Anime Meta-Review


Ninja Scroll


By Date




Title Info

  • alias: Jubei Ninpucho
  • type: movie
  • grade: worthy
  • genre: magic_war
  • Other elements of this title:
    • This title has been commercially released in Australia.
    • This title may offend the sensitive.
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: A while ago, i'll revise it eventually.
  • mod: none

This is a very popular title in the west, and is fairly common. This is probably because it has a lot of violence and a fair amount of sex (definitely adult material here) and thus meets all the requirements for local distribution. The story is highly action centric, more or less resolving down to a fight between two ninja groups, but is actually well done with some mystery, reflections from previous events and inter-team tension to spice the story. The character design and dialogue is also better than might be expected. The bad guys are a bit disposable, but are well characterised in the time available. The good guys are even better, and it is quite easy to come to care for what happens to them. The ability to incorporate a side-serving of romance and tragedy in such a short film with so much action must be respected.

The action is also good (although the `slaughtering of faceless ninja' is highly abstracted) with good fights, interesting powers and some degree of tactics. The animation is excellent, dark and atmospheric at times and quite beautiful at others with fairly complex character appearance and clean motion. This is a very solid, well balanced film at the upper end of the genre, worth a watch for anyone who enjoys this genre. Of course it also includes all the requirements of the genre, so if you don't like anime fighting and lots of blood you probably won't like this either. I saw an english dub which was quite acceptable.

However be warned that another tape advertised as the `revenge of Jubei' (titled Ninja Resurrection), which suggests a sequel, is completely unrelated (and not at the same level) and the advertising is a fairly cynical effort to profit from the popularity of this title.

The Anime Review pretty much fills out the plot, but whether this counts as a spoiler in an action film I don't know. The review is fairly positive. Akemi's AnimeWorld isn't really into this sort of thing, but they still say, "Probably the best of the Ninja hack and slash movies" in this review. The Anime Critic has no problems with a bit of action, the small review stating that, "Ninja Scroll is probably the best of its genre". THEM don't like this sort of thing at all, but their review gives it top marks and calls it "an amazing anime that should definitely not be overlooked".


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:22 WST 2009