A vagabond swordsman is aided by a beautiful ninja girl and a crafty spy in confronting a demonic clan of killers - with a ghost from his past as their leader - who are bent on overthrowing the Tokugawa Shogunate.
The film is a tribute to the works of Japanese author Fûtarô Yamada, who throughout the sixties wrote many historical novels about ninjas. See more »
When Tessai prepares to punch Jubei, he says "the way to hell is... right here". In the Japanese version, the "right here" part of the line is heard some time after Tessai's lips move. This does not occur in the English version, where his line is in sync with his lip movements. See more »
Thanks to your interference, Jubei, we lost 300 pieces of gold! I can't go back empty-handed!
Well, perhaps you won't have to go back completely empty-handed...
[shows the bandit the rice ball he's eating]
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In 1995, the BBFC cut the UK version by 52 seconds. This included the rape of Kagero by Tessai and all footage of throwing stars. The UK and Australian DVDs were affected by these cuts. In 2004 these cuts were waived by the BBFC and the film is now uncut. See more »
Jubei, a rouge samurai who's wandering the land becomes involved unwillingly in the battle between an evil group of supernatural demon warriors known as the Eight Devils of Kimon and the country's government. After a town was wiped out overnight by a plague, so the eight devils could get in to get perform a certain mysterious task. Jubei soon is joined by a poisonous female samurai known as Kagero to find out the Devils' business is in this town, after one of them wipe out her ninja team and nearly her if it hadn't been for Jubei. He also encounters someone of the past, who he thought that he already had killed.
So I've gone back to my roots when anime was a childhood favourite of mine, but this one isn't for kids. I loved this flick when I was in my early teens, so watching it now was such a nostalgia trip and surprisingly it still holds up exceptionally well. The popular worldwide hit "Ninja Scroll", which was directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri (who brought us the excellent "Vampire Hunter D") paves way for a maturely slick, extremely violent and intensely erotic outlook. Everything about it comes thick and fast. It frenetically exploits the blood sprayed violence like a running tap, but still never loses that beautifully tender edge that seeps into many of the situations. The compelling premise isn't a mind-bender, although a bit jaded, but its simple origins only enhance the taut lay out and poignantly dark array of blisteringly out-there conflicts. It's surprising in it developments and you're left amazed by the film's personality and unique world that's created. It vividly captures the period of this atmospheric world. They're such an imaginatively diverse barrage of dynamic characters, with the likes of the rock-build demon to the hunchback whose hump are a wasp nest and a snake lady who can actually shed her skin. This gave it a real eastern mythological state and only proves that the bad guys had the most fun. The story might feel like its there only to set up one spirited confrontation after another and really it is. But the story-telling element is effectively defined, as most of the main players get enough time to mould there own back story and present their significance to where it could be heading. Jubei makes a cool anti-hero and Kagero fits nicely along side him. The skillful animation has class, agility, originality and distinguishing details making its way into these stunningly pristine visuals. An aggressively crisp sounding FX makes the experience a whole lot more impressive with such a wide range and the oriental twang found in the eerily mystic music score makes this presentation more brooding in its blinding passion and checkered emotion. Kawajiri faced no restrictions here, and was free to come up with an illustriously innovative and majestic anime piece that works in every frame.
"Ninja Scroll" is more highly involving than you would believe. Recommended.
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