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Ninja Resurrection


a.k.a. Makai Tensho

Genre: Action
Company: Phoenix Animation
Format: 2 OVA
Dates: 2/27/1998 to 3/27/1998

In the seventeenth century, the Tokugawa Clan initiated a persecution of Christianity in Japan, killing religious leaders or forcing them to exile. One of the exiled priests made a prophecy: Jesus would return to Japan in the form of a young man to save Christianity. But, if his path were to be obstructed, he would reincarnate as Satan. When the man of the prophecy appears in the form of Shiro Amakusa, the Tokugawa Clan sends Jubei to eliminate the threat. Little did Jubei know that this assignment would literally be hell, forcing him to deal not only with the demons of the present but the ones of his past.

summary by Griveton


Reviewed: 11/15/2002 by
Grade: 26% av-Griveton

Highs: The pain stops after you turn the television off

Lows: Characters; grotesque story; excessive sex and gore; horrid animation

I should start by pointing out that contrary to what the ADV Films marketing machine says, this OVA has no relation to Ninja Scroll. It’s set in another time period, with another storyline, made by another company. The only parallel is that there is a Jubei in both features, and it’s not even the same person.

Ninja Resurrection starts off decently enough, with a voice-over narration of the historical background behind the story. Even the first couple minutes hold some potential, hinting to an epic feature. However, the moment the action starts, everything goes downhill at an ever-increasing speed. The animation’s problems become all too obvious as the mindless, boring fights ensue. We get a ninja rocket launcher and flying, jet-propelled armor. We get a sex scene between a dismembered person and a woman under the influence of a spell. And that’s just the first part. It gets worse.

In contrast with the dark atmosphere so far, the second part starts off as a cuddly, peaceful story of Jubei living in peace training the two kids of an important samurai months later. That is, until we get a graphic rape scene in which the woman is killed during the act, followed by a scene in which an undead ninja murders people using his innards as whips. The story borders on nonsense, loosely tied to the prophecy mentioned at the beginning. It’s a mad, mad 17th-century Japan. The not-so-low point is the style of drawing, which is appropriately dark and decently done. However, the grating animation effectively hides this potentially positive aspect.

Ninja Resurrection is nothing but a pathetic excuse of an anime. The combination of nearly incoherent, ludicrous plot and events, hideous animation and enough sex and gore to disgust even the hardiest person make for an excruciatingly bad feature, comparable only to the likes of Tekken and M.D. Geist. The fact that it basks on its historical background and characters just aggravates everything. This… thing could very well have been the product of Satan’s attempts to give otaku a taste of what hell feels like. Stay away. Far away.


Ninja Resurrection can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.


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