Shuranosuke Zanmaken: Shikamamon no Otoko
1990 / 51m - Japan
Action, Adventure - Animation
Sword for Truth poster


February 13, 2023


Ronin/ninja anime that feels a lot like a blueprint for Ninja Scroll. The quality is incomparable and the film felt incredibly rushed, but the core elements are there. A mysterious ronin, ninjas with unique powers, and a princess that needs rescuing. In the hands of Dezaki, it becomes a fun little filler anime, marred by its limited budget.

When a tiger escapes from a local circus, the police have their hands full trying to kill the creature. While they are chasing the beast around, a band of ninjas is kidnapping the Princess behind their backs. The shogunate calls in the help of Sasaki, a skilled ronin who killed the tiger for them with one single swoop of his blade.

50 minutes clearly wasn't enough to do justice to the story. Some parts could've been cut, but as Ninja Scroll proved, a feature-length runtime would've been the saner option. At least Sword for Trust is never dull. The animation is basic and the art style is OK, the action is decent and the creatures/ninjas are an interesting bunch. Cheap fun.