'Ninja Scroll' - Movie Review

"Ninja Scroll" was released in 1995 - this is my third viewing. It's an Japanese anime movie done on what I'm forced to assume was an incredibly low budget: they frequently use still shots, sometimes overlaid with repeating weather effects, or animate only one part of a larger frame. As a fan of Miyazaki, this isn't what I'm accustomed to: in his later movies, every inch of every frame was alive and magnificently animated.

And yet, this is proof that skilled artists can do brilliant work in the most limited circumstances. Those still shots I mentioned: frequently dazzling works of art that you're happy to look at for several seconds. And the writing, while weird and wild, is fascinating and often mesmerizing. The characters are human and often appealing, even as they leap through the sky and use magic powers.

With spurting blood, plenty of sex, and an attempted rape, this is not a movie for kids. But adult fans of the genre should run right out and watch this immediately if you haven't seen it: it's already won the status of "classic," and it deserves it.