Ninja Scroll (DVD, 2003, 10th Anniversary Special Edition)

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Ninja Scroll: One bloody mess. And naked Anime Girl

Dec 6, 2005 (Updated Jun 15, 2009)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Good story, great character development, lots of action.

Cons:For mature audiences only.  There is Anime sex and anime nudity.

The Bottom Line: A great but violent anime movie.  If you want Anime sex and Anime nudity, then you've come to the right movie.  But those scenes are short and the story_takes prescidence.


This is a movie that takes place in medieval Japan. It is centered about a Ninja and a task he must complete. This is an anime that reminded me of a lot of Greek/Roman mythology. A hero that must overcome insurmountable odds. But in this movie the gods have been replaced with demons that the hero must conflict with, or in this case destroy.

The characters in the movie are fairly unique but they do remind me a little of Samurai Showdown the video game. I’m not sure if that is a coincidence or not. The 2 lead characters are traditional fighters and do not have any unique powers or skills, they are just good swordsmen. The third character reminds me of a druid with high agility/dexterity. The Demons each have a unique power or skill that they use on our hero’s and the demons are very powerful. One is very strong while another may be stealthy, but they all have a weakness that is exploited by our hero.

The character development is one of the things I am really impressed with. You get to know the characters and their personalities very well throughout the entire movie. In the end of the movie I felt as if they were real people that I cared about. So many live action movies fail in this department but this is what I feel is the real strength of this movie. In addition the story is well told and really grabbed my attention.

The animation is also another bonus. It is realistic (mostly) and does not have that “cartoony” feel to it that other anime has. Although not as beautiful as a couple of recent releases, it is still high quality animation that is pleasing to the eyes. I’d give it a 9/10.

The basic plot. Warning, may contain spoilers but I avoided the major ones.
Our hero is a Ninja for hire. Jubei is very skillful with the sword and very laid back in personality. But he is willing to kill in a moments notice if provoked. But for the most part Jubei doesn’t actively seek out trouble. Trouble does seek him out though, the price for being a hero. After rescuing the heroine of the story, he angered 8 demons of Kimon and is now being hunted down by them. And all he wants is to be left alone. A government spy uses a cunning trick to get Jubei to work for him and that is where the fun begins. I think revealing anything else will spoil the story for you.

DVD features
There really is not much to this DVD in the extras department; it’s pretty bare bones. I would give it 1 out of 10 stars.
-A Guide To Ninja Scroll- There is a text section that introduces you to the different characters of the story. It talks about the 3 main characters and the 8 demons. It is just the barebones information.
-Manga Video Commercial- A shameless music video that highlights some of their movies.
-Manga Video Fan club Trailer- More shameless advertising.
-Ninja Scroll Theatrical Trailer- Just a simple trailer of the movie.

Who is this for?
You need to understand that this movie is violent and graphic. I’m happy with that but there is no way I’m going to let my kids watch it until they are at least 55, and even then I’m not sure. But for the rest of us that crave blood and good fight scenes then this should do the trick. And you get a great story to boot.

The key players
Director: Yoshiaki Kawajiri
Screen play: Yoshiaki Kawajiri
Music: Kaoru Wada
Characterdesign/Animation director: Yutaka Minowa
Art Director: Hiromasa Ogura
Director of Photography: Hitoshi Yamaguchi
Sound Director: Yasunori Honda
Executive Producers: Makoto Hasegawa, Masamichi Fuhiwara, & Yutaka Takahashi

Key info
Languages: English, Japanese.
Subtitles: English, and special subtitles for those that are hard of
Rating: ”Not rated. Fro mature audiences. Contains violence, strong language, brief nudity, and adult situations. Parental discretion is advised.
5.1: Yes

Summary
A good action packed anime for mature audiences only. The animation is beautiful, the story is well done, and the character development is top notch. If you’re a fan of Anime then this is a must for your collection.
Just a warning, there is a naked girl, an anime sex scene, and an implied rape.  This is not for innocent eyes.

Other reviews you might be interested in.
My 10 favorite Anime
My top 50 movies reviewed


Recommend this product? Yes

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