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Nin x Nin: Ninja Hattori-kun, the Movie (2004)

5.6
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 133 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 5 critic

Kanzo Hattori, an apprentice ninja, leaves his hometown of Iga to go to Edo (Tokyo). There, for his final training, he must find himself a master, and protect his master with his life, whilst upholding the ninja code.

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Title: Nin x Nin: Ninja Hattori-kun, the Movie (2004)

Nin x Nin: Ninja Hattori-kun, the Movie (2004) on IMDb 5.6/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
Shingo Katori ...
Kanzo Hattori
Rena Tanaka ...
Midori
Gori ...
Kemumaki / Sato Sensei
Yuri Chinen ...
Kenichi Mitsuba
Shirô Itô ...
Jinzo Hattori
Keiko Toda ...
Taeko Mitsuba
Kazuyuki Asano ...
Kentaro Mitsuba
Takeshi Masu ...
Korakage
Takashi Ukaji ...
Tahara Keibu
Mikihisa Azuma ...
Detective Kashiwada
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hiroki Kawata
Tsuyoshi Kusanagi
Masahiko Nishimura
Otoha
Asaka Seto
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Storyline

Kanzo Hattori, an apprentice Ninja, leaves his home town of Iga for his final training. He must go to the city of Edo (Tokyo), and the first person he meets shall be his master, whom he must protect with his life, whilst upholding the ninja code. Also while in Edo, Hattori must find out why their rivals, the Koga Ninjas, are flourishing while the Iga Ninjas are dying out. Hattori's master is Kenichi, a 9 year old boy. Kenichi is an introvert and not very popular boy, so he never plays with the other children from school. Kenichi also has a secret crush on a young lady called Midori, yet he's too shy to speak to her. Though as he watches Hattori trying his best, he too begins to try. Meanwhile, people are being found unconscious, their bodies completely unmarked. All the victims have a tattoo (the Koga Ninja crest) and are found with a throwing knife lying close by. Written by MaKaeru

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Release Date:

28 August 2004 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Legend of Nin Nin Ninja Hattori  »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hattori greets Kenichi one morning with "O-ha!". This word, and the accompanying hand actions, were coined by Shingo Mama, Shingo Katori's female alter ego. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Entertaining but Thinly Produced -- 7 (Worth the time)
9 May 2005 | by (Massachusetts) – See all my reviews

If you're a fan of SMAP's TV shows, then you're probably familiar with Kattori Shingo's unique humor. He leaps in front of little kids with a huge smile squeaking "NIN NIN" and quickly shifts his eyes to the side realizing that his pants are down. He is certainly one of the most talented comedians of his generation and will no doubt continue to give quality performances in the future.

He does not disappoint in NIN-NIN, a film based on an old anime broadcast on Japanese television 30 years ago. Shingo is perfect for the role and got me genuinely laughing during several scenes, but I had the feeling that he was holding back a little. On TV, he is ultra silly, like a kid bouncing off the walls, but I'm guessing that strict direction, tight schedules, and an unimaginative script from Toei Pictures must have wilted his normally vibrant silliness. Nonetheless, with Shingo in your cast, you're guaranteed a bellyful of laughs. When the legendary red-cheeked ninja is introduced, the kid in you is full of excitement that will carry you at least half-way through the movie.

The second half of NIN-NIN turns mediocre like a fading cherry blossom with no stamina, and towards the end it gets pretty stupid. I'm attributing this wilting second half to a production team with no stamina, but I could be wrong.

There's also a lot of unnecessary and misplaced additions to NIN-NIN. While there are pleasant hazily filtered daylight shots featuring the beautiful Rena Tanaka and obligatory hazily-echoed flash back scenes with the cardboard-stiff spectacled-kid squawking "thank you NIN-NIN", they could easily be saved for a more serious drama. This is Shingo's NIN-NIN, after all, and we pay to see goofy, silly comedy, not teary-eyed shampoo commercials.

Finally, the villain is terrible. At first we might think that the mysterious black ninja is some kind of Neon-Tokyo punk, but he turns out to be some pudgy 50 year old enka singer in a cheap plastic trench coat. He's the type of guy you'd find in a Japanese bar drinking sake with his salary man buddies laughing really loud about stupid stuff. His little speech at the end is like a contrived oratory to the Japanese Diet, and Shingo must have been like, "Hey, man, this is a silly ninja comedy for crying out loud, not an ovation to Japanese film or its board of directors. Jeez, someone skip to the credits quick!"

Okay, enough enka bashing for now. NIN-NIN is a decent movie, but such a nicely set-up concept deserves a production team that is more together and dedicated. While it has the potential to be molten-rock silly, it instead wanders into irrelevant territory and finally fizzles like the post-bubble Japanese economy. If you want to see a comic book remake done well, search for Cutey Honey (2004), which is full on comic book pulp-style, with all the costumes, special effects, and cult-inspired quick-cut editing that NIN-NIN fails to deliver.

JY


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