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Shura Yukihime
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Princess Blade More at IMDbPro »Shura Yukihime (original title)

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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Piles on the visual style and avoids in-depth character development. A filmed comic book.

Author: Richard Brunton from Edinburgh, Scotland
12 March 2003

This film piles on the visual style and avoids in-depth character development. Now, some may think that this is bad, and can result in a terrible movie. Well, it doesn't. It produces the closet thing I've seen to a filmed comic book, quite literally. Okay, Batman and Spiderman are fantastic film versions of comics, but this is like watching a comic book onscreen, with live action. With some excellent stunts, more human based than those of Crouching Tiger or Matrix, filmed in such a fantastic way, you can't help but be excited by them. The story, however, is a bit weak, and wouldn't warrant another viewing for some time, albeit leaping to the excellent fight scenes and death scenes. However, there is the most realistic death scene I have ever seen before, and also the most emotionally real anguish from an actor I have seen to date. If you are a fan of visually strong movies, with some good fighting action (the assassins use samurai swords, even against guns!) then this is a cracker for you.

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Slow, sentimentalist and confusing

Author: Jorge TC from Portugal
17 August 2005

As much as I like Japanese movies this one didn't just cut it... A movie that is supposed to be about rebels and the survival of a royal blood line turned out to be a very slow paced movie with a doubtful plot.

The photography is OK, though I've seen much better sword fight scenes in other Japanese movies, the fast cameras and the way they followed the characters didn't convince me at all. The soundtrack is so weak you don't even notice its presence.But worst of all was the way the plot evolved.I have to admit that, at some times, I had a hard time understanding who was who and what was going on...Anyway the platonic love between the main character and another one was completely unnecessary and seemed to come from a Hollywood influence.

All in all, if your looking for an action Japanese movie this isn't it. Its very slow, with very few sword fight scenes and very sentimental... in a bad way...

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Some very imaginative fight scenes!

Author: luke from Basingstoke, England
24 April 2004

I am quite surprised that this hasn't drawn more attention being one of the better asian films I have seen lately. The advert shows the film to be a mere action film while the fight scenes are certainly not every five minutes through out the film however the story is merely a way of taking you from one fight scene to another. The story is about two characters one of which consists of revenge so nothing new there and the other is about a rebel fighter which if more developed could have been a better main story than that of the simple vengance motive. Although the story does not have much to offer I found that I liked the characters all the same as the standard of acting was pretty high and the settings were always impressive including forest and industrial backgrounds. The fight scenes themselves I found to be very creative compared to alot of films with swords much more creative than kill bill with probably quater of the budget. Most films come down to expectations, if you expect some imaginative fight scenes and a slight story inbetween and some lovely back drops then you shouldn't be dissapointed.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Full of bloody and stylish sword-fights.

Author: BA_Harrison from Hampshire, England
6 June 2006

Not knowing too much about the film before viewing, I popped Princess Blade into the DVD player expecting a lighthearted disposable babes-with-swords action movie and boy was I surprised; instead of a throwaway plot and an emphasis on 'cool' visuals, I got a rather bleak and bloody tale of retribution and the futility of life.

Yuki is a member of the Takemikazuchi clan—killers for hire who work for the reigning monarchy, disposing of any opposition. When she learns that Byakurai, head honcho of the clan, was responsible for the death of her mother, she seeks revenge. After failing to kill Byakurai, she flees the group, hotly pursued by her fellow assassins who see her as a traitor.

Narrowly escaping death by climbing into the back of a passing truck, Yuki is befriended by the driver, a rebel who is part of a terrorist organisation secretly fighting the establishment. The two outcasts grow fond of each other and plan to run away together, but it is not long before both of their pasts catch up with them with tragic results.

With stunning swordplay choreographed by top Hong Kong star Donnie Yen, a decent story and a strong visual style, Princess Blade is an admirable debut from director Shinsuke Sato. Despite a rather slow middle section in which time is taken to try and develop characters and flesh out the sometimes confusing plot, the film never bores, and when Yuki finally gets to exact revenge, she does so in spectacular fashion, chopping, hacking and slicing all those who dare to draw swords against her.

Bloody and brutal, this is definitely worth a watch for fans of the genre.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Visually Satisfying, Storyline weak

Author: dilbertsuperman from Baghdad
18 May 2005

If you are the sort that some action is enough to satisfy you this will be a seven for you. The lead female is very beautiful and athletic however the storyline is bordering on retarded. I would recommend watching this movie just to see the girl swordfight because she's really quite spectacular. However the story is pathetic and the movie can't quite get off the ground because of it. There are some crude heavy handed attempts at character development but they are awkward and sophomoric. The fight scenes are fun but it's obvious the camera tricks were used to cover up the lack of skill of some of the fighters. Yumiko Shaku is a rare gem of a human being, it's a pity her skills and beauty were wasted on this skimpy retarded plot.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Vague convoluted plot, slick action

Author: david ( from Manchester England
8 June 2004

Yet another offering from Japanese cinema in which we are treated to briefly exhilarating action sequences punctuating a vague and convoluted plot. Yet even the action never quite delivers. It opens with an impressive assassination, combining clever camera-work with well choreographed well edited moves. Unfortunately, with the exception of a couple of beautiful individual shots, it is a steady decline in quality from this point. The fights become briefer, duller and increasingly difficult to work out what exactly is going on. The plot is generic and the characters utterly two dimensional, while the subplot of the rebel organisation is half hearted. If you want a mindlessly fun, violent flick with big swords, bigger guns, gallons of blood and an absurd plot, rent 'Versus.'

