Reviewed Mar 09, 2012
Japanese anime master Kazuaki Kiriya's second feature after the eye-popping Casshern. As with Casshern, the visuals are pretty astonishing. The film confirms that Kiriya has a unique, trademark visual style.
The plot has plenty of twists and turns and much tension is drawn from the relationship of Goemon, a Robin Hood-style ninja, and his childhood ninjitsu training pal, Saizo, who chose to stay on the right side of the law and now finds himself battling his old friend.
At times the CGI tends a bit too far towards computer game and lets things down momentarily, but I could forgive this as the set pieces are jaw-dropping (the ship rescue scene is particularly amazing) and the overall design and look of the film has clear parallels with Casshern. I found this pretty amazing given that one is sci-fi and the other historical/legend.
Kiriya definitely has a fabulously over-the-top style which is all his own. If you like action films he is definitely one to watch out for.
If there's a more visually-arresting, flat-out entertaining ninja film out there I'd like someone to point me to it.