Kamui no Ken

Title:Kamui no Ken
Dagger of Kamui
Revenge of the Ninja Warrior
Keywords: , , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Madhouse
R1 License - AnimEigo
Rin Taro
A young boy named Jiro finds his mother and sister murdered in his home. Falsely accused of the crime, he flees from his village and meets a priest named Tenkai, who has him kill a rogue ninja named Tarouza. After fulfilling that task, Jiro undergoes training to become a master assassin. Many years later, Jiro finds out that he was an orphan and his real father was Tarouza, who had worked for Tenkai until he aborted his mission when he fell in love with an Ainu woman. The young ninja discovers that the Shogunate was to retrieve the lost treasure of Captain Kidd and use it to once again isolate Japan from the rest of the world. Using the clues that Tarouza had kept secret, Jiro - along with the female ninja Oyuki and a slave named Sam - travels to Russia and America to search for the treasure in hopes of using it to extract revenge from Tenkai.
(Summary Courtesy of Anime News Network)

132 minute film released in Japanese theaters on March 9, 1985.
Animated by Madhouse
Licensed by Animeigo

See also the earlier version:
  • Ninpuu Kamui Gaiden (TV series, 1969, 26 episodes) and
  • Ninpuu Kamui Gaiden: Tsukihigai no Maki (Movie, 1971, summary of TV series).
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 7 6 6 5 6 Ggultra2764 [series:2741#1552]
I heard quite a bit about Dagger of Kamui from older anime fans for its ninja action and revenge-seeking storyline, which prompted me to give it a look. Unfortunately, I can't say the movie's aged too well. While there is fleshing out on Jiro's past and the corrupt elements of the Tokugawa shogunate, Dagger of Kamui's fast pacing kills quite a bit of the suspense and buildup that would come from these revelations and the lack of smooth transitions between scenes reeks of some level of sloppiness. Other than Jiro and Tenkai, the movie's fast pacing also prevents many characters from getting much in the way of depth, especially as many are just fodder for Jiro to inevitably kill off. The visuals are dated, but have their moments of engaging action coming from the abilities of the various ninja that Jiro confronts with illusions and other elaborate abilities. The music's perhaps the worst element of the movie for me, consisting of 80s rock-style music that doesn't really clash well with the historic setting that Dagger of Kamui portrays and seems better suited for a modern or futuristic setting in an anime. Unless you're an old-school anime fan craving ninja action with a historical setting, I don't think you'll be missing out on much here.

Last updated Sunday, June 16 2013. Created Sunday, June 16 2013.

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