Ninja Scroll / Juubee Ninpuuchou
Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Historical, Horror, Supernatural, Political Intrigue
First Released: June 1993, 94-minute film
Summary: Jubei Kibagami is a masterless swordman wandering feudal Japan as a mercenary. Betrayal left him without patience for political schemes but it becomes unavoidable when he saves the ninja Kagero from some sort of rock man. Jubei wants nothing to do with Kagero’s mission, but rock man has powerful friends in the “Devils of Kimon” ninja group that are on the hunt for Jubei. If that’s not stressful enough, a government spy is all over Jubei and has a convincing argument for him to uncover the Devil’s true intentions. Jubei thought he had put all this political nonsense behind him, but it looks like the game is on!
Ninja Scroll uses shonen tropes to the max. Every character possesses some sort of supernatural ability which constitutes their one dimension. The males are super hentai. The females are generally damsels in distress, waiting for the strong hero to save them from a nasty fate. The mature themes of the anime, violence and sexual content, lacked a point and felt like they were more for shock value than anything else. Maybe they threw in mature content to make up for their lack of a profound plot. I do appreciate the animation. It’s done in a style reminiscent of feudal Japan, a style that continues to be used for historical anime.
You might enjoy this if: You’re in it for the supernatural action. High energy fight scenes full of powerful moves are what Ninja Scroll is all about.
You might not like it if: You have seen some of the early anime classics such as Ghost in the Shell, Akira, and Perfect Blue. Ninja Scroll does not deliver in the same manner. If you’re easily offended, I wouldn’t recommend this film.
Note to the Viewer: A live-action adaptation of Ninja Scroll has been rumored for the better part of a decade. Warner Bros bought the rights in 2008, but nothing has come of it as of yet.
Ninja Scroll Trailer