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DVD Reviews: The Princess Blade

The Final Say!

Review Score
Reviewed by Andrew B
Review Date: March 2004
Distributed by:
The AV Channel
Running Time: 92 minutes





The Princess Blade is a story set in the post apocalyptic world of Japan that revolves around a young assassin girl called Yuki (Yumiko Shaku) whose life is suddenly thrown into turmoil on her 20th birthday. In this unspecified future, the world was laid waste by nuclear war but somehow mankind has rebuilt itself. Yuki was raised by the Takemikazuchi when her mother was murdered when she was just five years old and her only family since then has been this group of cutthroats and murderers.

The Takemikazuchi were once a powerful organisation of assassins that were the King's personal problem solvers but are now nothing more than common thugs and hit men for hire. While on a mission, Yuki unexpectedly learns that her mother was murdered by Byakurai (Kyusaka Shimada), the leader of the Takemiazuchi and vows vengeance against the man who stole her mother. Failing to extract vengeance on Byakurai, a bloodied and battered Yuki flees and accidentally stumbles upon Takashi (Hideaki Ito), an unwilling post apocalyptic terrorist who wishes to change the government of his country. Without spoiling too much of the movie, this is when Yuki starts her journey of self-discovery and freedom from her dangerous past.

Director Shinsuke Sato does a wonderful job at helping the viewer relate to the main characters of this movie and also uses his cinematographic genius perfectly by using the colours, lighting and locales of Japan perfectly that ties in brilliantly to this futuristic world. The story itself contains quite a bit of action that not only pays homage to Hong Kong action movies but also to the Samurai movies of old and as Kill Bill Volume I has shown, nothing is more sexier than a girl wielding Samurai blades. 

Donnie Yen also lends his talents to the choreography of the action scenes that really make you appreciate the huge sword battles between good versus evil. Although the story does get a little slow during the middle of the feature and some plotlines are never fully resolved, the action really heats up during the end of the movie that once again shows that Japan doesn't follow Hollywood in its ideologies or the way they create their movies.


The video quality of Princes Blade is phenomenal and is featured in a 16:9 aspect ratio for that true widescreen experience. Match that with the beautiful cinematography of director Shinsuke Sato and you have the perfect Japanese action movie. There is even some CGI in this movie, although nothing too impressive, it does help get the director's view of this post apocalyptic feel of Japan.


The audio quality of the DVD features Dolby Digital 2.0 and although it doesn't use any higher formats, it still sounds good and sometimes made me feel like I was watching a Dolby Digital 5.1 movie. Another impressive feature of this movie is that there is no bad dubbing in this movie as the movie keeps its original Japanese content with only English subtitles.


The Princess Blade DVD contains three extras that include an in-depth commentary by Donnie Yen regarding the various fight scenes in the movie, the original theatrical trailer and some Eastern Eye trailers.

The Final Say

The Princess Blade DVD was a strange movie that on many levels I thoroughly enjoyed. The cinematography, fight scenes and storyline was quite simply amazing but unfortunately a few of the plots in the story seemed to have gone the way of the dodo but if you are looking for something a little more heavy than your average Hollywood diet, than this movie may be for you.

- Andrew B

Copyright 2004 www.impulsegamer.com