1 October 2019 | boblipton
For The Kids
When Jaki and the Koga Seven -- it sounds like a rock group, and he has the haircut for it -- attack, the Shogun has to get to his forces. However, the bad guys have already struck at the Iga stronghold, killing Kagemaru's father. Can Kagemaru defeat the bad guys and save Japan?
It sounds like a kiddie plot, and that's how it's handled, with cheap special effects and lots of flashing swordplay. I found it very familiar, because I spent the first half of the 1970s playing Dungeon & Dragons, and there are plenty of magical effects from the rulebooks that look just like the effects here, including fireballs, webs of entanglement, and so forth.
Clearly this movie was intended not just for child, but for young children, and looking at it with a child's eye, I think it's well done. There's even an animated introduction, with a children's chorus singing about Kagemaru. On the downside, there's nothing in it for an adult, no real depth of backstory, nothing but the nostalgia we had for when we were children ourselves, and games were about wish fulfillment and nothing more.