Lurkers' Retreat
Manga Video
MANV 1070 Dub/Sub

Cert 18

Ninja Scroll

Again, as with Appleseed, Mangle have re-released this in subbed form, a concession to the sub fans among us, and a great chance for the rest of us to gain an insight into the way an anime would look and sound to its indiginous audience.

Be careful about this release. Manga neglected to make any change to the cover, so the only way to see whether you have a sub or a dub is to check the tape label itself. The label carries an additional catalogue number: VFC 02217, and will state "(Subtitled)" below the title.

Released around the time of Manga's acquisition of LA Hero, Ninja Scroll is a "historical" drama concerning a roaming ninja, Jubei, who becomes embroiled in a power struggle between the Shogun of the Dark, the Tokugawa government and a group of rather odd ninja known only as the Devils of Kimon. A few good fight scenes and the obligatory love interest in the form of a kunoichi poison taster whose touch means death, apparently. A surprisingly good story which, though it pays homage to some of the most interesting times in Japanese history, it does not lose the viewer in heavy politics as it could very easily do. Hardly Mangle's best release, but worth a look for anyone who was into other videos of the type, especially any Water Margin fanatics out there. The dub was reasonable, I have to say (if memory serves, it was done by the folks of LA Mangle rather than the usual folks that MV has hanging about) and the sub is none too bad, though the titles are a little on the big side. (btw, thanks to Forbidden Planet, London for the exchange copy since the first was none too easy to watch! One day, perhaps all video releases will use decent tapes...)

[4 stars]

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