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Critic Reviews for Sword For Truth
Audience Reviews for Sword For Truth
Jul 04, 2011Beware of his sword. SWORD FOR TRUTH is a compact ninja OAV that looks forward to NINJA SCROLL and even shares some of its stylistic touches. But it is not Ninja Scroll at half the length it's nowhere near as intricate or compelling as the later film but it should satisfy fans who are looking for a quick fix of nonstop gory ninja action. And it being an OAV should tell you enough. It tells the story of Shiranosuke Sakaki, a lone swordsman who intervenes when the Nakura clan is attacked by an outsized, bloodthirsty white tiger which makes short work of the clan's first line of defense. The tiger is a diversionary tactic to lure the guards away from Princess Mayu who is abducted by the Seki Ninja and held hostage until the Nakura clan can turn over the treasured Ginryu sword to them. The clan leader, Daizen Imura, is so impressed with Sakaki that he hires him to take the sword to Benten Island, where the Sekis are waiting, to bring back the princess in one piece. That's basically all there is to the story, which ends in such a fashion, including the introduction of new characters and a possible new conflict, that it's clear a sequel was planned that was never made. Still, it's filled with all kinds of elements designed to please fans of hard-edged ninja anime: "kunoichi" (female ninjas in striking red outfits); sex (the hero is quite a ladies' man); nudity; an "Invincible" ninja who can eject swords out of his body after they've been plunged into his flesh; a monstrous underwater ninja; and plenty of decapitation, dismemberment, and spurting blood. The chief problem is that the blood is usually colored black, making the whole thing look a lot less bloody than it should be. One wonders if the colors were changed in the transfer process to avoid a harsh rating, which makes no sense since anime isn't subject to a ratings system. So much ninja anime is notably bloody; why the sudden caution? For anime buffs that may be put off by the bloodshed, I should point out that the artwork and design are of singular high quality and worth examining even if the animation is stiffer than usual and uses short cuts in the action staging. The line work is bold, the colors are rich-despite the nighttime settings for most of the action-and the backgrounds are rendered in exquisite detail. The character design is particularly strong, with great detail and distinct facial features accorded even the most minor characters. The director is Osamu Dezaki (under the name Tsutomu Dezaki), with character design and animation direction by Dezaki's longtime partner, Akio Sugino, and the piece reflects the distinct animation style of these creators, as seen in such other notable titles as SPACE ADVENTURE COBRA, GOLGO 13, and BLACK JACK, among other titles. When master swordsman Shuransuke Sakaki refuses to be cowed by the clans populating ancient feudal Japan, he chooses a lonely and dangerous path to tread, indeed. Eventually Sakaki is hired to rescue ... read more the beautiful Princess Mayu from a team of ninja bandits, but his employers leave out an important detail -- in order to find her, he must battle the spirits of hell first. Sword for Truth was directed by Osamu Dezaki.Sergio E Super Reviewer
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