October 4, 2007

Shinobi: Heart Under Blade

shinobi: heart under bladeThe reason why I found out about Shinobi: Heart Under Sword movie was because I was looking for more information on the Basilisk manga by Segawa Masaki. Although the names and events in both the manga and the movie are the same, alterations on the characters were made, but that doesn't make it less cool.

Anyway, the story of Shinobi centers around two ninja families, the Kouga and the Iga, during the Tokugawa era. They were rivals and the strongest ninja clans in all of Japan. The shogun was quite scared that they might take over the throne when he's gone so he decided to get rid of them in a brilliant move: make both clans fight with each other. Of course he doesn't tell them exactly about his plans. What he tells them is that he needs to choose a successor. He asks both clans to pick out five of their best fighters and assigned a successor to each team. The clan that wins will have the successor assigned to them to be the next shogun.

Before the shogun could issue out his orders, the Iga and Kouga clans were preparing to merge their clans together, despite them not wanting to, with the marriage of their clans' successors: Kouga Gennousuke and Iga's Oboro. They were about to be wed when they received the shogun's orders. They are in love, but they can't just abandon their duty and loyalty to their clans.

This makes it interesting because if you were in their position, would you still go and do your duty despite knowing that you might end up facing your lover in a fight that only one of you can survive? That's a mighty, mighty feat for these people and it's amazing how they are able to control themselves and not think about their own feelings... Which is why this movie is called Shinobi: Heart Under Blade.

The effects that they used to create the ninja's powers were good. Oh what "powers"? Well the thing that scares the shogun when it comes to these ninja clans are the fact that they possess different kinds of deadly powers and skills - superhuman ones - that they can use in the event that they decide to rise up against the shogunate. Which, you will see from the beginning of the movie, they had no intention of doing as both the Iga and Kouga are pretty much contented with their lives in their respective villages (which no one can find, surprisingly).

I suggest that fans of manga/anima-adapted movies will watch Shinobi: Heart Under Blade. It's a great watch, very touching and it has cool fight scenes! If you've read or watched Basilisk, please don't expect that how the characters look will still be the same. They're not, but you won't get disappointed ^^
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