Fourteen years after defeating the immortal warrior Himuro Genma and thwarting the Shogun of the Dark's evil plans, Kibagami Jubei continues to roam all over Japan as a masterless swordsman. During his journey, he meets Shigure, a priestess who has never seen the world outside her village. But when a group of demons destroys the village and kills everyone, Jubei becomes a prime target after acquiring the Dragon Jewel—a stone with an unknown origin. Meanwhile, Shigure—along with the monk Dakuan and a young thief named Tsubute—travels to the village of Yagyu. And with two demon clans now hunting down Shigure, Dakuan must once again acquire the services of Jubei to protect the Priestess of Light.
After watching the original movie and falling in absolute love with it I learned of the TV series. I was so ecstatic to watch what I thought would be an incredible series, to say I was dissapointed would be an understatement.
Story: This isn't where this anime fails. In fact I don't even mind the story, it's interesting but not incredibly original. Everyone wants to kill Shigure and there's only Jubei and two minor characters to protect her. Storyline progression isn't that great, I found myself in the 5th episode going "is something going to happen?"
Animation: Watching this anime
didn't make my eyes carefully try to understand what I was seeing. Sometimes when I'm watching an anime (mainly Gankutsuou) I read the subtitles as quickly as possible so i can appreciate the art. Not so here.
Sound/Music: Honestly, when it comes to anime I believe that music is one of those subtle things that makes a great anime even greater, or a terrible anime much worse. Or whichever combination you like. I actually enjoyed the music in this, it did suit the feel of this anime.
Characters: Here is where this anime fails miserably. For people who have seen the movie you'll definitely recognize the monk and Jubei. The other characters are all new. The characters are all one-dimensional. I never found myself rooting for any character because the outcome, I knew, was going to be the same. All enemy ninjas bored me, every single one of them. I'm not a huge fan of monsters in a ninja series, i like them to be more human. I mean sure, throw in a couple monsters, but....when every character except the main party are monsters...it gets really boring. And they're all the stereotypes. I felt all the characters to be very Trigun-ish and when i looked it up, the character designer for Ninja Scroll was also the designer for Trigun. It worked for Trigun, it doesn't work for Ninja Scroll.
Enjoyment: I almost didn't want to finish this series. 13 episodes long, a little over 4 hours and i didn't want to finish it. I chuckled a few times, was entertained for a little bit each episode. But not nearly enough for me to actually have a good opinion of it.
Overall: A series which, compared to the film it was based off of, is horrible. If you haven't seen the movie you might disagree "I think your opinion is terrible, I quite enjoyed this series." I came in expecting to see something that would satisfy me the same way the movie did, and it didn't. I would however, recommend this if you're just needing some ninja-action.
Throughout this entire series I was up and down in deciding whether it was good or bad. I decided it is neither. Ninja Scroll: The Series is beyond the scope of simple definitions such as good or bad. It is B-movie! The only, and best, way to describe this anime is through comparing it to classic American B-movies, so I'd say you could call it B-anime.
Most of you will be going into the series after watching the movie, which I admit was much better, and so will most likely be disappointed. That's because you'll also expect the same quality, but I'm warning you that you'll
discover something entirely different. And that's whether your sense of humor can overcome your sense of quality. I guess mine can occasionally experience a power surge, because the Ninja Scroll series made me laugh out loud on countless occasions. The cheesy and cliched lines, quirky humor , the repulsive monsters, the gore, the occasional nudity, this all equates to your average modus operandi of a good B-class movie, and Ninja Scroll's got it all baby.
With the plot being pretty basic, ok terrible, it's left up to the characters to keep this train on the rails...and they kinda do. I'd have to give Tsubute(young thief with stupid bandage) credit here for cracking some smart-ass lines and generally inserting a bit of classic light comedy, whereas Jubei(wise-ass ninja dude) masterfully utilizes all the great sarcastic hero jibe to poke at all the small 'inconsistencies' of evil-doers.
The animation was passable, with the enemy's character designs getting quite interesting, but mention must be made of the soundtrack which at times reminded me of Mortal Kombat and the like. However this wasn't the only reason I gave sound a 7, the voice actors were also a classic form of 'bad'(english dub), but it was in a funny and fitting way. So before you begin ranting about seven being way to high for the quality, I'll remind you that all sevens given in this review were purely from a comedic-B-movie-enjoyment perspective.
In the end I was quite satisfied, although I don't know whether that was because of the series, or because it finished. It was still a decent piece of easy watching, reminded me of the good old morning cartoon watching days(but slightly more adult; not really in the area themes). Your enjoyment of this series will definitely depend on what you find funny, but if you're a fan of B-movies, definitely give this one a try.
I truly had high hopes for the Ninja Scroll anime series, based of the classic anime movie. Boy I was in for a major disappointment. The anime takes place fourteen years after the movie following Kibagami Jubei who's still roaming Japan and meets Shigure a priestess and things go down hill fast from there. Ninja Scroll the movie was a classic. The story was concise, the animation was great, the action was exciting and the characters were interesting. The series on the other hand was the complete reverse. The story was unbelievable and the tone of the anime had no drama for
the story. The animation wasn't very good. The music was good, and that's the only thin that kept it from getting the one. The characters weren't interesting and you couldn't care about, even Jubei was one of those characters. God I wanted this to be a good anime. I am truly sad it wasn't.
I actually enjoyed this anime...well I found it 'somewhat' entertaining to be exact. I'd rate it overall as a 6.8/10.
The story is pretty basic if you're familiar with this type of ronin/ninja genre in anime. Princess is being chased by bad guys, runs into a strong ninja/samurai and they end up journeying together while he protects her. Then some others end up tagging along with them on their journey. Im sort of fan of this type of thing so you can count that as part of why I found this entertaining when some others did not.
I have to admit the story dosent draw
you in all that much but there's definitely a progressive story holding everything together. This is probably because for an anime with a progressive storyline, it feels very episodic. Most of the episodes seemed put together simply to feature the new bad-guy(s)-of-the-day that Jubei must defeat. These battles are well animated and its interesting to watch how Jubei will go about defeating his new foe though a good portion of them end quick via a single strike from Jubei (his quick draw move a.k.a Wind Slash Technique).
Sound isnt anything special but nothing bad either. The anime's intro uses an instrumental which serves as a theme throught the anime. Its a little catchy but really not anything special and can be easily forgotten. Voice acting is good as well as the various sound effects in the anime.
Character is one of the reasons I watch these type of anime. The Jubei type character often draw my attention. Carefree & loves to relax until he gets drawn into battle where his strength and quick wits are revealed. The princess was a 'meh' character for me. Just someone trying understand more about why she's being chased. Then theres a boy thief and some mysterious old man some might be familiar with if they've seen the movie. The other main character draw here are the foes they encounter. They are mostly monstrous oddities with special abilities. Some come with a story while others are just a Jubei slash away before they are forgotten. Either way I found them entertaining.
So there you have it. If your a fan of historical/wuxia anime with samurais/ninjas cutting up stuff I'd recommend this to you as a way to pass some time. Other than that I'd say its just some good ol "saturday morning cartoon" like a reviewer before mentioned. You can click "overrall ratings" to see my individual ratings for this anime but my overall score for it is 6.8/10.
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