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Shinobi (Normal Edition)(Japan Version-English Subtitles) DVD Region 2

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Shinobi (Normal Edition)(Japan Version-English Subtitles)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

Directed by Shimoyama Ten, the dazzling 2005 film Shinobi centers on the drama resulting from the war between two ninja clans in the early part of the Tokugawa era. In the film, Nakama Yukie portrays Oboro, the granddaughter of Ogen (Lily), the respected Iga clan matriarch, while Odagiri Jo plays Gennosuke, the son of Danjo Koga (Minoru Terada), the powerful Koga clan leader. While living deep within the mountains, the two ninja clans have honed their skills to superhuman levels. Unfortunately, the clans do not get along and are forbidden by imperial decree from sharing their techniques with each other. Viewing the two ninja clans as a threat to his scheme for total domination, the nefarious Nankobo Tenkai (Ishibashi Renji) plots to intensify the rivalry between the two clans. Nakobo creates a contest in which the clans are forced to choose five of their best warriors to participate. The battle, however, isn't just a friendly contest, it's a duel to the death!

Early in the film, Oboro and Gennosuke meet and fall in love unaware of their clan ties, so when they are both selected to compete they are surprised to discover the truth about one another's identities. However, Gennosuke initially refuses to participate, but is forced to make an appearance when his compatriots start dropping like flies. The combatants in this contest are not your run-of-the-mill ninja warriors, each has powers beyond that of mortal men. There's the face-changing Saemon Kisaragi (Kinoshita Hoka), the limb-extending Yashamaru (Sakaguchi Taku), the poisonous Kagero (Kurotani Tomoka), and the all-seeing Tenzan Yakushi (Shiina Kippei) just to name a few! Thanks to a great romance plot, breathtaking special effects, and spectacular action choreography, Shinobi offers a one-of-a-kind ninja film that must be seen to be believed!

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Technical Information

Product Title: Shinobi (Normal Edition)(Japan Version-English Subtitles) 甲賀忍法帖 (Shinobi) (通常版)(日本版-英文字幕) 甲贺忍法帖 (Shinobi) (通常版)(日本版-英文字幕) SHINOBI (通常版) Shinobi (Normal Edition)(Japan Version-English Subtitles)
Artist Name(s): Nakama Yukie | Odagiri Joe | Kurotani Tomoka | Sawajiri Erika | Shiina Kippei 仲間由紀惠 | 小田切讓 | 黑谷友香 | 澤尻英龍華 | 椎名桔平 仲间由纪惠 | 小田切让 | 黑谷友香 | 泽尻英龙华 | 椎名桔平 仲間由紀恵 | オダギリジョー | 黒谷友香 | 沢尻エリカ | 椎名桔平 Nakama Yukie | 오다기리 죠 | Kurotani Tomoka | Sawajiri Erika | Shiina Kippei
Release Date: 2006-02-18
Publisher Product Code: DA-894
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English, Japanese
Place of Origin: Japan
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 2 - Japan, Europe, South Africa, Greenland and the Middle East (including Egypt) What is it?
Duration: 101 (mins)
Publisher: Shochiku Home Video
Other Information: DVD
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1004098370

Product Information




著作権:(C) 2005 「忍-SHINOBI」パートナーズ

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Professional Review of "Shinobi (Normal Edition)(Japan Version-English Subtitles)"

View Professional Review:
December 5, 2005

This professional review refers to Shinobi Premium Edition (First Press Limited Edition)(Japan Version-English Subtitles)
Take Romeo and Juliet and add an ample dose of high-wire ninja action, and you'll probably end up with something like Shinobi, the visually dazzling 2005 martial arts saga from director Shimoyama Ten. Based on the novel by Yamada Futaro, this Tokugawa-set film depicts the fate of two star-crossed lovers: Gennosuke (Odagiri Joe) from the Koga clan and Oboro (Nakama Yukie) from the Iga clan. Both ninja groups are secluded deep within the mountains, honing their ninja skills to levels beyond that of mortal men. Although they remain fierce rivals, the two camps live in peace. The reason? An imperial decree forbids any warfare between the two.

However, as the film begins, both Gennosuke and Oboro have already met and fallen in love, and both are looking for a way to make their romance public, hoping their peers will let go of their various hatreds and accept them as a suitable match. However, this already complicated situation is made even worse when Iga matriarch Ogen (Riri) and Koga chieftain Danjo Koga (Terada Minoru) are summoned to have an audience with the Shogun. Once there, the leaders are commanded to pick their best warriors and pit them against each other in combat. The Shogun's motivation, however, has less to do with finding out which clan is stronger, and everything to do with eliminating any and all potential threats to his sovereignty.

