Shinobi (Shinobi: Heart Under Blade)
(R, 1:41:44, Released 2006)
|Genres:||Drama, Action & Adventure, Art House & International, Science Fiction & Fantasy|
|Release Date:||Nov 17, 2006|
|DVD Release Date:||Feb 6, 2007|
|Starring:||Jô Odagiri, Yukie Nakama, Renji Ishibashi, Kippei Shiina, Tomoka Kurotani, Erika Sawajiri, Ayumi Hamasaki, Joe Shiina|
|Directed by:||Ten Shimoyama|
|Synopsis:||The year is 1614. Japan is finally a unified country under the first shogun, Tokugawa. Gennosuke of Kohga and Oboro of Iga, are the last hope of two isolated ninja villages wracked by endless tragedy and a cycle of revenge. The blessing of their love should have brought peace to the suffering people. However, the conspiracy brought by Tokugawa once again tears the two villages apart. Gennosuke constantly speaks in favor of peace, while Oboro takes the choice to fight to resolve the conflict. With each Ninja having super human powers, the battle is set to fight off each other for their own existence. Now destined to meet as enemies, will Gennosuke and Oboro find a way to pursuit their star-crossed love?|
|Full movie details|
|All of Flixster:||(3167)|
My Friends' Reviews
Other Top Reviews
June 1, 2012
Not based on a manga comic this time amazingly, but based upon a fantasy novel by the name of 'The Kouga Ninja Scrolls'. Personally I haven't heard of this so I cannot compare to the film adaptation but after some research the period in which this film is set ('Sengoku period') is actually a real Japanese period.
The ruler at this time in the film is also based on a real person, Tokugawa Ieyasu of the 'Tokugawa Shogunate'. Also the two ninja clans in the film are also based on two real historical schools of Ninjutsu, 'Iga' and 'Kouga'. This all really adds to the film as it takes it from a basic ninja action film into the realms of epic historical.
So yes its another Japanese film based around ninjas and its period set with hints of fantasy, fable and myth, fear not.
Much better in quality than most, the plot is pretty much 'Romeo and Juliet' set in Japan, the two main characters are lovers who belong to warring ninja clans and you know what that means. This concept is actually really cool as it invites some typically awesome Eastern action sequences with some equally strong emotional scenes boasting nice performances. The main crux of the plot (and the best part) is the fact that each ninja clan must choose five of their best warriors to battle each other to the death to see which clan dominates basically. Little do they know that the Japanese ruler of the time has done this on purpose so they wipe each other out and he can reign without threat from either clan...crafty.
Yes its highly unoriginal both in terms of the Shakespearean play side of things and the fact Japan must churn out tonnes of Samurai/ninja period flicks every year but it all looks splendidly gorgeous. I've said this before with these type of films (I really am trying not to say 'Japan' so much but its hard) but the costumes, characters, scenery, weapons, action and camera work is all so visually stunning, I dunno how they do it but its just a work of art at times. Big characters, natural subtle colour schemes and beautiful locations, a standard formula for Japanese period flicks.
The film is slow at times but the action is superbly created mixing traditional arts with the much loved and over used fantasy elements (resorting in the usual average looking cgi I'm afraid). Of course the five ninja from each clan have their own fighting skills and weapons so it becomes almost like a videogame of sorts (no surprise there really) but its bloody good to watch.
In the end good performances prevail as the lovers (who were part of the best five warriors on each side to fight if you hadn't guessed) must face each other in a whirlwind of emotion and slow motion action which brings the doomed couples tragedy to a conclusion, yep its pretty obvious really.
On a final note I must give kudos to the cast who all make the film as good as it is. The two leads really do look beautiful together (just see the films main poster, so gentle and warm yet also striking) and make you feel the love and hurt throughout, Yukie Nakama is stunning. As for the rest I'm not sure who they all are but they all look wise, respectful and serious, just what you need really. And yes old Tak Sakaguchi is in there again, the man is in everything!
November 7, 2010
This movie was pretty good. As with most films in this genre, the scenery was absolutely beautiful..... the colors were nice and rich. The acting was really good. You (obviously) need to suspend your belief in some of the fight scenes, and remember that this is a fantasy movie. However, if you do, your efforts will be rewarded.
March 19, 2010
Tragical Romance, Magical Powers, Super Natural Combats, this is "Romeo and Juliet" Ninja style!
A discomforting alliance, a forbidden love and a twist of fate. They have Faith in love and yet they are destined to kill.
It's mysterious, dark and mystical, a terrific movie to watch and both sexes will get a kick out of it. Awesome cinematic themes through out the film.
There is a Anime to this called "Basilisk" and its just as cool, 5 volumes that equals 24 episodes cool!
September 17, 2008
The idea of mixing X-Men with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is actually pretty fantastic and the first hour is full of beautiful landscapes, great fights and interesting hero characters. Sadly, the ending and solution is somewhat disappointing. This had the potential to be a lot better, but the fun fights and the gorgeous cinematography still make this worth seeing for fans of the genre.
June 11, 2007
You may have heard or read that this movie is a cross between Romeo and Juliet and the X-Men. Actually, that is a pretty good description of this flick.
The main plot of this movie is a love story between two members of two different villages, which are at ends with each other. Does the concept sound familiar? Anyway this plot is quickly overshadowed by a subplot in which the two villages must select their 5 best shinobi to do battle with each other.
What will make the action fans happy is the fact that each of the ten shinobi specialize in a certain skill or art if you will. These skills can be comparable to powers from X-Men and the TV series Heroes. It is because of these skills that action fans may also be disappointed. Instead of shinobi clashing each other with swords and well choreographed martial arts fighting we get them facing each other with their respective skills. In fact the closest hand-to-hand type combat scenes are the few that include Tak Sakaguchi, which is what he is known for.
