Ninja Scroll

Film Review by Keir Roper-Caldbeck | 05 Dec 2012
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Film title: Ninja Scroll
Director: Yoshiaki Kawajiri
Release date: 26 Nov
Certificate: 18

After making short - and bloody - work of a squad of ninjas, a monstrous ogre takes the sole survivor, a female ninja named Tagero, back to his lair to have his wicked way with her. As she tries to resist he warns her: "Don't let it cross your mind I wouldn't mind raping a dead girl."

Sex and nudity, death and dismemberment; the first ten minutes of Ninja Scroll, the 1993 anime classic released on Bluray for the first time, make it clear that animation is here being used for very different ends from those of Pixar or Disney. If its story of wandering samurai and rapacious warlords is familiar from Japanese live action films, its devils and warriors with supernatural powers come straight from the pages of manga. What dazzles most is the contrast between the beautifully rendered, pastoral backdrops of crags, waterfalls, forests, and temples, and the gruesome, stylized violence that takes place against them. [Keir Roper-Caldbeck]