Released in 1993 this anime classic features over the top fantasy action set in an Edo era Japan. it follows a series of unfortunate events that happen to an unsuspecting and wandering swordsman by the name of Kibagami Jubei, an homage to Japanese folk hero Yagyu Jubei.
The events are mostly backdrop setting Jubei up as an avenger who killed the man who murdered his kinsmen. That man known as Gemma allegedly walks the earth despite being decapitated by Jubei in an epic flashback scene that showcases some extreme over the top ninja techniques as well as a wonderful depiction of an assassination complete with decapitation.
Gemma and the 8 devils of Kimon are assassins for hire who have been busy working with the Shogun of the dark in an effort to amass a fortune in gold. The idea is that they will eventually attempt to overthrow the Tokugawa Shogunate.
The Tokugawa Shogunate catching wind of this plot sends out counter operative names Dakuan to uncover the truth. This diminutive agent posing as a monk seems like a harmless old
man but has an agenda of his own.
Dakuan realizing that he cannot defeat the 8 devils alone decides to enlist the help of Kagero a kunoichi with an adeptness for using poison techniques.
Kagero comes into the picture as a member of an elite ninja unit whom
Of which is sent to uncover the truth as to how a village has been infected with the plague. The fate of her contemporaries are sealed as they are ambushed in a forest by one of the 8 devils.
Those who enjoy blood and gore should find themselves quite agreeable to the amount of limbs severed in this movie.
On a side note let it be known that this animated classic is not suitable for children as it has several scenes of sex and one including the rape of a woman by a demon with rock hard skin and durability.
Despite this there is a wonderful love story between Jubei and Kagero. Parts of which are manipulated by Dakuan as a means to further his goals.
This anime classic is best watched with English subtitles as the English audio track while done well, does not seem to convey the Japanese dialogue as concisely as it should.
Regardless, this over the top ninja action epic will keep you at the edge of your seat with memorable set pieces and stunning visuals.
The Arsenal gives it a 10/10