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A passable futuristic swordplay actioner.

Author: Marc Ferriere from Northampton, PA
15 February 2004

Apparently, movies of this type are reviewed with unrealistic expectations. They need to be viewed for what they are: action films. You need not expect weighty plot, character development, or over-the-top effects. You need only expect to be entertained and taken to another place for 95 minutes. This movie succeeds in that mission quite adequately.

I'm usually a harsh critic of Japanese filmmaking for it's amateurish look, but this movie proves that even indie films in Asia are approaching the level of fit and finish that we've come to expect from their other manufactured products. I was amazed at how gritty and realistic that the effects were (especially the scene early where Yuki dodges a hail of gunfire). It goes to prove that you don't need Matrix-esque delusions of grandure to pull off good action films.

The film also boasts a very natural look with the requisite forest and lake scenes that would have been a great fit in any RPG. You'll also love the awesome retro decor of Takashi's awesome frontier gas station (shades of Road Warrior came to mind here).

The Matrix comparisons stop at the wardrobe department. Actually, I found myself frequently thinking of Jean-Claude Van Damme's "Cyborg" when watching this movie. The kind of schtick: set up a big political/social frame which you don't even attempt to explain, and then hang all of your subsequent action around it.

It should also be noted that any Japanese movie which doesn't resort to a giant monster/creature/mutation destroying everything as an "ending" should be applauded. No tentacle rapes, vampires, zombies, or psychic powers rear their ugly heads to ruin the day either!!!

All of that said, it's a cool movie that doesn't necessarily break any ground, but certainly doesn't deserve the 2/10 that someone gave it here. The movie doesn't pretend to be anything but a cool movie. I only ask you contrast that mentality with a movie like "Battlefield Earth" which tried to "say something". Think about it. 7/10 Stars.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Not to talkative

Author: Gold_Fish from Romania
25 December 2005

I've seen the movie only recently, although it appeared in 2001. I hoped to see an entertaining movie, but let me tell you, Princess Blade is nothing compared to Azumi. The "princess" is not very talkative, as you may have noticed... She reminded me of Jean Claude Van Damme, who only stared to make his point, then beat the crap out of the opponents. During the entire movie, I waited to hear at least a confession about what she liked, why was she fighting, who did she love and trust. I waited in vain. Crappy movie. Crappy dialog. Don't watch it unless you want to be bored out of your minds! It's so bad, that in the end I was wondering how I managed not to scream in frustration 1 and a half hour. Approximately. I give a 4/10.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A Good Try

Author: NIXFLIX-DOT-COM from
31 August 2003

PRINCESS BLADE is a good try, with some good works by the female lead, who is actually quite impressive, perhaps more so because of her size. And yet, the movie isn't overwhelmingly good, with some very spotty sections and a lengthy background story concerning the main male character that manages to bore. Excise the male's story and concentrate just on the fugitive female lead, and PRINCESS BLADE would have seem more focus for it.

As it stands, the film offers a number of exciting sword action, and its anachronistic vibe is nicely done. Although for some reason the filmmakers through in a number of CGI scenes that shows a futuristic landscape.

6 out of 10

(go to for a more detailed review of this movie and reviews of other foreign films)

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Absolutely Disappointing

Author: edw21ard from Austin, TX
12 June 2003

In the recent movement to bring Asian films over to America, this is THE LAST movie that should be released here. Being a big fan of asian movies from all genres, I was browsing the net and came across this soong to be re-released into the US market so I decided to check it out ahead of time and rent this at a local video store.

Trust me...the action scenes are incredibly disappointing, Crouching Tiger and Iron Monkey completely blew this movie out of the water. Jet Li would fall asleep watching the fighting sequences. If you're looking for martial arts entertainment, your time would be better off with a Jackie Chan flick!!! think you're going to watch a martial arts with about a girl engulfed in vengence for her parents death BUT SURPRISE!!! A good hour of this movie in the middle has is filled with dialogue, an absense of action, the lack of devloping a tangent plot, pretty much NOTHING to do with the premise we are exposed to. It has more to do with the relationship between her and the boy, and the boy with his conspiracy group in which the producer/director dedicated no time in elbaorating, and yet dedicated a portion of the film dragging the issue. Would of been much better off if they had just cut that whole hour and developed the story in itself through another film and focus on the martial arts aspect.

Speaking of which, I really don't believe the choreographer of Iron Monkey, did the action sequence in Princess Blade. I was completely insulted in the frequent usage of slow motion and quick camera changes to portray the assassins physical swiftness. I just didn't buy it.

Please...I'm warning you to PLEASE do not waste your time/money with this movie. The premise is intrigueing, and the trailer might even tempt you but I am positive that this movie is NOT suited for the public (maybe in Japan but not in the states) and will be the worst film brought over to the states from the Asian film industry.

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