Ninja Scroll -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: A-

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  • Audio Rating: A+
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Menus Rating: D-
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Manga Entertainment
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 94
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Ninja Scroll

Ninja Scroll

By Chris Beveridge     May 19, 1998
Release Date: May 19, 1998

Ninja Scroll
© Manga Entertainment

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 form Yoshiaki Kawajiri and MadHouse Studios!

The Review!
Ninja Scroll annoyed my wife right from the start. The wonderfully done 5.1 English soundtrack was all over the place, making it hard for to keep the action at a reasonable level and yet hear the dialogue when things slowed.

For those of you not living in an apartment, you're in for a treat with a great soundtrack. Ninja Scroll is a fairly basic premise of a character who, through circumstances, must face a good number of enemies in succession and defeat them. Nothing too original storywise, but this movie makes up for it with wonderful visuals, pretty decent dialogue for this genre, and great animation.

Forewarned though, this is not animation for children. Unlike the little used graphic violence and nudity in Ghost in the Shell, Ninja Scroll takes them steps further with their in your face style. While not representative of anime in general, it is a good example of this subgenre. I'm lucky though, my wife watched and enjoyed Urotsukidoji without me.

As stated, the audio in this disc for the English track is great. The Japanese track, soundwise, pales next to it of course, though I do prefer the original voice actors. But, I'm one of those tried and true sub fans, but with DVD, you get the best of both.

The video is very clean and clear. I noticed nothing wrong with it throughout.

Packaging? Wonderful. Nice keepcase, beautiful insert card, as well as a great graphic on the DVD itself. Definitely an eye catching package all around.

So what earned the D for the menu? I had several troubles actually accessing things with it. Selecting English language, then Play Movie, promptly brought me to my blue idle screen. Playing the trailer, then selecting Play Movie afterwards brought me back to the trailer. Grumble grumble. Something's amuck in the menu system methinks.

All in all, this is a fun if slightly long movie (94 minutes) that might have made a good 60 minute OVA, but would have been too rushed and lost a lot of its impact. This is definitely a take-a-chance and see if you like it movie.

English language Dolby Digital 5.1,Japanese Language,English subtitles,Closed captioned in English,Production notes,Complete Movie Synopsis,Key Character Art and Text Files

Review Equipment
Toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.


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