Ninja Ryûkenden
1991 / 50m - Japan
Action, Horror - Animation
Ninja Ryu: The Dragon Sword Story poster


February 20, 2023


An anime adaptation loosely based on Ninja Gaiden, a popular side-scrolling action game that would grow into a respected stealth/ninja franchise later on. Not that it is all that important, this is a pretty generic action/horror OAV that could've existed under a different title and nobody would've guessed the connection between the two.

Demons have the power to annihilate the human race with a flick of their wrists, but that power has been locked away. A mad scientist wants to create his own demon army and begins bioengineering his own mutants. They lack true power though, but then he gets hold of a special artifact that could unleash the demons' original powers. Ryu, a shop owner by day, a ninja by night, will have to try his hardest to prevent this from happening.

The animation is a little basic, but the art style is nice enough and the film is well-paced, meaning you get quite a bit of gory action from start to finish, with short bouts of plot exposition in between. If you don't care for these types of action/horror anime Ninja Ryu won't do much to change your mind, I had good fun with it though.