After secretly planning to wed, Gennosuke and Oboro are shocked to learn that not only has the ban against warfare been lifted, but that they have both been chosen to lead their warriors into battle. Even so, Gennosuke flatly refuses to participate, instead proposing that he and his men start investigating why they've been forced to engage the Iga clan to begin with. Unfortunately, Gennosuke's comrades see things very differently from their lovestruck leader. In their view, they have trained their entire life to be instruments of doom at their lord's disposal. And for Gennosuke to suggest that they suddenly abandon their purpose, well, that's patently absurd to these guys. Besides, all those years of enforced peace have gotten these guys itching for a fight. Oboro's clansmen are no different, as they, too, seem to be eager to spill some blood.

This colorful cast of characters include the Koga clan's face-changing Kisaragi Saemon (Kinoshita Hoka) and the venomous beauty Kagero (Kurotani Tomoka), who just so happens to secretly have feelings for Gennosuke. On the Iga side, there's the long-haired Yashamaru (Sakaguchi Tak), whose fluttering robes hide various deadly surprises for his enemies, and the silver-haired, near immortal Tenzan Yakushi (Shiina Kippei), who knows more about the situation than he lets on. It seems that as the two clans start picking each other off, they've unintentionally sealed their clan's fate - in ways they never anticipated. And after losing people they've cared about, will Gennosuke and Oboro be able to put their clan differences aside, save their loved ones, and live happily ever after? The answer to that question might just surprise you.

Visually impressive, both in terms of art direction and CGI-enhancement, Shinobi is nothing less than a joy to behold. Filled with beautiful forests, mountains, waterfalls, and other visual delights, it's a definite feast for the senses. And from a choreography point of view, the film appropriates much of the high-flying, wuxia-style action of Hong Kong cinema and modernizes the techniques via top-notch special effects wizardry and jazzy production values. Those with an aversion to wire-fu or supernatural martial arts in general may bristle at Shinobi's action sequences, but overall, they are sharply drawn, well-paced, and even exhilarating at times.

But with all this natural beauty and slick technical ingenuity on display, one might fear that the whole experience would feel a bit hollow. However, the film's romantic angle - something that would come off rather trite in a lesser film - actually saves Shinobi from being complete eye candy. Both Odagiri and Nakama do well in selling the reality of this time-honored tale of doomed romance. Odagiri, in particular, conveys a welcome sense of world-weariness and plain-spoken common sense in his character's rejection of the Shogun's decree. Although the movie does sometimes feel like a series of "boss battles" in a video game, it does approach a more substantial, epic feel for the majority of its duration. Amidst all the action, the film is, on a larger level, a story about a group of people coming to terms with their own obsolescence. What should one do? Hide from the changing times? Adapt? Or go out in a blaze of glory? If you like movies with star-crossed lovers, all-out ninja action, and tragedy on a grand scale, then Shinobi delivers it in spades. Or would that be shurikens?

Review by Calvin McMillin

December 3, 2005

This professional review refers to Shinobi Igaban (First Press Limited Edition)(Japan Version-English Subtitles)
Set in 1614 and based around popular historical figures and events Shinobi is a fantasy action-adventure story which concerns itself with two opposing ninja clans, trained in the deadly arts of shinobi. A time of peace has settled upon the land and these mysterious warriors whose villages and power are unknown to all but their own have for 400 years been sworn to an agreement which prevents them from fighting one another. Instead they only fight for the Lord of Lords, who is now concerned that their abilities and tendency for action will re-ignite the flames of war in the lands he has brought to peace. And so a ruse is instigated which lifts the ban and asks the Iga and Koga clans to pit their five best warriors against one another in a battle they are led to believe will decide the next Shogun.

The two young heirs to the thrones of these respective clans however, the beautiful Oboro (Nakama Yukie) and dashing Gennosuke (Odagiri Joe), have found something more to life than that of practicing their art for the purpose of killing, they have found love and just prior to this arranged contest married in secret. These star-crossed lovers were beginning to believe their love could be more than just a dream, but are soon leading their respective clans into battle against each other as they journey to their destination. At their sides are warriors of many shapes and sizes possessing fearsome abilities second only to their own, but they share one common attribute, that of living for this moment so they can live or die holding up the honour of their clan. They were born to fight and born to die, and despite Oboro and Gennosuke's protests cannot have their way of life altered so easily, and soon the young couple will find themselves at odds with each other as they struggle to choose between their love and the people who look to them for leadership.

