THEM Anime Reviews
Home Reviews Extras Forums
[Ninja Resurrection box art]
AKA: Makai Tenshou, Reborn from Hell: Samurai Reincarnation
Genre: Pseudo-historical ninja bloodbath
Length: OAV, 2 episodes, 50 minutes each
Distributor: VHS and R1 DVD from ADV Films
Content Rating: 18+ (violence, gore, occult, adult situations)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended:
Notes: Based on the novel "Makai Tenshou" by Yamada Fuutarou, which was made into a live-action film in 1981, with a series of sequels.

Ninja Resurrection


Shortly after the consolidation of the Tokugawa shogunate, a campaign of violence has begun to purge post-feudal Japan of "subversive" Christian converts. The besieged Christians have placed their faith in an old legend that claims their savior will be reborn to them as a man of pure faith, and that he will lead them to safety, however, should this man somehow lose his faith, he will be reborn as Satan, and bring only destruction.

Enter Yagyu Juubei, an assassin hired by shogunate loyalists to kill the Christian leader and end the war of attrition the shogun's armies have been fighting against them.


Let me start off by making one thing absolutely, positively crystal clear:


ADV is involved in a bit of word play here. They insinuate on the back of the box that the main character of this show is the same as the main character of Ninja Scroll. The only thing the two ninja's have in common is their first name, that's it, end of list. Never anywhere on the box does it actually say that "This is the exciting sequel to Ninja Scroll!" or anything even remotely similar. It's clearly a use of name recognition being used to paint a good face on an anime that doesn't really deserve the reputation of its supposed predecessor.

That said, this is the only non-hentai anime I have ever seen that was so throughly offensive that I wanted to shut it off after the first thirty minutes. The whole story of the Christian persecution after the feudal period would have made an excellent backdrop for any anime/manga writer with a talent for historical fiction, but unfortunately, the somewhat shaky premise devolves into a meaningless bloodbath after about the first twenty minutes.

Not that violence has no place in cinema (including anime), but the levels of gore present in this film were both exceedingly graphic and unnessisary. The hero, although he does have enough goodwill to spare children the sword, kills everything in sight in typical Ninja-matic (tm) fashion, while his four sidekicks prance about with grappling hook guns, multiple-shot rocket launchers (no joke!), and even a jet-propeled suit of armor (gads...). My friend, PFC Bass, who is a blood n' guts anime aficionado, nearly choked on his 40 of Old English when the flying armor appeared. He said, and I quote: "Dawg, this show just went WAY off the hook!". I have to agree.

Finally, the show ends with a necrophiliac love scene that would make a goth squirm. Yuck. And you thought you were getting Ninja Scroll. To its credit, however, the animation is actually pretty good, but good animation just can't save this dog from its other fatal flaws. If you want good samurai/ninja action, try Rurouni Kenshin, or Yotoden, or even an old Ninja High School comic, but stay away from this one.

This would have recieved only one if not for the good animation. You have been warned.Jason Bustard

Recommended Audience: Definately NOT for children. 18 and up only (at least ADV got THAT part right on their box). Gore, occult (Christian) iconography, necrophiliac sex.

Version(s) Viewed: VHS, Japanese with English subtitles
Review Status: Full (2/2)
Ninja Resurrection © 1996 Yamada Fuutarou / Amuse / Phoenix
© 1996-2015 THEM Anime Reviews. All rights reserved.