Based on a horror novel, this title features the epitome of the most clichéd stereotypes found in action movies. It would be very good if the producers hadn’t left it incomplete.
ART SECTION: 8/10 [Rolling heads and blood geysers.]
Generally realistic backgrounds and uniforms but with cheesy visual tricks during the splatter scenes. The animators did a good job at using shadows, insane staring eyes and natural phenomenons (rain, thunders) to build atmosphere. The fighting scenes are extreme and blood spils like a fountain but the excitement is achived, nonetheless.
SOUND SECTION: 8/10 [Drums! I hear drums! They are coming closer… closer… They are here……..]
Eerie music to scare you during revelations, strong beats to excite you during the battles. Worked for me. Voice acting was ok and the sound effects were cool.
STORY SECTION: 6/10 [The Resurrection of the Ninja Scroll!]
A Ninja Scroll variant with more characters, greater amounts of violence and sex, more story, and no conclusion.
A superhuman samurai named Jubei in the leading role? Check!
Powerful, evil, dead samurai, return from hell to plague the earth? Check!
Super-duper action / splatter / gore scenes? Check!
Pretty chicks, raped senselessly? Check!
A conspiracy that will alter the course of history? Check!
A happy ending? … I don’t know; they left us hanging to dry!
The awesome part is that the story is based on real events. Amakusa’s rebellion really occurred. All the talking about the life’s work of priests and warriors is real… Of course, when apocalyptic events and demons start to pop-up, then this is the end of history lessons!
In all, the story is plain awesome and could have easily topped Ninja Scroll if it was complete. I mean, it had it all; super samurais, super action, super atmosphere, and a good story to build upon. Yet they left it incomplete. Outrage!
CHARACTER SECTION: 5/10 [The All-Stars of Japan’s tedious history are present!]
First of all, be informed that all the leaders and the samurai in the story are based on real historical figures. Their appearances and names are based on old prints and historical reports of real historical figures. They are of course overdramatised in favor of atmosphere, but they are still real in the core.
A quick study of each character’s historical importance is enough to build a small pen & paper RPG campaign setting. Now imagine ALL of them in the same place, in the same time, fighting for their respective agendas. WOW! I won’t go to the trouble of mentioning who they are. But I will warn you that none of them develops one bit! It’s fine reading about their legendary accomplishments, but the short duration of the series leaves them completely uninteresting. I score 10 for backdrop and presence but 0 for development and catharsis, for an average of 5.
VALUE SECTION: 1/10
Nah, I saw it twise before getting over the initial exitement. And that ending is really &%$#&!!!
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 8/10 [Wooo! Slice an’ dice baby!]
As long as you dig extremely splatter scenes and amoral worldviews, this piece of animated work will excite you to the maximum. If not… well… don’t even bother.
Yes! YES!!! I’m coming! I’m coming!!! I’M COMING!!!!! … What? … You are leaving???!!!
Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan – Tsuiokuhen
Samurai Showdown (the games; not those awful OVAs)