So, I certainly hope you read that synopsis with an idealistic tone, believing that life or death scenarios await these clans and the lovers who lead them. Shinobi requires a viewer who can play into the grandiose love affair which rules over the predominantly action-orientated story. It looks to recreate an era where great changes were afoot in the warrior clans' way of life and more often than not, great sacrifices were required of all involved. You could just as easily set the basic story used here in most period settings, with or without the fantasy elements the theme of forbidden love is at the same time familiar and well trodden but also greatly recognised and able to stir an audience provided it's executed well. Sadly the film never gets it quite right, with the initial set-up concentrating too heavily on the lovers recognition of their doomed relationship instead of actually spending a little time projecting to the audience how their love blossomed. Before too long the proceedings jump headfirst into action mode, never allowing enough development which ultimately makes or breaks the inevitable confrontation between them.

It's a testament to the actors that we do at least feel a little involved by the time said confrontation takes place. With the early stilted dialogue between the two slowly dissipated, the various confrontations between their people gradually take a toll and adjust their views towards that of the ninja way of life. This is projected well by the leads and allows for a nice scene in the latter stages of the movie that solidifies their love more than any of the earlier calming moments ever manage. There is, however, every chance I'm being both unfairly harsh and lenient in the case of Nakama Yukie, an actress I'm eminently fond of and most at home with when playing quirky comedy characters in Japanese television series. For that reason alone it probably took me some time to fully accept her playing a straight romantic lead, especially in a role where the early dialogue is reminiscent of the exposition she delivers in Trick. But she certainly has the physical attributes and ability to pull off the role and so dodgy make-up effects aside in the closing scenes I found myself believing in her. Hopefully my predilection and the judgement brought with it evened out by the end, but there were no such concerns in the case of Odagiri Joe, a popular actor that I'm only personally familiar with from Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Bright Future. His role here is a little more forgiving in terms of dialogue than his female lead, with less exposition in the early scenes with which to do any damage. However, like Nakama Yukie, if not more so we can play into the internal struggles of the character as he flirts between love for Oboro and the grasp of happiness to acceptance of the ninja life. He moves with confidence between portraying a deadly ninja with a purpose to kill and that of a sympathetic soul capable of self-sacrifice. His character's intentions are at all times absolutely transparent but Odagiri still manages to inject a hint of much needed enigma into the proceedings.

Take away the romantic elements and the internal struggles of the lead characters and for many we find the true essence of a Shinobi movie, the action. With four skilled warriors on each side travelling alongside their clan leaders and holding the belief that without the option to fight there is nothing to live for, you have a recipe for disaster in the best possible sense of the word. Taking the ways of the ninja several steps beyond we are launched into the realms of fantasy that wouldn't be out of place in a Chinese swordplay picture. Here you get to enjoy some devilishly cruel antics, from a warrior with the ability to steal anyone's face to a lady shinobi nourished her whole life on poison, making her kiss a very deadly weapon indeed. The action is never anything less than fun and inventive, with the computer aided set-pieces working well and looking as realistic as is necessary given the scenarios which play out. You also have some nice (though not exactly original) touches such as an "internal" camera mapping out the destruction in detail to one unfortunate soul and some clever use of slow motion for good effect in portraying Gennosuke's remarkable shinobi technique. Surrounded by lush forest and mountainside vistas the action moves along at quite a pace, and while it never serves the simplistic story in a way that helps the film overcome its basic shortcomings, it makes for an entertaining and light romp which looks every bit as accomplished as most modern action fare.

Released in February Shinobi is available in both single-disc 'Standard Edition', as well as three-disc and four-disc Limited Editions. The four-disc Premium Edition is fairly expensive (though not ludicrously so by Japanese standards) and equally luxurious, packed with additional features none of which offer English subtitles, making it one for the fans and Limited Edition collector's only. The former, which is on review here offers the main feature with optional English subtitles at a relatively low-price for a Japanese DVD.

Released in Japanese cinemas in 2005 Shinobi appears on DVD just as you would expect, free of print damage and with as much detail as the 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation can manage. As previously mentioned the film is set within the stunning Japanese countryside, which is rendered here with consummate ease. Colours jump off the screen with the blue and green hues of the sky and landscapes graded perfectly, while black levels are handled just as well, though as is often the case with Japanese (and usually Korean) discs, blacks are not quite as deep when played on display devices calibrated for most UK and USA discs. The only hint of trouble I could find was some minor blocking in the lighter landscapes such as those seen in the sweepingly cinematic title sequence and later on the beach at dusk scene.

