1995 / 52m - Japan
Action, Sci-fi - Animation
Shadow Skill poster


April 17, 2023


A fun and short action anime, though one that might benefit from prior familiarity with the franchise. I had none, and while it was easy enough to get into and understand the basics of the Shadow Skill lore, it did feel like arriving late to the party. Then again, I don't think it was interesting enough to get through whatever preceded it just to watch this film.

Gau is a young boy who lives to avenge his parents. He travels around with Elle, his adopted sister, a skilled fighter of the Karuda School of martial arts. Gau trains hard to become the ultimate fighter but to learn all the tricks of the Karuda, Gau will have to look beyond pure strength and power. Helping him out is Scarface, one of the most feared Karuda fighters.

Considering the short runtime, a bit too much time is spent on drama and sentimentality. It's clear that the film's strength lies in the action, both the choreography and the animation are pretty cool, as are the enemy designs. Other than that, this is fairly generic anime material. Fun filler, but hardly the most memorable of films.