Today I watched Keita Amemiya’s Cyber Ninja (1988)
I have talked briefly about keita Amemiya before when I reviewed his Zeiram series, he is a highly visual filmmaker who is an integral part of the Japanese science fiction style. The way he blends classical Japanese aesthetics with modern sci-fi conventions creates a unique visual style that is often imitated yet is personal enough that it’s imitators have not been able to rob it of it’s originality. This film is perhaps the most obvious and direct visual mashup as a clan of future samurai do battle with evil robotic ninjas, unfortunately why this battle is taking place is not adequately explored during the movie. There is also the titular Cyber Ninja who is opposed to the other robots because he used to be human and wishes to return to that state.
This film feels like the final chapter of an epic I was not privy to as it is pretty bad at establishing why this conflict is happening, we only really get the villains motivation, to summon some extra dimensional master entity, why is not strongly established unfortunately. And while the motivations may be fuzzy, details about the world itself are even more obscure. I felt that I knew very little about the world by the end and as such had no real understanding of what our heroes were protecting.
What this film lacks in narrative development it makes up for with really unique designs and fun action sequences. With so little time spent on development there is more time for fighting and flashing lights. Considering that the intention of this film is likely to entertain I think it was successful, if only just. The movie is just over an hour long so it does not overstay it’s welcome. This may be the one of Amemiya’s weakest works but it does deliver on his trademark visuals, even if the plot lacks narrative depth and drama, it does enough to make me care about seeing what the next visual is at least. 3/5
this commercial is amazing, almost 90$ for a VHS tape, what?