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Wrath of the Ninja
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 12/31/1999

According to the legends, three mystical weapons have been left in the possession of three shadow ninja clans. When these weapons come together, the power to vanquish great evil will be attained. Ayame is the sole survivor of the Kasumi Ninja Clan. She bears one of the legendary weapons -- an enchanted short sword that had been with her clan for ages. Ayame wants revenge for her clan, who had been mercilessly slaughtered by demons and monsters commanded by Lord Nobunaga. But in order to defeat Lord Nobunaga and his hellish minions, Ayame would have to seek out the two other shadow ninja clans as well.

Neither good nor bad, Wrath of the Ninja is nothing more than average anime fare. The plot is easy enough to follow -- Ayame has to get the three weapons together and stop the evil Lord Nobunaga from wreaking havoc all over the land.

Things happen very conveniently for Ayame. She is attacked by a group of thugs in the beginning. After some fighting, she finds out that the gang leader is Sakon -- lone survivor of one of the shadow ninja clans she is seeking. What's more, Sakon actually has the second mystical weapon. Thus Ayame and Sakon set off together to the third shadow ninja clan, and they find the bearer of the third weapon -- Ryoma. Are they just plain lucky or what?

Wrath of the Ninja has a lot of violence and gore. Our three heroes are predictably attacked every step of the way, thanks to Lord Nobunaga's numerous henchmen. A romantic angle also develops between Ayame and Sakon in the later parts, but it's not too involving. Characterization is a bit lacking. There's enough background and motivation for the main characters, but the bad guys aren't given any development. They're just there to be bad, period. The art and animation are basically okay, but look sort of dated since it's a 1989 release after all. The English dubbing is passable at best. Many things about Wrath of the Ninja are just okay and nothing to get too excited about, but it's still not the worst of the lot.

Wrath of the Ninja was originally released as Yotoden, a three-volume OAV series. The OAVs were put together and edited to make this movie. I heard that some scenes got omitted, and that the Yotoden OAVs are better than this movie version.

Wrath of the Ninja
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Review Title:
Wrath of the Ninja
Alternative Titles:
Legend of the Enchanted Swords
120 Minutes
General Rating:
2.5 out of 5 stars
Suitable For:
Young Adults
Action, Martial Arts, Samurai
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