Ninja Vixens: Crimson Blades

The second title for Neon-g is Ninja Vixens: Crimson Blades which continues the “Ninja Vixen” tales of babes, blades, and beauty. Completely unrelated to the first film, we begin anew in the days of ninja clans as the rogue ninja Shinobu fullfils her debt to the village chief who saved her from dying on the streets. Not having the benefit of a couple known Japanese AV stars in the lead roles, Ninja Vixens: Crimson Blades attempts to focus more on story and action to draw you into the battle between two lovers and the forces putting them at odds against each other.

DVD: Ninja Vixens: Crimson Blades
Release Date: 9/26/2006
Release Studio: Geneon Entertainment / Neon-g

MSRP: $19.98
Audio: Japanese 2.0 DD
Subtitles: English
Episodes: 1
Runtime: 81mins
Extras: Preview description for Ninja Vixens: Flames of Seduction

Notes: Review is based on a Screener copy of the final product. The video is letterbox (non-anamorphic widescreen), the screencaps have been cropped to reduce the amount of black bars shown.

Crimson Blades opens with Shinobu (Yukashi Otaki) skillfully seducing a troublesome magistrate in bed. At the height of his ecstasy, she kills him without mercy. Upon returning to the village chief (Mudo Oda) thanks her for removing yet another crooked magistrate who had been tormenting the local farmers and raping the women. In his eyes, the punishment is fair to avenge the death of the chief’s daughter. His remaining daughter (REIKA of Siblings ~Lovedoll~ fame) lashes out in a panic at the mere mentioning of the magistrate’s actions with her own memories of the events. Shinobu remains reserved and looks elsewhere as she’s determined to repay the debt of saving her life.

But in her two years of serving the village chief well, all is ruined by a chance encounter with a group of ninjas attacking a lone man. Shinobu quickly defeats them only to find out that the man she saved is a man she already knows. Hanji (Ryouji Sugimoto) comes from her former clan and has sought out her assistance. The rogue ninja is on the run for having been accused of killing the master of the clan, but it seems that really Hanji is the man who did the deed that has forced her to be on the run for so long. Hanji explains the assorted details of two brothers fighting for control of the clan and his unwitting part in the feud. Meanwhile, word has gotten back to their former village as two agents have been dispatched to handle the matter. Dragon (Kenji Arai) and Maple (Mayuko Sawada) watch from the trees as Shinobu decides Hanji’s fate for having cursed her with this life. As tempted as she is to kill him, Shinobu suddenly falls to a potion he slipped in her drink when she wasn’t looking. At the hands of her former friend, Hanji ravishes Shinobu’s body to enjoy the fruit that was always denied to him. Only his confession of love for her saves his skin.

However, matters are far more complicated. Shinobu still loves Dragon, her former lover, even though Dragon believes she killed his father, the village master. Hanji loves Shinobu and hates that Dragon was her boyfriend. Meanwhile, Maple carries feelings for Dragon and is trying to seduce him with potions and womenly charms so he will enjoy her own offerings. Only 20 minutes into the movie and it’s already starting to look like an Aaron Spelling series as each new twist of deceit is revealed. And so Dragon takes the only option available to him: he attacks Shinobu’s home in the cover of night as she serves Hanji food to help heal his injuries.

Dragon and Shinobu’s battle spills out into the village streets and then to another building. The heated battle intensifies with their arguing about the “actions” which have brought them to this point. Shinobu attempts to confess her innocence, but Dragon doesn’t believe her as his thoughts are clouded with revenge. Seeing no other option, Shinobu escapes using her special explosive power to see if Hanji is safe. Meanwhile, Maple sneaks into Shinobu’s hut to steal some of Hanji’s potion only to be caught by Hanji himself. Hanji scolds Maple before conferring on their plot to keep the lovers seperate for their own selfish desires. OK, now it’s an Aaron Spelling series.

The story in Crimson Blades relies heavily on the use of twists to create a deep plot. However, the plot is about as deep as a puddle, leaving the viewer either annoyed or bored with the constant execution of yet another twist. The title attempts to use this veil to hide the fact that it’s a B-movie instead of a sad tale of lovers being seperated by a destiny they do not have control over. Sexual situations and nudity sprinkled in just seem pointless with everything else going on. On the other hand, the acting is still better here than Flame of Seduction with Kenji Arai providing a decent performance for Yukashi Otaki to work off of in their scenes.

Ninja Vixens: Crimson Blades is a title for the completist and those who just can’t get enough of Japanese girls dressed as ninjas. Everyone else would probably be better off buying one of the other Ninja Vixens titles and simply renting this one. The video suffers from the same artifacting that comes from its original DV camcorder filming, but it isn’t as bad as in Flame of Seduction. The subtitles can pop on and off a bit too fast to read at times, so make sure you have a remote handy in case you need to rewind a few times. The nudity is again reduced to some naked breasts, fondling, and below-soap-opera-standard thrusting with Shinobu and Maple briefly. While the girls are cute, it’s hard to recommend picking up the title for that particular feature. The packaging refers to this as Yukashi Otaki’s film debut. Unfortunately, it also seems to be the death of her career from what we can find. Hopefully at least the regular Cawaii! magazine cover girl REIKA will see a growing fanbase in North America so that Siblings ~Lovedoll~ can be licensed.