Friday, January 20, 2012

NINJA SCROLL (1993)

I really need to review more animation on Happyotter, so let's start with the film that got me into Japanese animation: NINJA SCROLL. I still remember watching this for the first time on an old VHS tape back in the 90's and freaking the fuck out at how awesome it was with all of the violence and bloodshed and nudity! I couldn't wait to tell my friends about it! Watching it again now for the first time in probably over a decade I was a little taken back at how tame it seemed (as opposed to my memories), but it's still an awesomely animated and entertaining ride filled with a cool heroic trio and memorable bad guys. Especially Tessai the stone skin guy.

Years(?) ago a ninja, Jubei, was double crossed by the leader of his ninja team (Gemma) over a secret gold mine. Jubei killed Gemma and is now a wandering ninja. Sometime later Jubei learns that Gemma is back, so he somewhat reluctantly joins a elderly spy and a female ninja to stop Gemma from using the gold to overtake the government. But first they must defeat a demon ninja group known as the Devils of Kimon. Each member has a unique power and is totally badass.

That's a very simplified version of the story, but the story isn't what makes NINJA SCROLL so awesome. It's the fight scenes. Each one is badass and impossible to turn your eyes away from. Even though I knew how the film was going to end I still found myself leaning forward in excitement and anticipation!  If you are at all interested in animation or cinema history then NINJA SCROLL is required viewing. Check it out.