Jun 23

The Ninja Wars (1982) aka Iga ninpôchô

A fortuneteller prophesizes that whoever marries the beautiful Ukio will become the ruler of the world. Naturally, this makes her very popular with those vying for power, particularly the insatiably greedy Lord Donjo. Only the ninja Jotaro can stop Donjo’s plan, but to do so, he must first battle the deadly team of “Devil Monks” serving the lord. Will Jotaro succeed in his mission? And if so, will Ukio marry him, thus making him the ruler of the world?

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Jan 14

Lady Ninja Kasumi 2: Love and Betrayal (2006) aka Sanada Kunoichi ninpo-den Kasumi ai to uragiri no kizuna

It’s been two years since Kasumi chose the Kunoichi lifestyle and she now has a new enemy in Hattori Hanzo. Hanzo’s wish is to penetrate the Ueda castle. So he enlists his own Kunoichi to seduce the gatekeeper, probing him for security loopholes. …

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Oct 25

Shadow Hunters (1972) a.K.a Kage gari

shadow-hunters-1972-coverIn the late Tokugawa period, the Edo government is using Spies from Iga Province to cause the downfall of innocent provincial Daimyo. The Shogun needs to claim the assets of fallen clans in order to boost the failing economies of Edo. The Ninjahunters, jesting Sunlight or Tadanoshi Unui (Ryuhei Uchida) & gaunt Moonlight or Denosuke Kusaba (Mikeo Narita), are led by a brooding fellow named Jubei Muroto. These three ronin are not your normal ornery ruffians who are looking for a drink, a broad and someone to jab a sword into, but are in fact former samurai who, rather than follow their destroyed fiefs and murdered masters into death via seppuku, have dedicated their combined sword prowess to stopping the government from raping its daimyos for valuable resources. It turns out that in the Tokugawa era’s twilight years, one of the tools that the shogunate would screw their daimyos with would be the ninja-sometimes referred to as ‘shadows’. The ‘shadows’ would manipulate the daimyos by planting incriminating anti-shogunate evidence (therefore they could be taken over under the ruse of being treasonous or mutinous), by stealing valuable documents (asserting a fiefdom’s inalienable right of existence), or by the assassination of key political figures and lords. In a sense, the Shadow Hunters act as a kind of firefighter to the Tokugawa shogunate’s ninja bad guys; moving from land to land, offering their swords and ridding Japan of the accursed ‘shadows’ that destroyed their own clans.

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