18th Oct2011

‘Ninja Girl’ DVD Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Aiko Ito, Shuji Kashiwabara, Daisuke Nagakura, Kentaro Shimazu, Ben Hiura | Written and Directed by Seji Chiba

Ninja, just the name is cool right? So when you get a movie and it’s called Ninja Girl you can’t help but be intrigued. You expect kick ass fights and a girl kicking major ninja ass and when the director and writer Seiji Chiba is called a pioneer of the genre you have high hopes right?

Two ninjas have been given the task of kidnapping women to be used for the pleasures of the lower ranks of their ninja clan. The idea of course is keep the army happy they will fight a good war. The only problem the ninjas have of course is that one of the girls they manage to kidnap is actually a ninja seeking revenge for her mother who was also stolen to be trafficked in the same way she has allowed herself to be. As she is helped to escape by an unknown man who also allows the other women to escape Kisaragi the Ninja Girl now has chance to get her vengeance on the trafficking ninjas.

The first thing you will notice when Ninja Girl starts is the budget really is minimal; this is tolerable of course as the initial scenes don’t require much action as they build up the story. This is the next problem, the story is very minimal. It’s basically women are being kidnapped one of them is a ninja who wants on revenge, when she gets her chance she takes it. Of course there are added elements to the story but I don’t want to give it all away, what there is of it. Another thing that also disappointed was ironically for a movie that is meant to be about ninjas and vengeance the fighting is kept at a minimum. There is a lot of talking that does little to help the plot and you feel yourself waiting for Kisaragi to actually turn up and just kill the speaker just so they will shut up. The films problem is it seems to be trying to be a much more dramatic film rather than one about the action and this is never what the film will be about.

When Kisaragi actually gets to fight the movie really does speed up, leaving the watcher wanting for more as the fights never seem to last long enough. This could be budgetary issues of course and it really does feel that with a bit more money thrown at it this could have been so much more. Although I’ve been quite negative about the film there are of course plus points as well. The back story is one of ninjas at war and vengeance that is sought not just from the Ninja Girl herself but from others. The captured women are tools in more ways than one in a struggle for domination between Ninja Clans. This film manages to introduce you to this story and make you want to know more of this war but sadly enough you never get to see it, you just hear about it and how the women could be used as tools to affect it.

It’s hard to fully recommend this film to watch as it is very flawed and this as I’ve stated could be because of the budget. It’s probably one for hard-core fans of this genre or people interested in the ideas and principles of the ninja clans. You won’t learn much about them of course but there’s no harm in just wasting a little time giving the film a chance. I for one doubt I’ll watch it again but I’m sure it will entertain some.

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