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It’s strange that there aren’t that many good old down to earth Samurai/Ninja anime that exploit your usual hack and slash tropes when it’s like the Japanese thing. I can only name Sword of Stranger , Ruroni Kenshin ,Shigurui ,Ninja Scroll and maybe Dagger of Kamui off the top of my head. That’s pretty sad because I have soft spot for historical action flicks of ninja and samurai. So what to do? I stooped down so low by watching Kage .

So what is Kage? To put it simply , Kage is an original 4 episodes ova produced in 2004 by studio APPP who brought us classic like Jo Jo Bizzare Adventure(2000) , Project A-ko and Robot Carnival .

To be frank , I don’t really know any of the production crew but most of them did some all right stuff . Marco D’Ambrosio did the music ,  Takahashi Shinya , the veteran who did a whole lot of animating for family series that run forever and some other great stuff did the character design and Masashi Abe who directed a bunch of run-of-the-mill stuff directed it. Pretty all right crew as far as I know .

Now first thing first , even though Kage was labelled as a hentai ,  it doesn’t really fit with what you call hentai . Well for one , it tried to be really classy by showing little to no genitals .Not to mention , as random as the sex can be , they are sort of justified because women ninjas kill their target while having sex or being rape right? They are really just like the slightly extended sex scene from Ninja Scroll so it wasn’t really fair to call it out right porn . Though it was pretty misogynist but whatever , that’s what I am looking for anyway .

As for the story itself, Kage was exceptionally coherent even though it has a hentai label . Though it was because it’s so simple and bare bone , there isn’t anyway to fuck it up . It’s just a hack and slash ninja flick with lots of decapitated  heads , random sex , revenge and nothing else . It’s a true “it’s what it is” series where you get what you asked for and it did what I asked it to do pretty well done. That’s not saying it was good or what but considering the lack of watch-able series with such genre , it was pretty decent.

The story follows a ninja girl who hides on a roof and see some hot girl having sex with a man . Then she threw a needle down but the hot girl dragged the man to dodge it then proceed to use a string to decapitate his head , implying that she was a ninja as well . Blood flows and the hot girl suddenly turned into a blond and have a small confrontation with the hiding ninja girl , naked! After the hot girl escape , the scene shows the hot girl bathing and getting all excited about blood while a man washes her body . The story continues by following the link behind the ninja girl , hot girl and washing body man’s past and missions. Simple and easy .

Though when they are not having sex or fightings , the plot meanders around some of the most useless characters ever . They are frigging boring but it was only a 4 episode ova and so the runtime for those boring characters add up to about 15mins . Totally tolerable.

The action was aplenty but it wasn’t really phenomenal. It was good enough to satisfy me though so all is well . The production value was quite high as well and the pacing was really fast because there are little to no heavy boring dialogues. All in all , pretty above average production .

Now don’t get me wrong , as much as I enjoyed it , it’s sub par if I wanted to be objective . It just so happen I had the urge to see some blood and ass so it was decent . So if you expect too much out of it or didn’t have the right mood , it can easily be the most laughable and offensive anime you watched.  Even as a ninja/samurai flick , it wasn’t top grade stuff like Sword of Stranger but it was decent enough for me to invest my time with .

All in all , I will still say that it was a pretty good addition for the far and few between down to earth ninja/samurai flick out there so if you are a fan  then well , you really have nothing else more to choose from .



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