Legend of the Mystical Ninja Complete Collection (of 1) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Monday, April 16, 2007
Release Date: Tuesday, May 30, 2006
What They Say
A god of unparalleled evil lurks at the edge of the Game World. This vile creature, Makuamuuge, declares a revolt against the Game World and sends his loyal and steadfast foot soldiers into the Human World to unleash his master plan. Not if Goemon and friends can help it!
Leaping from the virtual dimension of video games and into the world of humans comes Goemon, an energetic ninja with special abilities that draw their power from his sweet bean cakes. With his comical band of friends and the help of their 10-yearold pal Tsukasa, in whose home they live,
our heroes will work hard to rid the human world of this video game menace.
Based off a series of video games, this series managed to translate into a decent anime for the kids.
For the entire sieries, I listened to the Japanese stereo track and heard no discernible issues. It was a solid stereo track though most of the action came from the center channel. The English stereo track was spot checked and will provide a similar audio experience.
ADV provides a solid transfer for the series; originally airing in 1997, it does not have the depth of color more modern titles have. It is free of any noticeable dirt or other print damage, but there are instances where the picture seems to suffer from a bit of jitter. I did not notice it much through the bulk of the series, but the last few episodes had a few spots where it stood out.
A sturdy box houses the five thinpak cases and features variations on the artwork used for the cases.
The main menu is a simple image of Goemon with a loop of music in the background. There are no transition delays preventing you from getting setup and into the episodes quickly.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
I have played a number of Konami's Ganbare Goemon games and was curious to see how well it could transition to an anime series. Released under the title Legend of the Mystical Ninja, I was pleasantly surprised to find a decent kids show with an actual plot rather than a marketing agenda. The premise is simple; Lord Makuamuuge is a powerful and evil figure in the Game World. He is determined to cross over to our reality and enslave humanity.
However, he cannot make the journey to our world unless he opens a massive cyber tunnel between the Game World and Earth. Makuamuuge dispatches his henchman Seppukumaru to Earth to open this tunnel. Aiding Seppukumaru are the Four Tsukijiri, anthropomorphic eggs dressed in Edo samurai gear; to open the tunnel, they hatch scheme after scheme to anger humanity. This will raise the "Rage Gauge" and open up the tunnel for a cyber robot and eventually their dark lord.
A young boy named Tsukasa is entangled in these plots when Goemon pops out of his computer monitor. Goemon is a legendary ninja with a fetish for dressing and acting like a Kabuki actor. He has come from the Game World to thwart Seppukumaru's plans, but he is not alone in this mission. His comrades include his girlfriend, two ninjas, a robotic ninja, and a lecherous old scientist.
The series quickly slips into a familiar formula; Seppukumaru stumbles over a scheme to raise the Rage Gauge and manages to summon a cyber beast. Goemon must do his best Popeye imitation and down one of his girlfriend's ohagi. This gives him the power to summon the mighty robot Goemon Impact to dispatch the cyber beast. Lather, rinse, and repeat. Dr. Mudanashi and his muscular but effeminate android Mr. Protein (now there's a hentai joke waiting to happen) replace Seppukumaru midway through the series, but the formula remains intact.
What gives the series a bit of charm is seeing Goemon and his friends try to understand modern day Earth. In one of the more amusing sequences, Goemon comes across a piece of modern art and mistakes it for a cyber beast. Tsukasa and his friends occasionally get caught up in the battles, but they mostly get to cheer Goemon on and help out as best as they can. There are little life lessons sprinkled into the episodes, but they are subtle and work within the story rather than the story being written to get a point across. Adults will not find much to hold their interest in this series; I found myself nodding off a few times. However, it will charm kids with the cute characters and their robotic battles.
Are you a parent looking for a good kid's show, one that is not a thinly disguised toy commercial? Legend of the Mystical Ninja is the perfect title for you to pick up. Your children will enjoy the cute, colorful antics of Goemon and his friends. Geared towards children, the series does manage to provide some humor and situations to amuse the adult set also. It is a simple, formulaic series, but it is a formula that works well and makes this a slightly better than average kid's show.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles
Mitsubishi 27" TV, Panasonic RP-82, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Bose Acoustimass-6 speakers, generic S-Video and optical audio cable
Mania Grade: C+
Audio Rating: B
Video Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B-
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: TV PG
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
Running time: 550
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Legend of the Mystical Ninja