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Blood Reign
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 12/31/1999

When fellow ninjas Hikage and Marou witness the death of their lord, Marou is overcome with uncontrollable hysteria and runs away. Hikage is then sent after Marou to make sure that he is silenced for good, but Hikage isn't sure he can bring himself to kill his long-time friend and comrade. As Hikage searches for Marou, he discovers that Marou is not what he has always seemed to be. Marou is a Yoma, a blood-thirsty spirit who thrives on negative human emotions. However, Hikage is determined to get a hold of Marou no matter where the road takes him, even at the risk of his own soul.
Curse of the Undead Yoma, or should I say Blood Reign, is just another typical ninja anime for most part. I say this despite the countless positive reviews I've read about it.
Hikage is your typical ninja, sent on a mission to eliminate his colleague. Yet even as the death sentence on Marou is lifted after a time, Hikage can't stop searching for him. It becomes something of an obssession, with memories of their happy childhood urging Hikage on. Eventually, Hikage meets a female ninja named Aya who falls in love with him and decides to help him in his quest. Hikage encounters loads of monsters / yomas in the form of various insects and animals (gigantic hairy spiders, a talking horse, a huge serpent, etc.). Needless to say, Hikage gets into a fight every time he is faced with a yoma.
A lot of things in this anime bother me. For instance, how did Aya fall in love with Hikage so suddenly? It was like they just meet each other in the middle of a brawl and then bam! Aya falls in love and follows Hikage around like a puppy. There's no development, it's like the writers just decided that they're a couple and that's that. Then there's those yomas. What is the point of killing them when they all revive and chase you again anyway? To make things worse, there's much boring prattle about feuding warlords which serve only to distract the viewer from the main plot involving Hikage and Marou. Blood Reign's plot is unnervingly simple, but a lot is thrown in to make it harder to keep track of.
The art and animation are pretty okay. Character designs aren't bad, and fights are choreographed well enough with generous amounts of blood and guts to keep action fans satisfied. I thought the musical scoring was quite good too -- soft, melancholic, and eerie.
Blood Reign is overall okay, nothing special. Like I said, it's just another ninja anime.
If this is your kind of scene, also check out "Wrath of the Ninja" and "Ninja Scroll".

Blood Reign
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Review Title:
Blood Reign
Alternative Titles:
Curse of the Undead Yoma
80 Minutes
General Rating:
2.5 out of 5 stars
Suitable For:
Young Adults
Action, Adventure, Horror,
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