Top positive review
16 people found this helpful
Takes me back to the days of my VHS anime collection...Incredible film.
on May 20, 2015
Easily one of the best anime movies ever created.
First things first, this exceptional film is over 20 years old. It still holds up. Having said, err typed that, be prepared for a couple of things; the aspect ratio. Since this film was made when CRT televisions were used in most homes you'll discover the aspect ratio is set to 4:3. For widescreen flat screen televisions you're going to have black bars on the sides not the top and bottom. Next the film looks like it was transferred from a VHS tape so the menu and selections are going to look like some high school kid or a porno movie production associate made them. These are not complaints on my part, just giving all perfectionists a heads up. There are no frills like extras or the like, as I mentioned the film is over 20 years old. Although there is audio commentary by the director, and other major players in the film which is absolutely awesome. The commentary provides some insight into the old days of cel based anime. Stuff like that is what I love about commentaries.
Now the film:
Like I said this is easily, EASILY one of the BEST anime films ever made. Made in 1993 this film changed the way I looked at entertainment, movies, animation, and storytelling. I normally prefer subbed anime but when I bought the VHS tape in '95 I was not disappointed with the English voice acting, I may even venture to say that it may be just as good as the Japanese voice acting. I wore out the tape, I watched it so many times. Jubei (the protagonist) sounds like a California surfer dude but that is OK because his character is so deep and developed that different scenes exemplify his complexity as a character and the voice provides a very laid back attitude combined with wisdom that comes from experience.
You are not going to find flashy CG here at all. From my understanding it is all traditional cel animation which is incredible considering how amazing some of the visuals are in the movie. I don't want to delve into the story or the plot too much b/c I think if you're a fan of anime you owe it to yourself to watch this movie; at $10 for the DVD and $15 for the Blu ray take a chance if you're on the fence about this film. Keep in mind though there is extreme violence, I mean EXTREME and some sexual situations/scenes that are NOT for the easily offended.
There are so many layers to the plot as well the characters, the good guys and the bad guys. There is strife between so many sides as well between the good guys, the bad guys, and WITHIN both groups. The demons all have their unique talents as well the old man (government agent), Kagero (the sexy female ninja), and Jubei. There are times when I felt genuine sympathy for the character Kagero. Her beauty and her talent work against her throughout the entire film and it's almost like she feels no relief at all, not even at the end.
I have one gripe but it is very minor and that is that it is not possible to remove the English subtitles from the Japanese voice acting version of the film. You get 3 audio options regarding the film, English w/o subtitles, Japanese w/ English subtitles (again the subtitles are not negotiable), and Japanese commentary w/ English subtitles.
To conclude I am very very happy this film is out again and extremely affordable, the embossed slip-case cover is really cool and the disc case's cover portrays the awesome image of the 8 devils, Jubei, and Kagero. 94 minutes of ninja awesomeness,spectacular (CEL!!!) animation, and political intrigue.