In terms of audio you get the Japanese soundtrack in a choice of DD2.0 Surround and a reference quality DD5.1 EX mix. The latter truly brings the film to life within your living room, with the film making full use of the surrounds and subwoofer channels as the rapid and often destructive action set pieces are filtered through the channels to staggering effect. Easily the best 5.1 track I've heard in quite some time, this one really made me sit up and take notice. Of great importance to the majority of readers are the optional English subtitles, presented here in a white font that stands out well on screen and to the best of my knowledge provide us with a good translation of the film with no spelling or grammatical errors to speak of. There are also optional Japanese subtitles.

As previously mentioned there are several DVD releases of Shinobi to choose from, and this single-disc edition represents the best value for money to those who are only interested in the film. So what I'm trying to say is, there are no extras here. The only additional materials are some trailers (5 in total) for other Shochiku Home Video and Cinema releases.

Short on the emotional depth the underlying romantic story requires but rarely stepping into the ill-fated melodrama arena, Shinobi offers up an entertaining ninety-minutes of fantasy action with a good old-fashioned romantic core. Given the rich subject matter and sheer power the title carries it's not the movie it should have been, but then it's also fair to say that it never feels as though the director was aiming for more than what is on the screen. So in that sense I found myself enjoying the film in spite of its short-comings with plenty to enjoy from characters who come out with lines like "I'm not good at dying" to Nakama Yukie and her character Oboro delivering a new meaning to the term evil eye.

By Dave Foster - DVD Times

December 3, 2005

Ah, the ninja. There's just so much to love about these shadowy figures, so much cinematic potential, and yet there are far, far more bad ninja films than there are good ones. The last major ninja hopeful was Ryuhei Kitamura's Azumi, a film that promised much but misfired badly with its clumsy plot, hugely unsympathetic characters and meandering, unfocused run time. So there was some trepidation going in to Shimoyama Ten's Shinobi. Yes, the trailers looked fantastic but that was equally true of Kitamura's film. Happily this film delivers, and delivers large. Filled with absolutely breathtaking cinematography, a strong cast and excellent special effects, Shinobi strikes a pitch perfect balance between the romance and action aspects of its story, neatly striking the mid-point between art-house and glossy multiplex. While it could stand to be tightened up just a little bit - particularly at the end - it just does everything so well and looks so damn good while doing it that it's hard to fault Shimoyama for stretching things out a bit.

In the early going, Shinobi sets up as a ninjafied version of the Romeo and Juliet story. The story begins in the early Tokugawa era in the remote mountains of Japan. Secluded deep in the woods are two hidden villages, the home to two warring clans of shinobi, ninjas so highly trained that they have developed supernatural powers. These clans, the Koga and the Iga, have been enemies for centuries, their hate running so deep that three generations earlier the Shogun forcibly imposed a treaty upon them. Though their hatred runs as deep as ever, the clans are forbidden to battle, the lone exception being if they are employed in the service of other warring clans. This situation results in the clans automatically taking up opposing sides in any battle, solely for the opportunity to face off against each another.

Born into this culture of hostility are Gennosuke, played by the always strong Joe Odagiri, and Oboro, played by the stunning Nakama Yukie. The two meet by chance and fall in love. As their relationship grows, the young lovers becoming increasingly frustrated with the society that will not allow their relationship to develop but, hoping for a change in the future, they pledge to marry.

But when the change comes, it is not what they would have hoped. The Shogun has brought a fragile peace to the land, a peace he believes is threatened by the constant hostilities between the Koga and the Iga clans. And so a plan is hatched to take the shinobi out of the equation entirely. The clan leaders are summoned to the castle and charged with a special mission. The Shogun, they are told, is unsure who should succeed him. To make the decision there will be a contest. The ban on interclan warfare will be lifted. The Koga will represent one of the Shogun's sons, the Iga the other. Both clans will submit the names of their five strongest warriors and those groups will meet to do battle in two days' time. Whichever clan wins will have the honor of choosing the next Shogun. As ploys go, this is an obvious one, a maneuver clearly intended to eliminate the strongest of the shinobi, but the clans are so bloodthirsty that they either do not notice or do not care. Except for two, Gennosuke and Oboro, both of whom are named on the lists. Will the lovers be able to bring peace to the clans or will they be forced to fight one another to the death?

