“Ninja Resurrection” – Chris Luedtke

Netflix and other websites would have you believe that Ninja Resurrection is a sequel to the classic Ninja Scroll. Those of us who have done our research, however, know that there never was an official movie sequel to Ninja Scroll. Rather, we know that the only “sequel” or “connecting” piece of cinema is an anime miniseries by the same name. So if you’re looking for a follow up to Ninja Scroll, keep in mind that Ninja Resurrection is not it.

In an attempt to cash in on one of the most well-known anime films of all time, Ninja Resurrection tells the pseudo-sequel story of Jubei (Tesshô Genda), as he attempts to intercept the Antichrist (Ryôtarô Okiayu), whom is currently leading and protecting a group of Christians in ancient Japan. Unfortunately for Jubei and the rest of the world, the Antichrist is unleashed before he can be assassinated.

Wow. This film is just wretched. Let’s get straight to the point here. Ninja Resurrection is another nail in the coffin for cinema. There’s little here that connects or resembles the greatness of Ninja Scroll. Jubei now has an eye patch and absolutely none of the cocky attitude that made him such an awesome figure the first time around. In addition, Jubei, who was a loner in the first, is suddenly connected to a group of top-notch ninja assassins. Most of the time I was left asking myself what the hell happened to Jubei and why his character was so utterly raped.

The story is more than just lacking; it’s mostly just there so that we can watch people get chopped into tiny pieces. The violence is ridiculously over the top. This is something I have come to expect from older Japanese anime, but here it feels even more emphasized, which is something that I really can’t compliment or necessarily complain about. The plot is incoherent. There is a point in which the Antichrist is protecting a group of Christians, and once he turns, the entire movie just becomes an annoying jumble. The beginning is comprised of about twenty minutes of unnecessary and somewhat historical background — most of which just leads up to loads and loads of death.

The voice acting is wretched. I laughed out loud when Jubei tried to plead with the Antichrist on the death of a few children: “I didn’t do it. Believe me.” The writing must have been done by a seventh grader, or else a group of greedy bastards that were trying to cash in on a great film. I barely have any memory of other conversations because the dialogue is comparable to those in Why Does Herr R. Run Amok?: irrelevant and boring. Other characters/ninjas won’t be creating any memories anytime soon. Instead, they all work together to create something we’d rather forget.

Don’t see Ninja Resurrection. See Ninja Scroll. If you’ve seen Ninja Scroll, then go rent something by Akira Kurosawa. It’s not anime, but it will have your ninja/samurai fix. Ninja Resurrection is the “Shaq-Fu” of anime. Burn it if you see it.

Rating: ½☆☆☆

-Chris Luedtke

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