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'''''Ninja Scroll''''' is an award-winning 1993 {{anime}} film set [[JidaiGeki during the Tokugawa period]]; as one of Manga Entertainment's first major releases during the mid-1990s anime boom, ''Ninja Scroll'' is fondly remembered by those who entered the anime fandom during this period.

The main story begins when a dying peasant girl staggers into the village next to hers and claims a plague has wiped out her village before collapsing. The area is promptly evacuated and quarantined, but the leader of the local lord's ninja force receives reports of a group of strangers seen in the wilderness around the village just before the plague outbreak and asks for permission to investigate.

As the ninja squad make their way towards Shimoda village, they're slaughtered by a giant of a man who can turn his skin into stone. The only survivor of the massacre is Kagero, the sole female ninja in the squad -- and she survives only because the stone man (Tessai) wants to rape her. The empty temple he takes her to isn't quite empty, however, as wandering {{ronin}} Jubei -- the film's protagonist -- has stopped there. Jubei manages to wound Tessai in a brief fight and helps Kagero escape, but the duo parts ways afterward.

Kagero returns to report about the death of her squad, and is promptly sent back to gather more information about the attackers. In the meantime, Jubei is attacked by Tessai and then by another strange member of the group of super ninja that Tessai is a part of: the Eight Devils of Kimon. Jubei is saved from one of these attacks by Dakuan, a crazy old man who works as a government agent tracking the Eight Devils. Dakuan asks Jubei to help him, but Jubei refuses until Dakuan traps Jubei in a PoisonAndCureGambit before revealing a startling piece of information: the leader of the Eight Devils is Himuro Genma, a man Jubei has some history with -- and whom Jubei [[OffWithHisHead insists he killed]] years ago.

Jubei's only chance of survival lies in defeating the Eight Devils of Kimon and retrieving the antidote he needs, and working together with Dakuan and Kagero (after they encounter each other again) appears to give him a greater chance of staying alive -- but even for a MasterSwordsman, taking on the rest of the Eight Devils and their schemes is a formidable challenge as the Devils turn all of their considerable power to wiping out the three protagonists. The Eight Devils are:

* Tessai, a giant who can [[NighInvulnerable turn his skin to stone at will]] and wields a {{BFS}} that doubles as a boomerang.
* Benisato, who has tattoos of snakes that she can animate, can summon swarms of poisonous snakes, and can shed her skin to escape.
* Yurimaru, the [[PsychoElectro electrokinetic]] {{Bishonen}}. He can also send long-distance messages through nearly-invisible wires. [[TheDragon Second-In-Command]] to [[BigBad Genma]] (and implied to be [[HoYay his lover).]]
* Shijima, an assassin who can disappear into shadows and wields a crazy spring-loaded claw/crossbow contraption. He also has a sort of mind control/puppet master ability that he uses to temporarily turn Kagero against Jubei.
* Utsutsu Mujuro, the [[BlindWeaponmaster blind swordsman]].
* Mushizo, the ugly hunchback who is a living hornets' nest.
* Zakuro, the female [[MadBomber explosive specialist]] whose body appears to be stitched together like Frankenstein's monster and who also gives the same treatment to the {{Action Bomb}}s she creates.
* Himuro Genma, who [[CompleteImmortality cannot die]]. The leader of the group and BigBad of the story, and the NotQuiteDead ArchEnemy of Jubei.

There is also a minor subplot of the strange love rectangle between Yurimaru, Zakuro, Genma, and Benisato. Zakuro is hot for Yurimaru (who is gay and sleeping with Genma), while Genma is also sleeping with Benisato, much to the chagrin of Yurimaru. For these characters, LoveHurts.

The movie was inspired by the semi-historical novel "The Kouga Ninja Scrolls" by Futaro Yamada, published in 1958, which is also the basis for ''Manga/{{Basilisk}}''.

A semi-related [[NinjaScrollTheSeries anime series]] was created years after the film's release. A cinematic sequel was announced in 2005, but it's been dangling in DevelopmentHell ever since.

