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Ninja Resurrection - Revenge of Jubei/Hell's Spawn (2004)

Director: Yasunori Urata, Yasunori Urata
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: A.D.V. Films
Genre: Anime, Horror Anime, Action Anime, Drama Anime, Fantasy Anime, Swords and Sorcery Anime, Martial Arts, Ninja, Quest, Revenge
Running Time: 80 min.
Languages: English, Japanese
Subtitles: English
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This critically scorned two-episode OVA touches on a number of sensitive issues, the most volatile of which is religion. It bases its plot around the historical premise of Christian converts being persecuted in feudal Japan. It then tells the tale of a young man who acts as a charismatic leader for Japanese Christians. After being assassinated by a group of ninjas, his spirit returns in the form of a demon, who calls upon magical Christian forces in order to gain vengeance. While criticized for more than just its script, many have pointed out that the possible misrepresentations of Christianity in Ninja Resurrection are simple reflections of its being native to a non-Christian country. Other critics argue that American misinterpretations of Buddhism or Shinto would be no better received in Japan. Overall, Ninja Resurrection has gained a controversial, if unpopular, reputation. ~ Cammila Albertson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Mangling history with bad samurai slice and dice by hneline1 March 8, 2003 - 9:42 AM PST
3 out of 4 members found this review helpful
What's bad about this anime is the repeated shots; the moments of confusing action; the schizophrenic mangling of genres; the forced emotions; the sudden character personality shifts; the inaccurate English titles; the out-of-the-blue gratuitous sex scene; the over-the-top samurai slice and dice; the abrupt ending, which happens after a lengthy buildup to what I thought would be a climax but what actually becomes a cliffhanger (of course, they never made another episode after that cliffhanger)... Need I go on?

But what's fascinating about this anime is the historical basis of the surrounding events. Both episodes on this disk start like a Japanese melodrama, with a voiceover narration telling us about the era while the camera pans over beautiful traditional paintings (Ieyasu Tokugawa, Musashi Miyamoto, castle siege scenes, among others). Jubei Yagyu, the protagonist, is based on the legendary samurai of the same name, who can be compared to Robin Hood in our western folklore. The story is based on the Shimabara rebellion of 1637, when 30,000 Christian farmers retreated to a castle, only to be completely slaughtered by the Shogun's army. I like history, and this is one of the few anime to even attempt to use historical detail (Hakkenden is based on classic literature; Rurouni Kenshin is fiction placed in historical context; Spring and Chaos is a modern biography).

So why does it have to be so baaaaaad? Believe me, it's bad. Chaotic. Even offensive if it weren't so laughably slipshod. Um, I think I'll stop right here before I start gagging...

NOT a Ninja Scroll Sequel by jeffypop January 28, 2003 - 2:35 PM PST
3 out of 4 members found this review helpful
The title is misleading: this movie is not in any way affiliated with Ninja Scroll. The animation is horrible, and many big scenes are just pan-and-scans of a large still frame. One of the worst animes ever.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 4.45)
22 Votes
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