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Ninja Scroll: The Motion Picture Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo (48kHz/24-bit), English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles Color: Yellow
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: TV-MA (VSL)
  • Runtime: 94 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Sentai Filmworks
  • Blu-ray Release Date: December 4, 2012
  • List Price: $24.98

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4.5/5]

This is the classic Ninja Scroll (獣兵衛忍風帖) 1993 anime feature film that kicked off the anime series. It was written and directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri with character designs by Yutaka Minowa. Dripping in blood, glorious battles and epic violence, the fast-paced action film, set in Japan’s feudal era, follows ronin Kibagami Jubei as he is forced into battling against a foe he once thought dead and his hordes of demon-like ninja assassins to stop the overthrow of the current shogunate. In order to save his own life, Jubei must stop the so-called Shogun of the Dark from succeeding, in order to find a counteragent for a poison he was infected with. His traveling companion and partner in battle, the beautiful and powerful ninja Kagema, just may hold the key to his survival, both in her skill, and in her own poisonous body.

The pacing in Ninja Scroll never lets up, and while the story, like many anime productions can become just a little confused at times, the thrilling animation from great anime studio Madhouse is truly a spectacle to behold. This is a seminar in anime work, every bit as entertaining and groundbreaking as Ghost in the Shell.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Unlike much of the anime that is released today, Ninja Scroll was done on 35mm. It has thankfully been restored from its original source at its originally intended aspect ratio of 1.33:1 in a spectacular transfer that is clean, crisp, and still film-like. It doesn’t appear to be overly DNR’d, and a layer of grain can still be spotted.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The original Japanese audio is provided in a spruced up lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo (48kHz/24-bit) mix that is clean and dynamic with good stereo panning. The English dub has an expansive DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) mix provided that has a much wider dynamic range, thumping low frequencies, and lush atmospherics. If it weren’t for the English dub being so far removed from the literal Japanese translation of the English subtitles, I would stick with the 5.1.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1.5/5]

The only ‘true’ supplement provided is a Japanese audio commentary, but it is only accessible from your remote control’s audio program button.

The supplements:

  • Japanese Audio Commentary
  • English Disc Credits
  • Additional Sentai Filmworks Trailers

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

Take a leap back in time a couple of decades to when this Western favorite was released and try to imagine how invigorating it must have been – the action, the swordplay, the sexual frankness, the grit, the blood and gore, the detailed character design. Ninja Scroll has arguably never been matched since, and now it has been given a wonderful new high definition release to Blu-ray from Sentai that is a must for anime aficionados.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Ninja Scroll: The Motion Picture on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

[amazon-product]B009AVCAJ4[/amazon-product]

Purchase Ninja Scroll: The Motion Picture on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]


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