Monday, July 21, 1997

Ninja Scroll (Jubei Ninpocho)


Genre: Martial Arts / Adventure
General Audience
1993, 1994 Yoshiaki Kawajiri (director)· Mad House / JVC · Toho Co., Ltd. · Movie Inc.
1994 Manga Entertainment, Ltd.




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Firesenshi's Description:
Jubei's expertise and prevailence over the first Kimon Demon reaches the rest, and the Demons try to outdo each other in defeating the elusive samurai. Hired by the mischievous Dakuwan, he combines forces with Kagero, a beautiful maiden with a body of poison, in search for the root of all the destruction surrounding them. They met the 6 other Demons of Kimon along the way, and the battles lead them closer to the lurking evil that bound them together and to the tragic past that had began to haunt Jubei once more.

Poisonous? Nah! It's Just Contagious. >>> by skysenshi and voidsenshi ( 07.21.1997 edit .99)
The beautiful young Kagero with the body of poison joins her Koga Ninja friends in their investigation of a plague that was causing numerous deaths throughout villages. However, her team members were annihilated by Tesai, one of the 7 Demons of Kimon, and she was taken as a sex captive. She was rescued by the wandering swordsman Jubei and was able to report to her apathetic lord the deaths of her people.

Meanwhile, Jubei's expertise in combat and the death of the first Kimon Demon by his hand reaches the rest of the other Demons. They try to outdo each other in their plans to defeat the elusive samurai.

Later, Jubei was hired by the mischievous Dakuwan, by way of blackmailing, and they combined forces with Kagero in search for the root of all the destruction surrounding them. They met the 6 other Demons of Kimon along the way, and the battles led them closer to the lurking evil that bound them together and to the tragic past that had began to haunt Jubei once more...

One of the most memorable anime in my list is perhaps Ninja Scroll. There isn't much I can say about it because just about everything in it can be written down in one word: perfect. Starting with originality, to the story flow, and up to the littlest shading on the artwork, Ninja Scroll hits the top. From the beginning of the story to the end, I never found it to be predictable. There isn't any scene in it that I found dragging or forced.

The battle scenes are awesome. There may have been a lot of bloodshed and gory scenes, but the animation sequences and the movement of every character was like liquid--flexible and gentle with streaks of meanness. Non-stop action scenes are certainly something to look forward to.

The story itself is great, although some people (certainly not I) might think that this movie is much too depressing. The setting is in Ancient Japan, in the era of the samurai. A lot of foreshadowing and background subliminal stuff are used in order to make an effective emphasis on every scene.

The characters, on the other hand, especially Kagero, are quite unusual as well. Kagero's skills are what most intrigued me. Her whole being is made up of poison and her whole life her purpose was to make love to her clan's enemies and kill them with her fluids. Her emotional agony can easily be felt underneath her beautiful tough exterior.

As for the artwork, I would have to give this movie all thumbs up. And if possible, add more thumbs to put up. This is one of the few anime that actually had a heroine who really looked Japanese, unlike most anime where Japanese women were portrayed to be Caucasian-looking. And for once I saw a character that didn't have an impossible sized bossom! Refreshing change, if I do say so myself. Even Jubei's filthy look seemed real, and he didn't look impossibly young. You can easily relate to the characters because they didn't look too fancy.

I would have to say again that the creators of this anime did a terrific job. They surely can keep a person watching, not only because of the artwork alone but also because of the entire emotional emphasis packed into the movie. If you've shed tears on this one, be sure to let other people shed tears too by letting them borrow the tape. The hype sure is contagious!

Individual Rating: Art/Animation 9; Story 9; Characters 9; Sounds 8

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