Azumi

Critics Consensus

This adaptation of the popular manga series offers exquisitely choreographed violence -- and little else.

47%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 32

81%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 16,728
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Movie Info

Orphaned in 19th-century war-torn Tokugawa Shogun period of Japan, Azumi is found and raised along with nine other orphans by Ji, the mentor. The Shogun, sickened by innocent lives lost in senseless warfare, had commissioned Ji to cultivate assassins that could eliminate warlords before they could strike. After 10 years of inconceivably harsh training and discipline, Azumi and her comrades, who have been molded into invincible warriors, excitedly await instructions from Ji. "An assassin has no choice but to fulfill his mission, however cruel or extreme," says their mentor. "This is your ultimate test. You must kill your partner, or be killed." Azumi is stupefied. She and her partner, Nachi, who have developed a special relationship, have no choice but accept their terrible fate--only one of them can survive. With heavy hearts, Azumi, along with the four other survivors of the "test," Ukiha, Hyuga, Amagi and Nagara, venture into the vast world outside of their secluded valley.

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Critic Reviews for Azumi

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (13)

Audience Reviews for Azumi

  • Mar 11, 2012
    Based on a popular manga series centring around a young girl who is raised by assassins and eventually set on a mission to kill off some warlords who threaten the peace of Japan. More samurai than you can shake a stick at hehe yes we've seen this kind of thing before but for some reason that doesn't matter. There is nothing better than seeing a well made Japanese film about their past, yes this has a lot of artistic license and is more fantasy based but its still damn fun. A curious set of characters all led by their strict master and all played well by the cast, Aya Ueto as 'Azumi' is ultra cute, not the most authentic looking samurai but this is manga adaptation. The rest of the cast are unknown to me but do the job well, nothing too special or original but its entertaining. The deadly character of 'Bijomaru Mogami' is fun, an egotistical lethal merc who kills pretty much anyone for fun and is dressed all in flowing white, think along the lines of 'Vega' from the Street Fighter II videogame franchise. Action is fast fluid and bloody when it kicks in as you might expect but its not over done. There is the odd moment of high flying wire work which spoils it in my view, they love that in Japan for some reason. The plot is simple and easily followed, the film looks great in terms of costumes, weapons and location and it comes across perfectly as an adaptation.
    Phil H Super Reviewer
  • Jun 12, 2011
    "No matter how much I try to escape...I can't avoid it. I have no choice...I am forced to kill." Azumi is a pretty standard Asian action flick with a little drama mixed in. It's a better watch than most, though, because of several pretty emotional twists and turns that the story takes. You come to care about several of the main characters, and the things that happen to them are handled in a way that makes them have an impact, without killing the momentum of what's an action movie at its heart. I can't comment on how carefully the plot sticks to that of the manga, as I haven't read it. Azumi is an orphaned girl raised with 9 other orphans by a master swordsman. He plans to one day unleash them as assassins to kill the various warlords that are responsible for the devastating, re-occurring wars throughout Japan. As the designated day for the plan grows closer, Azumi and her companions face one final, brutal test, and then go out into a world that is far more complicated than the secluded environment they were raised in. The fanciful and stylized fight choreography isn't the best that I've seen, but it more than suffices. There are times that the warriors standing around in the battle scenes waiting their "turn" are hard to ignore, but that's a pretty minor complaint. There are some pretty cool and memorable moments, as well. The battles are frequent and entertaining, and the levels of bloody carnage are noticeable, without being overly gratuitous. There isn't any definite thing I can point to as the main reason why I liked Azumi so much. It's true that it's another of countless similar sword-fighting movies set in ancient Japan, but it's well-made and enjoyable. If you'd like a satisfying action flick with a very pretty girl as the lead and a few genuinely sad moments, this is a good movie to try.
    Lewis C Super Reviewer
  • Sep 11, 2010
    Starting out with a multilayered story and very unique concepts this movie seems very promising. The middle third is very slow but the ending really disappoints. What characteristics does it take to bring to pass great social change? Gessai an aged Samurai faced with unending bloodshed and the death of his son create a group of assassins trained from infancy to unify power in Feudal Japan and end the inter clan wars. Blindly seeing his only path to success is selecting out any heart or compassion Gessai asks the 10 assassins to pair up with their best friends as partners once the children pick there best friend he orders them to fight their best friends to the death. The beautiful Azumi is the fastest and Handsome and strong Nachi pair up and Nachi sacrifices himself so Azumi could live. The group of assassins is wittled away and eventually Gessai expels Azumi for her compassion. The middle introduces a lot of characters some are just boring two are humerous, but the ending just follows the formula.
    Bill C Super Reviewer
  • Jul 29, 2010
    It's always good to have a girl as the lead in one of these swordfighting Shogun epics. And the set-up's good too, starting with ten orphans, reared to kill, duelling to decide which five survivors will fulfil their mission to end all war. The bad part was the bleak and relentless killing. After an hour or so and hundreds of deaths later, one of the side characters urges Azumi to put down her sword, "I don't want to see any more killing". Couldn't agree more.
    Lesley N Super Reviewer

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