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[ a parent's guide to anime ]

[ rated x ] Ninja Resurrection

A Parent's Guide to Anime
Rated: X
For Adult Audiences Only

Review by Christopher Cleveland:

First off, this popular anime is not a sequel to "Ninja Scroll", despite the fact that it does contain the same Jubei character. In fact, "Ninja Resurrection" makes "Ninja Scroll" look like a pleasant walk through the park in comparison.

The animation is beatifully pulled off (by the same animation crew that did "Giant Robo") and the soundtrack is one of the most beautiful ones that I have heard. But those two elements alone do not create a good anime.

The main flaw behind "Ninja Resurrection" is the fact that the plot is obviously compressed beyond reason (it was based off a popular Japanese novel, currently untranslated). There is so much back-story that is only suggested at, and there is so little along the lines of character development. Not to mention, there are only two episodes, and the second episode ends with a cliffhanger. This could have easily been the anime equilavent to a Kurosawa movie, had the animators decided to carry the plot out to its full potential instead of sacrificing everything about it than its barebones in favor for the graphic violence.

The violence in "Ninja Resurrection" left me stunned beyond belief. True, it is a ninja anime, and some gore is to be expected. But this one takes it beyond belief in many scenes. Swords slice through people through every imaginable angle, and even the innocent women and children face this treatment in extremely explicit fashion.

Violence alone does not make up for the lackluster treatment of a plot that had so much potential, no matter how far the violence goes. The gorgeous animation really doesn't do much good when the story only hints at greatness, and gladly sacrifices that for the sake of being an extreme gorefest.

It would be one thing if the producers actually cared to make a grand scale epic with all the character development and backstory that it only hints at intact. Instead, what the viewer is left with is an anime where the only thing worthy of being considered "epic" is the soundtrack, and with an emphasis on the gore over everything else.

I wanted to be kind to this anime. The trailers I have seen suggested an epic. The anime itself suggests an epic, actually, but cuts out everything required to be an epic for the sake of gore. Such a tragedy, actually, seeing all the talent involved, and seeing that the plot really DID have the potential to be so much more than that.

Warning: The violence is extremely graphic and pervasive, featuring dismemberments, decapitations, disembowelments, mutilations, pedocides, and other things along those lines. It also includes one of the most gratuitous demonic rape scenes ever animated in the second episode. A lot of it is very difficult to stomach, obviously.

Not for anybody under 18.

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