Ninja Scroll and the Value of FUN: A Review, Sort of?

Spoilers for Ninja Scroll. But considering the film came out in 1993, you have had plenty of time to see it. I mean, it literally came out three years before I was born.

Ninja Scroll is not at all what I was expecting.

Going in completely blind, I was expecting an overly serious, Sword of the Stranger-esque, romp into the intense world of feudal Japan.

Alternatively, I received an absolute masterpiece of film. I only wish Roland Barthes had lived long enough to give his thoughts on this bad boy.

I had the pleasure of taking in a hilariously over the top cinematic experience that features the following:

-A man who can speak to, and control bees, and he has a literal hive of bees that is just in his stomach for some reason. He also has a secret needle that he keeps in his mouth that he can spit? I guess? I mean, that sounds mildly uncomfortable, but let’s just ignore that.

-A snake woman who can control snakes. She also is covered in snake tattoos that turn into actual snakes. And she can shed her skin like a snake. And she also has snakes hidden… everywhere. That’s all I will say about that.

-A man who can become shadows and he has a mechanical claw.

-A man discusses battle strategy with someone while simultaneously and casually having sex with someone else.

-A guy whose skin just like gets super hard sometimes. But only sometimes.

-A guy who throws around wire and can electrocute said wire. Where does this electricity come from? Doesn’t matter.

-A woman who just like casually throws around gunpowder and explodes it. Like. That’s how she fights. No martial arts, no special weapons skills. Just throwing gunpowder in the air and exploding it. She is also covered in scars. Probably because her only offensive maneuver is throwing around highly explosive powder.

-Two men talking to each other over a long distance by biting on string and… reading the vibrations? Maybe?

-A ninja girl who can kill people just by touching them.

-Evil owls.

-A fight in a bamboo forest against a blind swordsman who only uses his hearing to locate his enemies.

-A scene where a man electrocutes a whole river full of fish.

-The main character is legitimately cool, and isn’t overpowered like a lot of common anime protagonists. Also he has a pretty big chin.

-A man gets both of his arms torn off at the same time.

-The main bad guy is a man who literally gets his arm cut off, and then he just fuses it back on like nothing happened. He only wears one piece of armor, a long metal sleeve that only covers the outside of his left arm. Which raises the question, what is the point of wearing armor that protects your arm if you can just re-attach your arm? Also he has a massive chin. Also he can maybe shapeshift?

-The final fight of the movie takes places on a burning, sinking, boat in the middle of the ocean. It literally ends with a impossible to kill bad guy being coated in cubic tons of liquid gold and sinking to the bottom of the ocean.

 

I mean, it obviously has plenty of flaws, but this film was an absolute treat to watch. It was a regular chinematic experience. Get it? Because of the massive chins? No. That’s… That’s fine.

If you have not seen Ninja Scroll, and literally any of these things that I just listed sounded remotely cool, drop whatever you are doing and watch Ninja Scroll. You will NOT regret it.

What was your favorite over the top scene in Ninja Scroll? Let me know in the comments, you beautiful people!

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