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