Apr 14, 2008
Phill-z (All reviews)
Ah Ninja Scroll, the epitome of everything a ninja anime needs and tries...and fails to be. My friend and I saw this at our local Blockbuster and he had heard of it from a coworker who said "WATCH THIS MOVIE!" Now generally when I get recommendations from my friends I don't enjoy them all too much but Ninja Scroll was and is possibly one of my favourite films.

Story: Ninja Scroll in a very realistic sense is an anime B-movie. So the story was pretty heinous. Essentially the entire plot can be seen as a device to switch setting and to move to the next fight scene. However the story itself (if you're actually paying attention) isn't all too bad. There were some interesting little character developments and a couple neat twists and turns. It gets slightly weird towards the end and the actual ending itself was a little lacking. But the forte of the anime is the action scenes. Almost all of them were brilliant, I say almost all because frankly I wanted to see a couple stretched out a little longer. Each enemy that Jubei faces is different and even though it's pretty clear that he can't be beaten it's interesting to see him face some of the tougher opponenets.

Art: The art completely and perfectly suits the feel of the anime. The art isn't good, it isn't bright or's mediocre. But the movie wouldn't feel right without the style of art that's used. Granted there were 2-3 moments where I was forced to turn on the lights because I felt like I was going to have a seizure. Most of the screen flashed red and black really quickly and I quickly averted my eyes. But that's my only qualm about the art.

Sound: Cheesy, oldschool....perfect for the movie.

Character: Jubeii is....the best and most powerful swordsman ever. Well, maybe not ever, but he's still pretty amazing and he has a good heart. All the characters are pretty one dimensional are never developed. You get a couple "reveal" moments, but they're a little bit boring as well. About the only noteworthy character is Kagero. I felt really sorry for her during pretty much the entire movie. However the interactions and "development" of characters is meaningless to the film. The film is about action and fighting so, for me at least, it's understandable that the characters are pretty flat.

Enjoyment: I love Ninja Scroll. It's a seriously fun ride. There's nothing deep about it, there's no meaning to it....the film is about action and that's exactly what it delivers. The movie is also quite gory and has a lot of nudity in it. There's also a really hilarious was at least funny to me. There's also if you're offended by that you probably should steer clear.

If you enjoy Ninja Scroll, which I can only hope you do, you should definitely check out Wicked City, which is from the same director and in many respects is practically the same film.