Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ninja Scroll (1993)


Wandering ninja for hire, Jubei (Koichi Yamadera) is suddenly thrust into the middle of a battle for the nation of japan when he rescues Kagero (Emi Shinohara), a fellow ninja who is quite literally poisonous, from being raped by a mysterious man, made of stone. Now the two must team up to uncover the mystery behind a group of demons... one of whom is tied heavily to Jubei's past.

Some anime films, even I openly admit, are incredibly hard to review. Ninja Scroll is well considered a classic staple of the samurai anime genre. At the same time it's not an easy pill to swallow. Dealing with homosexuality, rape, extreme violence, and demonic incarceration it's safe to say those with a weak stomach dare not enter here. Heck, for the first hour I was unsure what kind of anime film I was really watching (to say this film is shy in terms of sex, nudity, and blood would be an understatement for the record books). I was concerned I was had walked into the world of a sexually deprived monster grasping desperately on to any form of insane violence of odd sex they can come up with.

....Then it occurred to me, that's exactly the world I had walked in to! You see Ninja Scroll, while riddled with some amazing animation, intriguing plot developments, and action is a movie more about socially disconnected warriors, all trying to get what they can from society. Some want sex. Some want violence. Some want power. And others, well they just want to be left the hell alone. In some cases, well, they want a little bit of everything. Ninja Scroll walks deep into the darkest aspects of society, our hidden shadows, and attempts to show what happens when we fail to control ourselves. The villains aren't just villains, they're sadistic, highly sociopathic, and to be frank, our heroes are just barely a few steps above.

Still, I found myself a bit wary of what all it presents. While the story is solid, if not a bit out there (even considering), Ninja Scroll seems to lose focus at times, instead wanting to concentrate on swift visuals. As well, the animation struck me as a bit odd. Perhaps a bit too comical considering the dark nature of the film? Really, I get people have broad shoulders, but they're not 3/4 the size of the body. Still, even then, what it struggles at time in animation, it more than makes up for in consistent visual strength. Much attention is taken to the scenery, and rightly so as it plays a good part in much of the film. It may not blow your mind, but Ninja Scroll is rightfully beloved among fans of the genre.

Ninja Scroll is an incredibly violent and dark film, to say the least. But still there's enough commentary, and strength of story and visuals, to make up for any angst you may have in watching it. I just say, those with a weak stomach, dare not enter.

0 better thoughts:

Related Posts with Thumbnails