Ninko is a devout and unusually handsome young Buddhist monk in Edo-period Japan-with a serious predicament: wherever he goes women and some men find him sexually irresistible and follow him around like rats to the Pied Piper. He seeks righteousness but since sex is considered a sinful indulgence, Ninko finds himself overwhelmed with guilt. No matter what odds, he tries to resist but is then literally assaulted in the woods by a voluptuous specter wearing a Noh mask, a manifestation of his fears and desires. Finally unable to parse the difference between reality and hallucination, Ninko must make a steadfast commitment in one direction or the other.Written by
This is great. This is beautiful. This is unique. This is not too long. This is sexy. This innovative. This is Japanese. This is, as the Blu-ray box states, about 'Ninko, a young, diligent Buddhist monk (who) has one serious problem: women can't seem to resist him.' And so it is at its simplest but this is a folk tale (I can't establish its origins) with a certain beginning, middle and (terrible?) end in which the characters step in and out of paintings and drawings quite seamlessly. Whether we are following the protagonist through misty hills, mossy woodlands or bamboo forests we will occasionally take a detour through some recognisable work of Japanese art. Masato Tsujioka plays the titular Ninko with great style and variety using his eyes to great effect. A treat throughout, the ending is especially so, so stick with this unusual feature and enjoy the wondrous landscapes and numerous bare ladies, right to that Vampiric ending.
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