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!!''NinjaScroll'' provides examples of the following tropes:

* AccidentalHero: Utsuru Mujuro has Jubei dead to rights in their fight before Kagero tries to save Jubei by backstabbing Mujuro; the attack fails and leaves Kagero's blade stuck in a bamboo tree. When Mujuro later attempts a killing blow on Jubei, his sword hits against Kagero's blade (which he can no longer track by his hearing). Jubei doesn't waste the opportunity, and Mujuro dies wondering how Jubei blocked his sword and stabbed him simultaneously.
* AcquiredPoisonImmunity: Kagero is immune to all types of poison, although it's implied she's a poison taster ''because'' of her immunity (instead of being immune because she's a poison taster).
* ActionBomb: Zakuro's MO. She turns [[spoiler:the leader of the Koga ninjas]] into one to attack Kagero and Jubei. [[spoiler:She later becomes this herself, sinking the cargo ship in the process]].
* AnAesop: Delivered by [[JerkassHasAPoint Dakuan]], of all people.
-->''' Dakuan:''' By the way, [[spoiler: I’m very sorry about having lost Kagero. It´s unfortunate,]] [[PetTheDog but she did have a few moments of living as an ordinary girl and of course]], [[CantHaveSexEver making love with you, that is good after all.]]\\
'''Jubei:''' Was that your plan as well, old man?\\
'''Dakuan:''' [[ManipulativeBastard Exactly, to read people’s minds and control them; it’s the secret of the ninja’s strategy]]. However, [[ThePowerOfLove only true sincerity can hope to move the human heart. Heartless ninjas like me cannot expect do it]]. [[SympathyForTheHero You’re great and I admire you.]]
* AndIMustScream[=/=]AFateWorseThanDeath: This is Genma's final fate: [[spoiler:encased in a shell of molten gold and sunk to the bottom of the ocean
* BadassGrandpa: Dakuan
* BadassNormal: Unlike the Devils, Jubei doesn't have any special powers, which means he must rely on his basic skills and his wits to come out ahead.
** For a given value of "basic", anyway. Jubei has the ability to perform an ''iaijutsu'' draw, which can strike an enemy or object that is beyond the actual range of his blade. The visual effects used to convey this are fairly understated in the movie (and much less so in the series).
* BoringInvincibleHero: ''Heavily'' subverted with Jubei. The ActionPrologue and his first encounter with Tessai seem to point toward Jubei being this, and while he kills ninja mooks by the truckload, when he battles the Eight Devils of Kimon he only ''barely'' manages to defeat them and tends to get beat up pretty bad in the process. A few he manages to kill only by sheer luck.
* BeeBeeGun: The ugly hunchback Mushizo is a living hornets' nest. He communicates with and controls the insects, using them to gather information and as a weapon. The wasps' deadliness has some basis [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_giant_hornet in reality]].
* BigDamnHeroes:
** Jubei is this to Kagero when he confronts Tessai.
** Kagero returns the favour when Jubei fights Utsuro Mujuro.
* BladeReflection: Utsutsu Mujuro uses this to blind Jubei.
* BloodLust: Tessai drinks the blood from the lead Koga ninja's dismembered arm [[ForTheEvulz apparently just to freak out Kagero]].
* BodyHorror: Good ''God.''
* BrokenBird: Kagero has been pretty much used and abused by everyone until she meets Jubei.
* TheBrute: Tessai
* CantHaveSexEver: Kagero's body absorbs poisons instead of processing them; it makes her ideal for her job, but the numerous toxins have made her bodily fluids so poisonous that even kissing someone else would be deadly. [[spoiler:Tessai finds out the hard way.]]
* CarryingTheAntidote: This trope is subverted; Jubei ''thinks'' Dakuan is doing this, so he attempts to [[CuttingTheKnot Cut The Knot]] by hitting Dakuan with the poison too, but Dakuan had already thrown away the poisoned shuriken and replaced it with an ordinary one.
* ChekhovsGun: The wire attached to Jubei's sword, which he can use to [[SummonToHand pull the sword into his hand when it's been dropped]]