The cinematography as well as the CG effects in this film are pretty spectacular and this is what really enhances the fights and the scenery. Although the story is interesting, it did seem a little rushed. This movie actually comes in at just over 90 minutes and it left me wanting more back story and better character development.
In the end this film can be classified as a drama with a dash of action. If you're in the mood for a nice love story with a moderate amount of CG effected battles then this movie is for you.
July 10, 2010
Japanese film about two feuding villages with Ninja super-powers and a Romeo and Juliet theme as Gennosuke and Oboro lead their two tribes into attle. Beautiful action scenes, fantastical fighting talents, swooping scenery, ninjas!! .... but all the bits don't gell into a satisfying whole .
March 23, 2008
Romeo and Juliet, Ninja style!
January 28, 2007
Excellent film. Ninjas with superpowers, do you really need more reasons to see it?
July 8, 2013
If one were to imagine a live-action, big-budget Naruto flick, this would be it. I found the ending to be unnecessarily bleak, but it did not ruin my overall experience in the slightest.
November 16, 2012
Wouldn't be a movie I'd typically watch, but my very good friend wanted to watch it. I'm so glad we DID. It was really good. It was action packed, that's for sure lol.
July 27, 2011
Comic book films and Shakespeare get smooshed together in this entertaining but ultimately empty Japanese action flick. The art direction and cinematography were spot on, but ultimately the end result left me feeling more than a little unsatisfied. Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of stylized swordplay with interesting characters; but they don't get fleshed out nearly as much as they should have been. Sadly, most of the appealing characters come and go before you've even gotten used to them on screen. The resolution is a bit ham-handed and the entire film is filled with that special kind of histrionics only seen in Japanese action films. If you're looking for a quick fix of Asian action, definitely check it out, but don't expect too much more from it.
October 19, 2010
I just started watching this on netflix streaming in HD. The visuals are amazing... I can tell it will be a 4 star movie. I'll finish the review when I am done watching.
August 12, 2010
Gave this one another look on Blu-ray as part of the whole To-Watch Pile project, it holds up well, though I did have to dial my initial rating down a notch.
Star-crossed lovers from rival ninja clans are the focus of the film, but surrounding them are lush cinematography and amazing battles full of convincing CGI and beautifully choreographed wire-work.
July 20, 2009
Great action, characters, and art direction but way too generic a storyline. Lots of potential but still entertaining.
June 7, 2009
sad ='( this movie's so sad and good that ull cry for their twisted lov and be thrilled by their fighting skills..
i jus LOV this movie so much =}
March 20, 2009
A great story about two ninja tribes that get cought up inpolitics. The children of the two warring tribes are in love. They are in a time of peace but must fight each other. The ending is quite a shock as to what someone is willing to go to to keep peace between the tribes.
August 25, 2008
You could think of it as a Japanese version of Romeo and Juliet...Except there is more killing involved and "Juliet" is angsty but not suicidal. I didn't have high expectations for this movie, but it surprised me...in a good way. While watching throughout the film, I began to love it- And the fight scenes were interesting. I began to become very thoughroughly curious about each of the 10 shinobis' different abilities that when Tenzen (white haired) was stabbed by Hyouma, I thought he was dead and was disapointed that I couldn't see his ability. But minutes later, Tenzen was up again...So I was a little happy, I suppose. ^_^
June 7, 2008
I am not big on Japanese oriented films but what cought my attention on this film was the whole storyline. The film revolved around the feud between 2 villages and their ongoing war through 1600's Japan. the film featured creative characters that sported unique abilities.
One unique scene was when the emperor tested 2 of the fighters abilities and one of them had these strings for fingers and tore apart the soldiers he was tested to fight. It visually looked awsome and action wise it was well choreographed.
The cinematography alone was well done. Shots of landscapes and areas never looked better and the Japanese actors themselves gave off good performances. More then anything the film was drama and also a love story and had some good action scenes to seperate it.
When viewing it the film kinda threw me off due to the text reading but in the outcome it was a well produced film that should be viewed by people who like films with Samurai's or even ninja's.
January 21, 2008
A tragic love story. A male and female of different clans can't be together due to their clan's history of warring with each other. They try to break that cycle, 5 best warriors from each clan were chosen to fight each other and the winner gets to meet the empreor and plead their case to end the war for good. Alas it's just not meant to be, for if they don't fight then what life is there? They spend their life trained for battle, such is the nature of Shinobi.
January 9, 2008
Nothing that great... Two lovers being forced to fight one another..That was about it...
It had a pretty good reverse concept though, the lovers were in love first then they became enemies..
Typically it is the other way around...
November 24, 2007
There's value here if you're into japanese style fighting games, but the story is very cliche, generic and one dimensional. The acting is over the top and laughable at times. That all said, this movie has some cool fight scenes and decent effects (when we're not being bored to death by long conversations). Some of the characters may seem clever and unique to those not fully immersed in asian cinema, so take this review with a grain of salt... I'd say the fresh factor might add a half a star for some, but it's still not a very good movie at the end of the day. Also - the ending made me angry.
November 23, 2007
Really really good movie, completely overlooked by most people, but the story is almost that of Romeo and Juliet but with a twist of Ninja and special effects... xD
November 17, 2007
Was alright. Didn't keep my attention the whole time. The story felt dry and rehashed. One or two interesting scenes with some nice visuals but thats about all I got from it. Maybe rewatch it and give it my full attention then revise.
September 19, 2007
Awesome movie. True it's like a retelling of Romio and Juliet but it's soooo much better. I recommend it.
August 22, 2007
Superhuman ninja skills, little romance, and more butt kickin action!! A Japanese version of Romoe and Juliet with a martial art twist! Genosuke reminds me of Sasuke with the Sharingan ability!!!