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Ninja Hunter (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

January 10, 2018 by  



Seiji Chiba’s “Ninja Hunter” has plenty of action scenes and will no doubt entertain popcorn action fans.  But as an overall film, it was an average film at best.

Images courtesy of © 2017 Funimation. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Ninja Hunter

FILM RELEASE: 2015

DURATION: 101 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, 16:9, Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Funimation

RATED: TV 14

Release Date: November 14, 2017


Directed by Seiji Chiba

Executive Producer: Tadashi Osumi, Toshihiro Takahashi

Produced by Kazunori Moriguchi, Tetsuya Shimokado, Kiwamu Sato, Seiji Chiba

Line Producer: Koichi Maehashi, Koji Inagaki

Director of Photography: Kenji Tanabe and Atsushi Yoshida

Music: Kuniyuki Morohashi

Costume Designer: Sachi Harada/


Starring:

Masanori Mimoto as Tao

Mei Kurokawa as kei

Mickey Koga as Mitsuki Koga

Kentaro Shimazu

Kazuki Tsujimoto


Tao, a ninja from the Iga clan, wakes up in a cave surrounded by dead bodies, including a beautiful female ninja. Suffering from amnesia, he can’t remember how or why he’s there, or if he’s the one responsible for this massacre. His task at hand is to retrieve a document that will reveal the killer’s identity. Who is the killer? Was one of his clan a traitor? Who is the female ninja?

As Tao fights various other ninja, he begins to piece together his memories with their stories. But instead of solving the enigma, a web of betrayal unfolds.


 

From Seiji Chiba, the director of “Alien vs. Ninja” and “The Kunoichi: Ninja Girl” comes his 2015 film “Ninja-gari” (Ninja Hunter) which was released in November 2017 in the U.S. courtesy of Funimation.

The film stars Masanori Mimoto (“Alien vs. Ninja”, “Yakuza Apocalypse”) as Tao, a ninja from the Iga Clan.  When Tao wakes up he finds another ninja who tells him that he killed all the ninjas laying around and including a female ninja.

Suffering from amnesia, Tao doesn’t know what happened and those responsible for the massacre try to manipulate him into thinking that he was responsible.

But as Tao can’t believes that he could have killed Kei (portrayed by Mei Kurokawa), a female ninja that he cares about.  He slowly starts to regain his memories.


VIDEO:

“Ninja Hunter” is presented in 1080p High Definition and is a film that looks great in HD.   Makeup designers play a big part in the film in creating the scars of Tao and his enemies.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Ninja Hunter” is presented in Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0, so this is a front-speaker driven soundtrack with crystal clear dialogue, a lot of sword clanging and music.

SPECIAL FEATURES

“Ninja Hunter” comes with no special features but a trailer.

EXTRAS:

“Ninja Hunter” comes with both the Blu-ray and DVD version of the film.


Seiji Chiba knows how to make budget-based ninja films with a lot of action.

While h is films are far from being memorable ninja films, one can admit that he is able to direct numerous over-the-top ninja films such as “Alien vs. Ninja” and “The Kunoichi: Ninja Girl”.

“Ninja Hunter” was no doubt low budget.  Blood splatters are added digitally, despite no matter how many ninjas are slashed to death, there is no blood on the ground and even the female ninja, Kei has highlights in her hair.

Primarily shot inside a cave, the film relies heavily on fight choreography.

In fact, the film is mostly about the action and takes place inside the cave with the occasional shot of the ninjas in a forest area but you can see how Chiba was able to keep costs down by directing a film that lies primarily in one location, reusing a lot of actors to make it seem like there is an onslaught of ninjas.

The film no doubt feels like a B-movie that aims to satisfy popcorn action fans that want to see ninjas fight but I have to say “Ninja Hunter” was probably Chiba’s most action-driven film with awesome sword-fighting scenes but at the same time, story-wise, was among his weakest films in his oeuvre.

The Blu-ray is a barebones Blu-ray release with no special features but it does come with a Blu-ray and DVD.

Overall, Seiji Chiba’s “Ninja Hunter” has plenty of action scenes and will no doubt entertain popcorn action fans.  But as an overall film, it was an average film at best.

 






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