* CoitusUninterruptus: Kagero reports the massacre to her chamberlain, who is...preoccupied, much to Kagero's disgust ([[FridgeBrilliance and possibly jealousy]], [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation depending on how you interpret the face she makes]]).
* ConservationOfNinjitsu: {{Justified|Trope}}; Jubei blows through a group of {{mooks}} in the opening scene, but is forced to fight for his life against the Eight Devils of Kimon throughout the rest of the film.
* CorpseLand: Shimoda village is littered with diseased corpses. [[spoiler:Then we find out they were poisoned...]]
* CrapsackWorld: This is a Japan where the ninja aren't just skilled shadow fighters, they're legitimate supernatural monsters that come out of nowhere, resurrect from the dead, betray each other left and right, pop out of the shadows to molest you, disguise themselves as normal people to trap you with venomous snakes, poison whole villages, rape you or your corpse and display barely even practical concern when all their friends, lovers and family die in one evening because, by then, you've seen and done so much that the darkness of the loss and insanity of it all doesn't even faze you at that point. In this world, you literally have to break the laws of nature just to survive. No thank you.
** Just to drive it home further, there is one, ONE moment in the entire movie that has happiness in it. It's the villager who cheerfully tells his neighbor that the storm made his wife go into labor and now he has a 9th child, and even this moment is cut short because a damn corpse wanders in under control of one of the devils to tell them that Shimoda village was wiped out due to plague.
* DeadpanSnarker: Jubei and Dakuan
* DeathSeeker: Kagero shows signs of this throughout the movie. In the dub, Jubei chastises Kagero several times over her willingness to throw her life away even in situations where she doesn't need to risk her life.
* DepravedBisexual: Genma
* DepravedHomosexual: Yurimaru
* DeusSexMachina:
** What Shijima does to Kagero to take control of her appears to involve molesting her; see RapeAsDrama below.
** Benisato extrudes a snake from her vagina to bite Kagero.
** Kagero poisons people who sleep with her. [[spoiler:This is subverted when Jubei chooses not to sleep with Kagero despite knowing she's the cure to Dakuan's poison.]]
* DisabilitySuperpower: Don't mess with the blind swordsman.
* EffeminateMisogynisticGuy: Yurimaru
* EverythingIsBetterWithExplosions: Zakuro
* ExoticWeaponSupremacy: Shijima
* EyeScream: [[spoiler:Tessai is not hard as rock all over.]]
* FanDisservice: Lots of it, although given the tone of the film, it's difficult to say whether it was intended that way...
* {{Fanservice}}:
** Benisato and Kagero, though rather disturbing.
** Zakuro's outfit qualifies.
** There's also Jubei's appearance at the {{hot spring|sEpisode}}.
* GoOutWithASmile: [[spoiler:Kagero's heartbreaking farewell to Jubei.]]
* {{Gorn}}: Quite a bit, especially in the first half of the move and ''especially'' any scene with Tessai in it.
* GoshHornet: Mushizo sends a swarm of hornets to attack Kagero.
* HeWhoFightsMonsters
-->'''Dakuan:''' When you fight demons, be a demon yourself, or you can't win!
* HighPressureBlood: It ''rains'' blood during the Koga massacre.
* HonorBeforeReason: Jubei refuses to sleep with Kagero [[spoiler:despite knowing the act would cured him]]. They eventually do kiss [[spoiler:just before she dies]].
** In a flashback, we see that when Shinjuro's clan [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness has outlived its usefulness]] Genma played a BatmanGambit on them ordering to kill Jubei. Jubei lampshades this while begging for ''their'' lives. [[LastStand They don't hear him, attack him and end all dead]].
--> '''Shinjuro:''' [[FamousLastWords I'm sorry Jubei, but his [Genma's] word is the law.]]
* HotSpringsEpisode: Jubei drops by a hot spring after fighting Tessai.
* IfICantHaveYou: [[spoiler:Zakuro doesn't take rejection by gay guys very well.]]
* InterplayOfSexAndViolence: Benisato and Kagero both have powers that revolve around this.
