5.9/10
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8 user 11 critic

Ashura-jô no hitomi (2005)

Adapted from the successful play, the film takes place in the 19th Japan where a war between demons and their slayers is fought. Izumo, an Kabuki actor with a demon-slaying past, meets and ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Somegorô Ichikawa ...
Izumo Wakuraba
Rie Miyazawa ...
Tsubaki
Kanako Higuchi ...
Bizan
Atsuro Watabe ...
Jaku Abe
Takashi Naitô ...
Nobuyuki Kuninari
Yukijirô Hotaru ...
Magotaro
Fumiyo Kohinata ...
Nanboku Tsuruya IV
Sarutoki Minagawa ...
Takiji
Hanae Kan ...
Emishi
Kôji Ohkura ...
Hyozo
...
Yachi
Kumiko Tsuchiya ...
Oiran
Kazuo Kuwabara
Tatsuo Yamada
Mutsumi Fujita
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Storyline

Adapted from the successful play, the film takes place in the 19th Japan where a war between demons and their slayers is fought. Izumo, an Kabuki actor with a demon-slaying past, meets and falls in love with Tsubaki. However, something is not right as mysterious marks appear on her body as time progresses. At the same time, it is announced that Ashura, the queen of all demons, will be resurrected and bring destruction to the universe. Written by Ploy P.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

demon | sword | See All (2) »

Genres:

Action | Fantasy

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Release Date:

16 April 2005 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Ashura  »

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1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Fun and Silly Swordplay Fantasy Action Flick.
4 June 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Japan is in serious trouble. Demons have infested Edo, taking possession of earthly forms and bending them to their unholy will. On top of that, the rebirth of Ashura, Queen of the demons, is nigh. The only thing that stands against this grave threat are the Demon Wardens, a fearsome group of warriors, who might just be as bad as the demons themselves.

Izumo is a retired Demon Warden, who five years ago, took up theater instead of Demon Slaying after accidentally killing a innocent child (In a battle that's strangely reminiscent of the bar scene from Dusk till Dawn). One night by a chance encounter he meets a beautiful and mysterious woman named Tsubaki. Their fortunes intertwine (literally) and they are bound by fate to be lovers and enemies.

If you think this sounds like your typical Japanese Fantasy/Swordplay epic, you'd be wrong. In fact, there's nothing typical about Ashura. It is a hodge-podge of many different genre's of film. Those just mentioned, as well as a comedy, drama, and romance. Director Yojiro Takita (Onmyoji) juggles the genre's fairly respectfully (Although, the comedy seems forced in some scenes) and the end result is a ridiculous, but really fun popcorn movie.

To be sure, there are flaws in the film. Some of the humor seems contrived, and out of place. And the acting isn't the greatest. But seriously, do you watch Fantasy/Swordplay/Comedy films for the great acting performances?? No, we watch them for the action and the crazy CG visuals, all of which Ashura has in Spades. Not to be misleading, the film is not all action, but it is spaced out generously enough with lots of swordplay and buckets of green blood to keep the average viewer happy.

Bottom line; the films has it's faults and is not a martial arts epic, but it doesn't try to be and it features interesting visuals and good swordplay action. The reason the film worked for me is that it never takes itself too seriously and if the viewer does the same, their sure to be delighted by this fun and silly swordplay fantasy action flick.

My Rating 7 out of 10. Fun popcorn movie.


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