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STUDIO: AnimEigo
MSRP: $24.98
RATED: Not Rated
RUNNING TIME: 87 minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES:
Historical Notes
Still Gallery
Trailer







The Pitch

Ninjas do it with subterfuge.

The Humans

Raizo Ichikawa, Yunosuke Ito, Ganjiro Nakamura, Tomisaburo Wakayama and Junichiro Narita

The Nutshell

Goemon begins his fourth ninja adventure, infiltrating the Sanada Clan. The Winter Siege of Osaka carried on for most of 1614, so Goemon slipping in wasn’t that big of a deal. Under the guise of Mist Saizo, Goemon becomes a trusted member of the Shogunate’s army. Saizo/Goemon sees an opening and decides to play the Sanada Clan off the Shogunate. This leads to a battle of the wits, as blood spills during the cold battle.


The battle station has an unshielded exhaust port somewhere beneath the General’s latrine. You’ll take a small pony and pilot it beneath the latrine to drop off the bomb. Any questions?
Yes…the fair-haired gaijin from Tatooine.


The Lowdown

Saizo/Goemon slips behind the lines and meets Sanada Yukimura. Goemon is easily spotted for who he really is and he’s attacked by enemy ninjas. Eventually, he’s taken before Lady Asane and Goemon has to answer for his previous action. In the second film, Goemon fucked up and didn’t save Lady Akane. Lady Akane was gang-raped by roughly eight men and left to die. Now, she’s a valuable member of the Sanada Clan and wants Goemon to pay.



Bad.


The
fourth entry in the Shinobi series plays very differently from the last adventures. The first three outings were really straightforward and played up the fun and adventure of the ninja lifestyle. Now, Goemon is having to cope with what his life has brought the world. The assassin is trapped behind enemy lines and can’t escape. The survivors of his wrath now want him to understand an ounce of the pain that he caused.

Lady Akane can’t bring herself to kill Goemon, so she makes him work for the Sanada Clan. Lady Akane brings Goemon before Lord Sanada and the two form an assassination plot against the Shogun. Unfortunately, the Shogun has already ordered his ninja to move against the Sanada Clan. Many people are sliced up and a few are left for dead. Goemon escapes to Edo Castle, where he kills the wrong man.



Lady Akane is kidnapped by the Shogun. He has her drugged and tortured into giving up the location of her ninja and Goemon. The Shogun turns her loose, as he has men assassinate the assembled ninja. Goemon is badly injured and buried alive. Goemon is helped out of his shallow grave by Lady Akane, but the duo are being followed by the Shogun’s men. They lead a sharpshooter back to the Castle, where Lord Sanada is killed.



Lady Akane is out of her mind over the death of Lord Sanada. The surviving soldiers ask Goemon to take over as the new Lord Sanada, but Goemon isn’t sure what to make of current events. Playing off the character’s ability to always be in the wrong place at the wrong time, Goemon is shown to have his first major dilemma in this series. He can save others and doom himself or doom others and save himself. It’s a thrilling conclusion, as the setting changes to summer and the Shogun prepares for the final assault.



The film has decent A/V Quality for
an older flick. I noticed a slight shimmering around the subtitles.
But, that appears in most Region 1 foreign titles that don’t originate
out of a big studio house. Well, Tartan was the exception. But, Tartan
doesn’t exist in America anymore.


Shinobi No Mono 4: Siege
provides ample opportunities to watch carnage unfold in a period piece.
Sure, it’s paper-thin dialogue coupled with an over-extended plot. But,
you’ve got to enjoy a good murder-revenge story. Well, the Japanese
did. There were about nine of these Shinobi flicks.



The Package

It’s the standard AnimEigo
treatment for classic Asian releases. You get a look at the trailer for
the main feature, plus some coverage of other titles coming down the
pike. There’s some stills from the production collected and you get a
little bit of historical information on the feature. It’s not a lot of
material, but it’s enough to pique your interest.


6 out of 10