» » Ninja ryûkenden (1991)

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  • comment
    • Author: Gosar
    Note: this is NOT the video game Ninja Gaiden, this is a movie (loosely) based on the video game. I say loosely because I don't remember anything in the game about genetically engineered monsters. I guess this movie best works as a showcase for the animation style and plot type that anime had in the late 80's/early 90's. It has a very generic storyline with characters that don't have much depth but since the emphasis here is on action, it's still quite entertaining. The story is incredibly clichéd: strong male lead fights evil corporation to save world and eventually wins heart of girl. The main character Ryu uses a sword and a couple of his friends use guns and they kill plenty of interchangeable enemies. Nothing special to see here, but if you're a fan of the game and/or a fan of anime, it may be worth checking out.
  • comment
    • Author: Xmatarryto
    This OVA is based on the original Ninja Gaiden video game that got released on the NES ( 8-bit Nintendo console ) back in the early 90's and later spawned a trilogy, not to be confused by the new Ninja Gaiden games that has been released on the latest Xbox and PS3 console.

    The story itself isn't really based on the game itself but used as a background, where the first games main enemy "Jaquio" is mentioned. Besides that the story mainly focuses on human Genetic experiments and you see Ryu mostly fighting enhanced lab animals and some double bladed masked characters that are somewhat reminiscent of the dog like creatures from the game itself.

    Considering i saw this for the first time in 2007, i must say it still quite holds up well although i am rather new to the anime community. Its very pacey which is one of the trademarks of the game itself and has a somewhat dark atmosphere and some solid fun in the 45 minutes it takes.

    Its definitely worth a watch if you're into anime and video games, since the Ninja Gaiden series were one of the biggest NES games, and was the first game to include cinematic dialogue between the levels.

    Off-topic: Personally i wouldn't recommend the game for its game-play, since its among one of the hardest games ever to a point where its very unforgiving and frustrating, but the controls seems pretty solid to make u somewhat forgive these flaws to a point, but the thing that makes me remember the series for is its amazing soundtrack, which till today is still ranks among the best game soundtracks ever, and all 3 games on the NES boasts with classical upbeat melancholic tunes which among with the Mega Man and the Castlevania series is the best music u can get in the NES library. I highly recommend the music from the games to any1 who is a fan of gaming soundtracks.
  • comment
    • Author: Arar
    Ninja Gaiden was one of the first videogames to have "cinema scenes" in between stages to flesh out the story, so it would seem natural for it to spawn an anime. And it did, although we western fans never got a chance to see it at the height of the series' popularity . Anyway, through the magic of other people having a lot of free time on their hands, you can now easily watch the Ninja Gaiden OVA fansubbed via the internet. I bought my copy in DVD form from eBay a few years ago and just rewatched it, and I figured I'd review it while it was still fresh in my mind. Relatively fresh anyway, most of the incidental character's names elude me.

    The story starts with a man being pursued through dark New York streets by a pair of weird masked creatures with blades. The guy turns out to be Ryu Hayabusa in street clothes, and when he gets to a nice open spot he uses the Dragon Sword to make a bloody mess out of the attackers, who keep coming after taking an incredible amount of damage. After he finally puts them down, he goes home to his antique shop which he runs with Irene Lew the former CIA agent, who is really mousy and helpless in this story. He doesn't tell her about the monsters and acts all distant, telling her she need to go stay with her family. The next day she complains about their relationship to her friend, a reporter who's dating Robert T. Sturgeon from NG2. It seems the monsters didn't eat old Jungle Rat Rob after all! He runs a detective agency these days, and the reporter-girlfriend starts nagging him to make Ryu be nicer to Irene. Then she goes off to cover a press conference for a scientist who claims to have the cure for cancer- it turns out, this guy is pretty shady.

    Following up a lead from a Professor Bucky-Wise (seriously! It's in English on his door and everything), Ryu, Robert TS and the reporter investigate his home lab and discover the scientist is doing a lot of genetic experiments, he made the bionoids that attacked Ryu in the beginning using part of Jashin's body (the last boss in NG1). They want his sword to harness the life energy it holds to make better monsters, or something. Ryu tears the place apart and later the bionoids attack his antique shop and kidnap Irene. I think you can guess how the rest goes- Ryu, Rob and their buddies raid the scientist's main building and kill a lot more creepy crawlers in rich red gouts of late-80's anime blood before the big showdown. Incidentally, Ryu cuts down a whole lot of the same monsters he had such trouble with in the beginning in one stroke- either he's getting better or the later batches needed to bake a little longer.

    The animation is pretty good, and it's obvious the filmmakers watched a lot of American 80's action movies when they were plotting this out. There are a lot of car chases, motorcycles crashing through plate glass windows, male bonding and heavy ordnance. I was a little disappointed with Irene's weakling personality which doesn't fit with what we know about her already, and also that Ryu didn't wear his traditional NES getup. Instead he has an outfit with long sleeves, spikes on each shoulder and no full head ninja mask. He wears the part over his face for about two seconds before taking it off. Interestingly, I saw the original Japanese box for NG3 the other day, and it's Ryu wearing the suit he has in this OVA. The plot about bionoids seems also to lead into NG3, and Ryu's Dead Or Alive bio lists his occupation as curio shop owner, so I guess this movie is canon.

    If you're even half the Ninja Gaiden fan I am, I recommend you see it. It's only an hour, and not bad for its age. Good fights, good animation, so-so story and character development.
  • Credited cast:
    Daisuke Gôri Daisuke Gôri - Jeffrey
    Shinji Ogawa Shinji Ogawa - Narrator
    Yoshiko Sakakibara Yoshiko Sakakibara - Sarah
    Yumi Tôma Yumi Tôma - Irene (as Yumi Touma)
    Norio Wakamoto Norio Wakamoto - Robert
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