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"This is some old anime, 1989 to be exact. So when people bellyache about it not being up to snuff technically, then there's why. If you judge it by other anime of that period, then it holds up just fine.The story is meant to be moody and semi-cryptic (imagine that! cryptic anime!) and when I watched it at about 3AM it genuinely weirded me out. There is much deceit and decadence, and the traditionally clueless main character, questing though he's not quite sure why or how.Surely this is no Ninja Scroll or Samurai X (Rurouni Kenshin), the storytelling aspect is not nearly as well done. But on a more basic level of horror and intrigue, it succeeds well. I think it all depends on what you're expecting when you first view the film. Don't approach Blood Reign thinking you're in for the second coming of Akira and you will be pleased. But it certainly is not for kids, unless you want your kids watching ground-dwelling beasts emerge up through the bloody corpses of freshly killed drunken thieves."
Shawn Wilkes | Black Tower, Andor | 02/03/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Contrary to what other people say, the animation is quite lovely. People are comparing it to modern standards, so of course it is not up to par if you look at it like that, but for it's time, the animation is superb.The storyline, while not as developed as many other animes I have seen (Evangelion, Love Hina, etc), was enough to keep me interested so that I have watched it a few times over. Also, contrary to what some other people have said, the story is not confusing whatsoever. So if you are interested in seeing more action then story, then pick this one up. But, if you want massly developed characters and intrigue, this isn't for you."
An ill fated lover's lullabye for a smaller audience
sOULiON | Hofheim Germany | 08/26/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Yoma is a twinbladed sword. On one side it's very bloody, there is ninja action and horror but with his mystical and sometimes calm story, his changing colours which are mostly of a darker nature it will more attract people who like dark fairy tales then ones who expect and want to see a good action movie. If you're in search for a good action flick with ninja/monster thematics you should stop reading here right now and go buy ninja scroll, cause this movie might dissapoint you. Yoma is also a melancholic flavoured ghost story about everlasting friendship and love that's stronger than death as well as other pathetic stuff. Romantic natures who might think now that it might be worth a try should mind the fact that there is a lot of blood and brutality as well, though it lacks the typical rapture scenes that are used most of the adult animes (which is a very good point i think). That leaves a small audience and that might be, in addition to it's age, the reason why it's not that successful and why people are so different in their opinions about it. I think it's a very good picture, cause i like dark fairytales with mystical and frightning elements as well as the era of the samurai and ninja clans. The moody colouring which might appear dull to some viewer fits the actual moments in the movie quite well i think (when you're outside at night you might notice sometimes that all around you seems to be singlecoloured or at least dominated by a certain colour). The music fits great, there is mystical music when something strange is happening, fight music when the yoma appear and Hikage has to fight em and dramatic music for the memory and love parts. Of course some things could have done better (i for myself hate the part where hikage is reminded of his childhood where he used to run trough the green fields with his best friend - nothing against scenes like that but it's repeated a lot and then always the same like a filler or something - they could have improved that a lot by using someway different scenes at least), but due to the nice characters (hikage is my favourite anime ninja ever, his skills and usage of weapons is quite unique in the genre - the redhaired aya of the second part is a kinda stereotype character in the story, but a really cute one - the yoma with their mighty arrogance who see nothing but food and tools in humans), the bitter-romantic plot (the end is someway really touching), the stunning fight scenes and the nice music it's one of my alltime favourite animes, maybe just BECAUSE it's so full of opposing elements and different from straight styled pictures."
How a bad syncronisation can mess up a good movie
sOULiON | Hofheim Germany | 09/21/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have an addition to make. My erlier review was on the original,
japanese version of yoma. Lately i watched the english version and now i want to tell all of you who read this - DON'T watch the syncronized version ! Even though you might not like watching movies with subtitles but this pictures loses A LOT in it's translated state. The cute squeekish voice of Aya has turned into an average female anime girl voice, the yoma sound as if they have no lust in preying on the humans anymore - in short words - the whole vocal cast is totally messed up. Alone the way they speak out the name of the main person, Hikage (which they do a lot in the flic) is a pain to the ears. Plus they ruined the atmosphere of the movie's best parts by adding some additional sound effects which don't fit at all. This shows how much a good voice acting can give to a movie or take from it.Watch this movie with japanese audio and english subtitles (most of you are not familiar with japanese i guess), you won't regret it !"
Music Critic | Sunnyvale, CA | 05/16/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I had pretty high expectations of this ninja/horror flick, and it didn't quite meet them. Animation is clearly a bit aged in this one, but its decent enough. There is one very awesome battle scene in the beginning that got me excited to watch further, but unfortunately the rest are kind of weak. However, I've never seen an anime quite like this mixing zombies with ninjas. The whole film is extremely dark and eerie, and the story kind of drags along but keeps you a bit interested. Compared to titles like Ninja Scroll or the infamous Samurai X (Rurouni Kenshin in Japan), this is no match. Then again, it was made before Ninja Scroll, but all in all the title is decent to rent, but not purchase especially at the hefty price they put on it."