Wrath of the Ninja: The Yotoden Movie

I saw this video on the shelf and immediately thought to myself, "They made a movie based on Yotoden? Cool!". Of course, I didn't know at the time that this movie was actually just the original series, edited together and dubbed in English. So I was a tad disappointed when I started watching, having expected a brand new tale. Unfortunately, the slight disappointment soon turned into complete disgust for what I was watching. One of the major flaws was the amount of cutting made to trim the series down from over 2 hours to merely 90 minutes. While the overall story of Lord Nobunaga attempting to conquer Japan remains somewhat intact, a lot of the subtler plot elements, as well as almost all of Nobunaga's scenes, were removed. This made the story rather incoherent at times, and also turned Nobunaga into an unimportant faceless character. That's not how the main villain should appear. U.S. Manga Corps does boast "never before seen footage", but I didn't see anything new in this movie. Another huge flaw, one which irritated me the most, was the awful English voice-acting. I can't remember anyone sounding even remotely competent and almost hit the "mute" button to spare my ears. The main characters themselves were generally unaffected, even after having some of their scenes removed. Of course, I wasn't too enthused about them in the first place, but with the horrible dub job they seemed even less appealing. The only elements which survived the butchering were the artwork, music and action. The art and music combine to create excellent settings which seemed very real at times. The action is fairly decent as well, but there is too much emphasis on battle scenes with not enough of the plot to explain why they are occurring. So basically, this "movie" is nothing more than a hacked-up and poorly dubbed version of Yotoden. If you've been wanting to see Yotoden, make sure you get the original series and leave Wrath of the Ninja on the shelf. The Verdict: * * (poor)

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