is there, as is the respectively tongue-in-cheek tone, but Red Shadow takes a slight turn for the melodramatic in the middle, and I think that might be where it's biggest stumble was.

I won't go into details, as it would kind of spoil an important bit of the film, but the fun, light-hearted film that makes you feel as if you could jump, flip, and spin through the air suddenly stops and takes a more dramatic tone. It's a brief break, though, and a necessary one to set up the characters for the second half. It's problematic, though, because it divides the film into two very distinct segments, so much so that they could almost be different films!

Still, it's not that big of a flaw. Just a little irritating in hindsight. There are others, though: a slightly anti-climactic ending, a couple of plot holes, but nothing that really takes that much away from the film.

The characters aren't quite as interesting or charismatic as those in Samurai Fiction; that stops the film from being much more than entertainment.

This review has been pretty negative in tone, but it's really just from the high standard Nakano had set for himself. From another director, Red Shadow would be a great achievement. It's extremely stylish; the techno-rock soundtrack is very cool and somehow works well in context; the costumes look incredible; the special effects are subtle and convincing; the stunts and acrobatic feats a really awe-inspiring; the comedy succeeds almost without fail. It's certainly worth a look, and if you're prepared for the quirky comedy/romance/action tone, you should really enjoy Red Shadow.

Pick up the Media Blasters DVD. It's a really great 2-disc set.


7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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