An unassuming young man, Jubei Ninpoucho, slowly walks across a wooden footbridge. Suddenly, three bandits surround him and attack him for taking back a valuable item which they stole. Unfazed by these petty thieves, Jubei dispatches them quickly without even missing a bite from his rice cake. If you thought Dark Schneider was cool, wait until you see Jubei. This ninja can slice and dice with the best of them without even breaking a sweat!
Soon after Jubei's smooth entrance, a violent storm breaks out. Eight menacing warriors on horseback are seen riding toward a small rural village. The next day, all the villagers are dead, seemingly wiped out by a mysterious plague. Lord Gokarou sends twenty of his ninjas to investigate the incident. Among these ninjas is the beautiful but deadly Kagero. One kiss from her will literally send you to your grave!
The ninjas encounter two powerful ninjas in a forest, Yurimaru and Tessai. After several minutes, Kagero is captured by the invincible Tessai. Jubei happens to come along the way and saves her, but not without first infuriating Tessai. Later on, the two of them come across an old man named Dakuan who informs them of the situation. It turns out that the Kimon Eight are seeking to recover a horde of gold that was aboard a ship wrecked near the shore of Mochizaki. The Kimon Eight aren't just eight ordinary ninjas, however; they each have some sort of special power that makes them all the more intimidating. Coincidentally, their leader Genma was responsible for the death of one of Jubei's friends, insuring that these two awesome warriors will meet in the end.
If you liked The Dagger of Kamui or Yotoden, you'll love this feature. Frankly, I think this is the best action movie (live or animated) that I've ever seen because almost every minute is action-packed and the fight scenes are awesome. The animation doesn't skimp out on anything, either. The battles are relatively realistic, and the artwork is beautiful. Complementing this movie is a memorable soundtrack with tunes that'll get anyone psyched to slice away with a katana. (BTW, Manga Entertainment picked up this title and has called it Ninja Scroll, so buy your subtitled copy today!)