It is the peaceful Edo period in Japan, and ninjas are hardly needed anymore. Karyu, a particularly skilled ninja, is forced to do work as a hired killer. She is asked to kill a merchant, but when she gets there, she finds that his servant is actually a ninja, who is just as skilled as Karyu. Her name is Uzume. Karyu and Uzume then compete against eachother in a bloody battle for superiority.
It's an ominous night. The crescent moon peers out behind the dark clouds revealing two female ninja assassins standing opposed to each other.They are about to face off. There is a serene calmness before the storm. In one swooping motion, they engage. Only one will be left standing beneath the moonlit roof on top of an Edo era castle.
Kage (Shadow) is one that plays true to the classic ninja story line and does so quite well, might I add. Think "Ninja Scroll" with sexy female leads except 3 times more graphic and 3 times more awesome.
Although there is a lot of action, Kage is full
of mystery, deceit, and betrayal. The story revolves around two female ninja assassins from two different factions.
Karyuu, the cool headed protagonist, performs her duty with out question. She is the strong heroine that plays submissive in order to win the day. Often times she is met with unexpected situations seemingly out of her hand, but manages to overcome it with her skills and quick thinking. Her character is some what reminiscent of Motoko from Ghost in a Shell I would say.
Then there is Uzume, a mysterious, beautiful, but insane "femme fatale" that keeps stealing Karyuu's kills. There's a scene where a lecherous old man describes her as he's touching her all over:
"Beautiful... almost like a nymph. Such skin... I've never seen its like before. Where did you come from? From heaven? or from hell? ... doesn't matter."
She giggles "fu fu fu..."
She's like the black widow that finds joy at the sight of blood. But you'll never know as she lures you in with her web of innocent charm until it's too late.
The plot unfolds as Karyuu begins to find clues as to who exactly is this mysterious assassin that seems to get ahead of her all the time.
What I like about Kage is that it's more realistic than fantasy. There are no fancy ninja magic tricks or out of the world scenarios. Just good old fashion stealth, weaponry, and feudal era fighting. Of course, being female assassins there's plenty of seduction and sex, which can best be expressed from a line in the film:
"You mustn't touch Karyuu."
" No one who has slept with Karyuu has returned alive."
Honestly, I wouldn't consider Kage hentai. It's more like a very adult oriented anime, along the lines of Kite and Mezzo Forte. The sex scenes are erotic, but end disturbingly... on the male end, might I add, which is a refreshing change I guess. The directors opted for mostly "convenient" censoring rather than the usual mosaic censor. So don't bother trying to find an uncensored version. It won't make much of a difference.
The art and animation is really top notch. It is where Kage really shines. The movements are very fluid, precise, and carefully planned out. There are no repeating frames at all. None what so ever. You can tell there was a high production value for Kage.
The fight scenes are awesomely graphic and carefully choreographed. But be warned there is excessive blood gushing, heads roll, and limbs drop off faster than you can say "oh shit!".
The music, sound FX, and voice acting are great and fit the characters perfectly. Though there are no singers, the orchestrated percussion instruments really give you that "Feudal era Japan" feeling with it's deep war drumming. The sound FX are really spot on when it comes to blood gushing, sword piercing, and penises entering the womb.
Overall I would say Kage is the epitome of the ninja genre in animation. Sex, violence, and female assassins... what more can you ask for? My only complaint is that it seems unfinished with an open ended conclusion. I'm hoping they'll make a 2nd series.
Honestly this is more of an adult anime rather than a hentai. I do like the ones that don't hold back on how they want to bring their story out. For this, its basically all story with maybe 10-20% hentai. Any scenes that they have do not last longer than a minute and they "conveniently censor" almost all their bottom parts. You also never see any cum in this, I think only one guy was able to make it because they all die before that lol. So as a hentai, it fails.
The Story started out well meeting a new rival and all,
but it never really progressed until the end. For the most part, she's a mystery, and the way the plot folds out in the end really is not satisying. I did like having the excuse of them doing it with someone before killing them though. The only way this could've been a hentai hehe. Blood and gore everywhere! They just let that all free too, WithOut the censorship.
I had expectations, but got disappointed. Not too bad but I'd rather watch Basilisk for a story and Taimanin Asagi for a hentai.