Mania Grade: B-
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- Audio Rating: B
- Video Rating: B
- Packaging Rating: C+
- Menus Rating: B+
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 16 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Manga Entertainment
- MSRP: 24.95
- Running time: 60
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Sword For Truth
Sword for Truth
By Chris Beveridge
July 25, 2000
Release Date: July 25, 2000
Sword for Truth
What They Say
© Manga Entertainment
Ancient feudal Japan was ruled by clans of Shoguns and their rule was absolute! They owned the land and the people on it, but one man they did not own was Shuranosuke Sakaki the master swordsman. Bearing his distinctive “Scythes Of Death” crest he walks alone and unafraid, cutting a path through those who stand in his way.
In this action-packed anime adventure, Shuranosuke is hired by the Tokugawa Shogunate to rescue Princess Mayu from the clutches of a group of bandit ninjas. They will stop at nothing to prevent him from succeeding and call on the undead spirits of the Seki Ninjas in Hell to assist them.
Shuranosuke’s skills are put to the ultimate test as he leaves a trail of blood are severed limbs behind him I a desperate attempt to save the Princess. Watch this classic samurai adventure and find out why Shuranosuke is a cut above the rest.The Review!
Feudal Japan. Swords. Sex. Blood. Violence. Lesbians. Sword For Truth has it all!
Sword For Truth is presented with both English and Japanese audio tracks. The show is originally an OVA, so the audio for both tracks is a good stereo soundtrack. There's some directionality across the front soundstage, but not too much. Audio is clean and discernable throughout with no noticeable distortion.
The video aspect of this show is a pretty good transfer. Some sections of it look a bit soft and there's some pixellation here and there, but it'll look decent on most displays. The show is from 1990, so the animation style itself isn't blisteringly bright and clean like a lot of today's productions. The majority of the show takes place in the dark of night or in sunset sequences. Black levels look good and we didn't notice any breakup during the faster paced action sequences.
The packaging, as seen above, is fairly dark and muted. It's styling is definitely aimed at the Ninja Scroll fans and fans of that genre itself. The back cover contains a piece of the cel animation and a good description of the show itself and the features of the disc. The insert is pretty nice with some more cel animation, and the disc itself is silkscreened with a portion of the front cover.
The menus are pretty nicely designed. The main menu has some music playing in the background. The general design of the selections and the backgrounds are solid and shows some amount of care went into it. Selections are accessed quickly and the layout of the menus are pretty straightforward. No getting lost here.
As for the show itself, for the 50 minutes that it runs, it's pretty decent. It's been a number of years since I saw Ninja Scroll, but this show reminded me as a lightly watered down version with less impressive animation. Of course, this was made a few years before Ninja Scroll, so who knows who was borrowing from who, if at all.
The story follows Sakaki, a man with no real background who will fight because things get in his way. At least in the beginning, when a massive tiger got in his way. The tiger had taken down about 50 lawmen before he came along and took it out with one swipe.
The tiger was a diversion, allowing a clan to get ahold of a certain princess who is the key to getting the Ginryu sword. Nothings really said about why the sword is such a treasure, but it's apparently important as another clan wants it as well. The chief lawman in Edo decides to use Sakaki and hires him to rescue the princess. From there the blood flows and Sakaki meets a variety of evil folks who are trying to do him in throughout his quest.
There's some decent swordplay in this episode and the usual cool aloofness of the lead. There was more sex than I was expecting going in, since there's no real rating on the disc. Don't give this one to the young'ns, it's got some fairly graphic scenes. Of course, any show that has lesbians in it will sell well, and the animators clearly know this.
The show seems to have a feel as if there is much more story to be told, but it looks like this is all that was ever made. It's a decent romp and for people looking for someone to fill in that post-Ninja Scroll period if Ninja Resurrection didn't fit that bill, Sword For Truth will deliver some of the bloody fun you're looking for.
The only real solid disappointment with the disc is the lack of Japanese voice actor credits. Since this appears to be a straight port of the dubbed master, the credits reflected that only.
Did I mention the sex? Oh, ok. Good. :)
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles
Toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.