A peak achievement of Japanese animation, this propulsive mix of samurai action, adventure and supernatural fantasy from writer-director Yoshiaki Kawajiri (Wicked City) is defiantly animation for grown-ups, complete with fountains of blood, plenty of naked flesh, and some decidedly strong language. The plot sounds like a 16th century variation on the X-Files: an entire village has been wiped out by a mysterious plague and an anti-government conspiracy of invulnerable demons seems to be responsible. A wandering ninja, Jubei, and his female counterpart, Kagero, team up to defeat the plotters. Jubei is a classic reluctant hero, agreeing to participate in the mission only after being fed a slow-acting poison; the antidote will be supplied after he cooperates. And Kagero, a looker whose embrace is lethal, is a femme fatale with a difference that seems distinctively Japanese: sexual contact itself is poisonous, especially for a warrior with a pure-soul.
Publisher: Manga Released: November 26th 2012 Classification: 18 Language: English, Japanese Subtitles: English Running Time: 90mins