Otaku Movie Anatomy hosts review Ninja Scroll! Ninja Scroll (獣兵衛忍風帖 Jūbē Ninpūchō) is a 1993 Japanese animated action thriller film written and directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri. The critically acclaimed film was theatrically released on June 5, 1993, and received a Western release in 1995. Ninja Scroll has its roots based in the story of Makai Tensho, by Futaro Yamada. Ninja Scroll is set in feudal Japan. Five years before the start of the film, the Yamashiro clan’s chief retainers (vassal lords) dig gold out of a secret mine behind their lord’s back. The lord of the Yamashiro clan wants to have the gold for himself, but his forces are not strong enough, so he cannot act alone. He also cannot go to the government first, because they would take the gold if they knew about the mine. He orders his ninja team, led by Genma Himuro, to kill the chief retainers, claiming he would then report the mine to the government. Jubei Kibagami and Shinkuro are members of this ninja team. After the chief retainers are murdered, the Yamashiro lord does not report the mine to the government. Later, Genma orders Shinkuro and the other ninjas to kill each other, thus eliminating everyone who knew about the mine. Reluctantly, Jubei kills Shinkuro his friend in self-defense, while the other team members lie dead. While Genma is riding along a pass, Jubei springs from the snow and cuts off his head to avenge Shinkuro and the others. Jubei then becomes a wandering swordsman-for-hire.
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