Japanese Film Festival, Kuala Lumpur, Day 4

Ninja Kids !!!

Takashi Miike

2011

Rantaro is from a long line of mediocre ninjas. One day he is sent by his parents to ninja school, a six year course where he will learn all a ninja needs, but it isn’t long til Rantaro and his chums get caught up in a confrontation with two flamboyant hairdressers and their old clan. It is left to the ninja kids (!!!) to save the day.

I would like to read the manga on which this film was based. I’m not a big fan of manga but it would be fun to see if the comic is a bonkers as this film. It starts simply enough, kind of like Harry Potter with ninja stars, and I was enjoying the children’s progression through their first year. But then, out of nowhere, it takes a U-turn into (to repeat myself from earlier) bonkers territory. We are suddenly confronted with assassin hairdressers, flashing headmasters and all other kinds of lunacy. It’s not that the first part of the film wasn’t crazy as well, but at least I could half understand what was going on. This madness continues for around 30 minutes and then we get to a proper story again. The Ninja Kids (!!!) have to win a race to the top of a mountain to help their friends (that’s more like it). I won’t tell you how the movie ends (Though any film with three exclamation marks at the end of the title should give you a clue) but I cannot say I was heartbroken when it did.

To sum up:

Act 1, plot

Act 2, bonkers

Act 3, back to plot

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