* IntimateHealing: [[spoiler:Dakuan tells Kagero she has to sleep with Jubei to cure his poison. Their kiss is implied to be enough to cure him.]]
* {{Irony}}: The death of [[spoiler:Utsutsu Mujuro]] is rather ironic: [[spoiler:after saying Jubei's sight was a weakness, Mujuro is killed because he couldn't see a knife stuck in a bamboo tree (which deflected his attack and gave Jubei the chance to deliver the killing blow).]]
* {{Jerkass}}: The chamberlain and Dakuan fall under this trope.
* JuggleFu: In Jubei's introduction ''and'' EstablishingCharacterMoment, he simply ''had'' to take care of three disgruntled assailants before he could finish his delicious rice-ball. So, he tosses said rice-ball ''straight'' into the air as two of his would-be murderers leap into him, blocks the first with his ''sheathed sword'' and [[UseYourHead knocks him silly with a headbutt]], takes his spear and smashes the second incoming idiot unconscious with it, then cuts the pistol of the third in half ''and'' sheathes his sword in one fast motion so fast the ''audience'' couldn't see it, and '''then''' opens his hand and catches the rice ball, nonchalantly finishing his lunch afterwards. It's as {{Badass}} as it sounds.
* LastKiss: {{In a world}} where lust, violence, and greed have cheapened sex as an expression of love, [[spoiler:Kagero's simple kiss for Jubei]] was an expression of love stronger than any other.
* MadBomber: Zakuro
* MadeOfIron: Jubei takes absurd amounts of punishment throughout the film and walks away.
* MakeSureHesDead: Yurimaru detonates an entire river trying to kill Jubei and his friends -- [[GenreSavvy then makes sure to comb it for dead bodies]].
* MasterOfYourDomain: The BigBad has an extreme example of this trope.
* MeaningfulName: Tessai means "MadeOfIron.''
* MenDontCry: Played with in Jubei's case; he tries to be this even when faced with the death of friends and loved ones; with the emphasis on the word ''tries.''
* MiniatureSeniorCitizens: Dakuan
* NiceHat: Jubei's kasa hat. He's slightly upset by it being split by Tessai's blade (not to mention it's completely unsalvageable by round two).
* {{Ninja}}: ''Every named character'' in the film is a ninja.
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown: The final fight between Genma and Jubei is easily one of these.
* NotDistractedByTheSexy: Pay special attention to Benisato's introduction. While Jubei is making small talk, he's also readying his sword for the draw.
* OffWithHisHead: Jubei does not believe that Genma is behind the plot because he clearly recalls lopping off his head.
* OhCrap
** [[spoiler:Yurimaru, while electrocuting Jubei, sees a rat wander into the room and collapse, displaying sutures on its belly. He connects the dots (floor covered with black powder + Zakuro's remote bomb = BOOM) when it's far too late]].
** [[spoiler:Zakuro has her own when confronting Dakuan in the hold of Genma's ship. She hacks open his sake gourd when he throws it at her and asks if that's all he's got. [[BigDamnHeroes "Not at all," Jubei replies and drops a lit candle into the pool of flammable alcohol at her feet]]]].
** [[spoiler:There's one a split-second before this; Dakuan is about to light the fuse to blow up Zakuro when a thrown knife slices the wick on his candle.]]
* OneManArmy: The best way to describe Jubei's fight with Genma's minions would be ''Lawnmower versus Grass.''
* PillarsOfMoralCharacter: Kagero
* PoisonousPerson: Kagero
* PsychoElectro: Yurimaru
* RapeAsDrama:
** When Kagero resists Tessai's attempts to rape her, he flat-out tells her he wouldn't mind raping her corpse instead.
** Shijima molests Kagero, but whether it's part of establishing his mind control over her, for his own jollies, or both is never made clear.
* RazorWind: This is Jubei's only supernatural power (other than his ability to survive getting the crap beaten out of him by Tessai and Genma).
** The supernatural part being the skill, durability, and muscle necessary to use it. [[spoiler: It involves a wire. ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks, right?]]
* {{Sexposition}}: The film contains an important strategy meeting which the authority figure coldly attends while in the middle of a CoitusUninterruptus.
