Removed from the typical futuristic element of most Japanese animated adventures, this 1994 feature takes place in more of a sword-and-sorcery epic set in feudal Japan. Jubei Kipagami, a ninja mercenary, wanders the countryside in search of work. On his travels, he encounters Kagero, a female ninja whose poisoned blood causes her pale skin to be lethal to the touch. Jubei rescues the woman from Tessai, a creature made of rock. They later find that Tessai is one of the Eight Devils of Kimon, who are involved in a plot to overthrow the Shogun. A story of impossible love between Jubei and Kagero is somewhat interesting, but the true draw of Ninja Scroll is its action sequences. The dazzling swordplay of Japanese live-action samurai movies is not often seen in the animated genre, which tends more towards science fiction; however, this animated work has fight scenes in abundance. Although its content is too strong for children, adult fans of Japanese animation, samurai films, and fantasy should find it enjoyable.
~ Jonathan E. Laxamana, Rovi
- Yoshiaki Kawajiri
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