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A movie directed by Ten Shimoyama based on the manga

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Good action with beautiful scenery

  • Jun 8, 2009
  • by
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 really helped, since most of the characters are pretty fleshed out and have over the top abilities (slows down time a la Matrix, change face and voice to impersonate somebody else...).  The story begins when Gennosuke from Kouga faction met with Oboro from Iga faction, they soon fell in love despite the two factions are historically being rivals and the only thing kept them from killing each other is a brokered peace by a famous Samurai Hattori Hanzo, and to further complicate things, Japan was finally at peace after centuries of warfare after being reunited under Tokugawa Ieyasu, so the new Shogun is afraid of the powerful ninjas might threaten his rule, so he devised the plan to wipe out the two ninja factions by revoking the truce between the two factions and orders each faction to pick their 5 best ninjas to fight with each other, and the ultimate winner will rule both factions, and preditably, Gennosuke is picked to lead the Kouga faction and Oboro is picked to lead the Iga faction.

The setup for the movie is fairly simple and some might say generic, but when the actions started, you won't really care much any more, and then when you think you have the whole movie figured out, the ending is really surprising and well done, completely throws off your earlier perception.  And the many scenery in the movie are simply breath-taking.  Overall, the movie is very enteraining and I'd highly recommend it!

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June 26, 2009
I agree! the film's premise is very simple, but it managed to draw up emotions and did a great job in playing its aces well. I really liked this film! Have you seen the anime "Basilisk"? It's a more drawn out version of the Kouga Ninja Scrolls.
June 26, 2009
No, I haven't seen "Basilisk", now I have to check it out! Thanks for the recommendation!
More Shinobi: Heart Under Blade reviews
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 …
review by . October 09, 2007
I put this movie on my wish list a while ago and to be honest I didn't know anything about it and forgot about it after some time. I was sitting at home looking for stuff to watch on one really boring night and out of nowhere I see Shinobi on my now favorite TV station the AZN Network. Shinobi is a very simple but strong film and the time will fly by watching it. If you don't know Shinobi is adapted from the book "The Kouga Ninja Scrolls" like the anime Basilisk and both use a lot of the same character …
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James Liu ()
Ranked #141
I was originally from Taipei, Taiwan, and I moved to the united states when I was 16 years old. I lived in Champaign, Illinois for 6 years before moving to California and have been here since.   … more
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About this movie


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 ...

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Director: Ten 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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