Ninja Scroll (of 1) (Mania.com)
Review Date: -
What They Say
Feudal Japan – a time of danger, intrigue and deception. Jubei is a masterless ninja who travels the land alone, hiring his services to those with gold…or a worthy cause. His fearsome abilities have served him well, but a hideous plot to overthrow the government threatens to end his wandering ways and possibly his life.
When a small village succumbs to a terrible plague, a team of ninjas are sent to investigate and realize that all is not as it seems. Ambushed, they are wiped out by a fearsome man-monster with incredible powers, leaving only one alive – Kagero, a beautiful female ninja whose touch can bring instant death. Jubei saves her from a fate worse than death and unwittingly becomes drawn into a web of treachery. He is soon faced with his greatest challenge, an enemy for whom death holds no fear with the power to destroy Jubei’s world. It’s an all-out bloodbath when ninja warriors come face to face in this action-packed tribal war.
Ninja Scroll features a wicked cast of characters, extraordinary fight scenes and stunning animation from Yoshiaki Kawajiri and MadHouse Studios!
Ninja Scroll is one of the best examples of a killer app title for the Australia anime market. Pity it’s release on DVD here caused a stir just over 1 minute of missing footage.
First some background. Ninja Scroll was shown on TV here with an MA 15+ rating, but people complained to the Australia Censorship Board and it was bumped up to an R 18+ rating, with a mildly cut M 15+ version popping up on TV now and again. When people saw that the DVD had a R18+ rating, many expected that it would be the uncut original, virtually identical to the US Region 1 release.
However, Madman used PAL masters provided by Manga Video UK, which had already gone through the BBFC, who in classic BBFC style cut things like those really evil ninja stars and the Tessai/Kagero rape scene. Madman’s explanation (We didn’t know it was cut) was not too reassuring for those hoping to get a perfect uncut copy or fearful that other releases using Manga UK masters will have cuts because the British classification board got to it, for example Wicked City and Perfect Blue.
Beyond that ‘minor’ flaw, the whole disc is effectively identical to the R1 release, right down to the menus. The visuals are very nice and the sound is great, a perfect showcase of what anime on DVD can be.
The story, while not the most thought provoking, is good and suits the beautiful action scenes.
My only small complaint is the use of US Manga Video trailers, nice to see oh so many titles we miss out on, but also means you have to explain why an Australian release has trailers for products never to appear here or are licensed by other companies.
The R4 release of Ninja Scroll is virtually identical to the R1 release, except for just one-minute of cut footage of limited value to the complete story. Personally, I doubt that most fans would consider paying double the price of the Australian version to get the R1 copy over the loss of it.
English Language,Japanese Language,English subtitles,Character profiles,Synopsis
JNL-7001 DVD Player
Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: A
Video Rating: A
Packaging Rating: A
Menus Rating: A
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 4 - Australia / South America
Released By: Madman Entertainment
MSRP: 29.95 AU
Running time: 90
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Ninja Scroll