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Shinobi - Heart Under Blade or Kouga Ninpouchou Basilisk - The Live-Action is a 2005 Japanese ninjutsu romance film directed by Ten Shimoyama and written by Kenya Hirata. The story is an adaptation of the novel, The Kouga Ninja Scrolls by Futaro Yamada, which depicts the clash between two ninja clans, Iga and Kouga, and the fated love between Gennosuke (Koga) and Oboro (Iga). The theme song of this movie was the number one hit, HEAVEN, by Ayumi Hamasaki. This movie won both best actor and best new actress awards at both the Kinema Junpo Awards and Yokohama Film Festival in 2006 according to the Internet Movie Database.

On February 6, 2007, Funimation Entertainment released the film in the United States. The contents of the DVD is a 2-Disc Set with the main movie available in Japanese and a new dub from Funimation themselves. The 2nd Disc contains Special Features and making-ofs. All of the films are subtitled in English.

Also a manga and an anime called Basilisk are based on the same novel, and bear the same character names as in the novel and the movie. Although their characters in the film are highly altered from both the original novel and the manga/anime series.

Equal partsRomeo and JulietandCrouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,Shinobioffers breathtaking cinematography, appealing actors, and ninjas. What more could a movie fan ask for? Released in 2005,Shinobiis set in 17th century Japan, which is dominated by two powerful clans. Oboro is a member of the Iga clan, while her lover Gennosuke is the son of the leader of the Koga clan. Both groups are comprised of expert ninjas who have developed skills unknown to most mortals. When Oboro and Gennosuke meet, they are unaware that by their birthrights, they are meant to hate--not love--each other. When the nefarious Shogun--eager to increase his own power by doing away with both clans--announces that each faction will send in five ninjas to fight to the death, Oboro and Gennosuke are sent in to battle against each other for the honor of their clans. Filled with action (including some computer-generated images to enhance the actors' warrior-like qualities) and romance,Shinobihas the makings of a sweeping epic. Though based on an anime series, the film succeeds as a stand-alone piece of work. Beautifully filmed and well-acted, the film is exciting and heartbreaking, and the viewer senses both hope and doom all the way through the finale.--Jae-Ha Kim

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CastRenji Ishibashi, Jô Odagiri, Yukie Nakama, Erika Sawajiri, Ayumi Hamasaki, Kippei Shiina, Tomoka Kurotani
DirectorTen Shimoyama
Genre:  Action, Adventure, Drama
Release Date:  November 17, 2006
MPAA Rating:  R
DVD Release Date:  December 6, 2007 (U.S.)
Runtime:  1hr 41min
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More Shinobi: Heart Under Blade reviews
review by . June 08, 2009
I was never really into Ninja movies, they rarely invoke the coolness factor of being a badass shadow assassin, so before I watched this movie, I didn't really have high expectation for it.  But I was left pleasantly surprised, this movie has great characters and good action scenes, and features some of the most beautiful scenery I have seen.    Shinobi is adapted from the Manga "Kouga Ninja Scrolls", although I have never read the series, I think the Manga root of the movie …
review by . June 16, 2009
posted in ASIANatomy
      Adapted from the novel by Futaro Yamada, "The Kouga Ninja Scrolls", SHINOBI HEART UNDER BLADE (aka. Kouga Ninpouchou Basilisk, 2005) is an action-fantasy-romance epic directed by Shimoyama Ten and written by Kenya Hirata. Yamada's novel has also been adapted into the manga series and later on to the anime series "Basilisk", and while that animated feature focused more on action and its characters, this live-action version focuses more on the tragedy …
review by . October 29, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
The synopsis I saw for this movie was X-Men meets Romeo & Juliet in Japan. That pretty much sums it up. It essentially focuses on two Japanese clans with warriors who possess superpowers. Two of those "mutants" had fallen in love and are reluctant to fight.    The cinematography is great. There is some very interesting use of filter effects. By the way, it has very creative sound effects.     However, I felt that there was probably a bit too much fighting …
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