The first thing that strikes you about Shinobi is just how good it looks. This film is flat out gorgeous from beginning to end, shot on a grand scale with every frame flawlessly composed. The lighting, cinematography and sets are all absolutely astounding. This is an absolute visual marvel, absolutely stunning to look at.

The next thing you will notice is how the film strikes a balance between romance and action. While the promotional materials tended to lean towards the romance side of things - and you can hardly blame them when your film's stars look as good as Odagiri and Nakama - the film is far more balanced between the two elements. It moves easily from one to the other, expertly using the budding relationship to add some emotional whallop to the inevitable violence, while using the action to keep the emotional story from getting bogged down. Shimoyama dances nimbly from one element to the next, smoothly shifting gears and pressing all the right buttons along the way.

And what of the action? Stunning. While the return to non-assisted martial arts has been a welcome development in Hong Kong and Thailand, Shinobi proves that CG boosted action can be just as compelling when done well. And this film does it very, very well. The shinobi's powers are many and diverse. Tak Sakaguchi's Yashamaru shoots razor wire cables from his flowing sleeves, wires he can use either to sever limbs or launch himself from place to place. There's the shape shifter, the feral beast, the poison woman, knives attached to chains, metallic claws, flying needles, spinning discs - all manner of mayhem. Each shinobi has a very specific skill and each of those skills are put to excellent use at different points throughout the film. The action sequences are plentiful, very well choreographed, and perfectly executed.

Thanks to the stunning cinematography and large-scale sets - the Shogun's castle and both villages are beautifully detailed - Shinobi is a film undoubtedly best appreciated on the big screen. But, failing that, the DVD release is excellent. The transfer is very crisp, very clean, and very detailed and the English subtitles are clear and easy to read. In closing, Shinobi succeeds everywhere that Azumi failed. Where Kitamura's film frustrated, Shimoyama's exhilarates. This is one not to be missed.

By Todd Brown -

This original content has been created by or licensed to, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of

Customer Review of "Shinobi (Normal Edition)(Japan Version-English Subtitles)"

Average Customer Rating for this Edition: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8.9 out of 10 (9)
Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8.7 out of 10 (27)

See all my reviews

July 7, 2008

This customer review refers to Shinobi (DVD) (2-Disc Special Edition) (Taiwan Version)
:D Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
i really enjoyed this movie!! i do wish there were some more fight scenes but even so, it was really good. its such a subtle love story yet its still so profound throughout the movie! im very glad i bought this movie and i would recommend it to my friends ^_________________^
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Funky Monkey Baby
See all my reviews

January 11, 2008

This customer review refers to Shinobi (DVD) (2-Disc Special Edition) (Taiwan Version)
my sweetie loved it!!! Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9 out of 10
I bought this for my cute honeybunch for Christmas and he LOVED it! Despite it having a mooshy storyline, it wasn't TOO over-the-top lovey dovey stuff (he hates that in action movies) XD but it was sweet and innocent with no sexual scenes (he hates that too in movies and so do I!) He said it was great action, good effects, and the acting was fairly well! We're both Erika Sawajiri fans too =P so that is another reason why I bought it for him. She's such a talented lil' actress! =D Just thought that deserved to be noticed. n_n'' !!

Anyway, great great movie! =D If you like fighting/ninja movies/japanese animes, I think you'll be pleased with this! ^_^-V
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March 26, 2007

This customer review refers to Shinobi (Hong Kong Version)
1 people found this review helpful

Highly Recommended Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
This is a beautiful film with breath taking sceneries, great cinematography and a moving love story line. I leave the experts to tell you the animations. The leading actress is both attractive and beautiful and it makes the story of love at first sight convincing. The love of the leading actor for the actress at the very end is overwhelming. It is probably a good topic for a Ph.D. dissertation. And the final act of the actress is most touching. Don't miss this oustanding film!
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December 31, 2006

1 people found this review helpful

Already Out... Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9 out of 10
Just FYI this 'story' is out already.. It is an anime called Basilisk. Which is why the story didnt change for the movie.

But I like the show. So now I'm going to buy the movie.
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December 24, 2006

This customer review refers to Shinobi (DVD) (Limited Edition) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version)
1 people found this review helpful

Very good Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
Very much like a live-action Naruto movie. If you like ninja stuff then this movie is a must watch. The characters are cool and the special techniques are amazing to watch. Overall, a good one for the boys.
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