* ShoutOut:
** Well, sort of. Some of the film's character designers also worked on ''VideoGame/SamuraiShodown'' and its sequels, and several characters' designs are based on characters from ''Ninja Scroll'': Caffeine Nicotine (Dakuan); Tachibana Ukyo (Mujuro); Shiki (Benisato); Amakusa (Yurimaru); Basara (Shijima); Sieger (Genma).
*** In a more direct fashion: Kibagami Jubei's name comes from Kibagami Genjuro and YagyuJubei.
** Mujuro is a blind swordsman in the vein of {{Zatoichi}}.
* SignificantHairCut: Kagero cuts off her topknot to show she's not going to StayInTheKitchen while her fellow ninjas are out risking their lives.
* SingleTear: Jubei may be a man amongst men, but when his manly heart is overwhelmed with grief for the deaths of [[spoiler:his friends at his own hands and Kagero at Genma's]] even he cannot help but shed these.
* SissyVillain: Yurimaru
* SmugSnake: [[IncrediblyLamePun Benisato]]
* AStormIsComing: Jubei says this as he runs off at the end of the film's opening scene.
* SwordSparks
* SuckOutThePoison: Jubei attempts to do this to Kagero's thigh after she's bitten by a snake, but he earns a swift kick for the effort (as she was trying to protect Jubei).
* SummonToHand: Jubei does this with his sword via a barely-visible string.
* TakingYouWithMe: Tessai attempted this with Jubei, but failed. (Tessai left an impression of Jubei's face in stone so his comrades could [[AvengingTheVillain avenge him]], though.)
* TheLoad: Despite traveling with talented comrades in the movie and TV show, Jubei pretty much ends up doing all the work and killing most everyone. It seems pretty pointless in the movie, when he's fighting Utsutsu, that he calls out "This one's mine!" when they've pretty much all been his. He kills 6 of the 8 Devils of Kimon, with the other 2 being lost to betrayal from their own brethren.
** Kagero, at least, successfully helps Jubei in winning several fights indirectly, but despite her supposed talent in ninja martial arts, the only hits she ever makes that connect are, ironically enough, when she's hitting Jubei.
* TragicKeepsake: Jubei ties [[spoiler:Kagero's headband]] on his sword's scabbard.
* TryingNotToCry: Yeah, MenDontCry in medieval Japan, but it still took ALL that Jubei had to do so until Kagero passed on in his arms, and even then a SingleTear that honored his manly heart was shed.
* {{Tsundere}}: Kagero is a rare ''tragic'' example of this trope; she didn't learn to express her feelings until it was too late.
* TwinkleToesSamurai: Utsutsu Mujuro.
* UseYourHead: During the climax, Jubei manages to knock Genma to the ground -- despite having a broken arm -- and repeatedly headbutts Genma hard enough to ''cave his face in''. Genma gets back up seconds later, [[{{Badass}} but still...]]
* VillainousRescue: Yurimaru has strung up Jubei with his wires and is torturing him by via electrocution -- then [[WomanScorned Zakuro]] uses one of her "living bombs" to kill Yurimaru (Jubei manages to escape, although he is severely hurt).
* WalkingTheEarth: Jubei starts the movie doing this. [[spoiler:He ends the movie in the same way.]]
* WhatMeasureIsAMook: The Koga ninja clan is regarded as expendable; their lord regards their slaughter with irritation, since they didn't do their job properly.
* WhenSheSmiles: Kagero blushing like a ''real'' girl for the first time as Jubei tenderly held her was simply ''adorable.''
* WomanScorned: Zakuro doesn't take Yurimaru rejecting her well at all.
* WorthyOpponent: Mujuro
* {{Yandere}}: Zakuro
* YaoiGuys: This trope is alluded to with Genma and Yurimaru.
* YouHaveFailedMe / YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: [[spoiler:Yurimaru kills Benisato when she outlives her usefulness by failing twice to kill Jubei in one evening; [[MurderTheHypotenuse the fact she was sleeping with Genma, his lover, was an added bonus.]]]]
* YouNeedToGetLaid: Apparently Dakuan's second objective in [[spoiler:hiring Jubei and Kagero in the same team.]]

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