Shinobi - Heart Under Blade or Kouga Ninpouchou Basilisk - The Live-Action is a 2005 Japanese ninjutsu romance film directed by Ten Shimoyama and written by Kenya Hirata. The story is an adaptation of the novel, The Kouga Ninja Scrolls by Futaro Yamada, which depicts the clash between two ninja clans, Iga Tsubagakure and Kouga Manjidani, and the fated love between Gennosuke (Kouga) and Oboro (Iga). The theme song of this movie was the number one hit, HEAVEN, by Ayumi Hamasaki. This movie won both best actor and best new actress awards at both the Kinema Junpo Awards and Yokohama Film Festival in 2006 according to the Internet Movie Database.
On February 6, 2007, Funimation Entertainment released the film in the United States. The contents of the DVD is a 2-Disc Set with the main movie available in Japanese and a new dub from Funimation themselves. The 2nd Disc contains Special Features and making-offs. All of the films are subtitled in English.
Set immediately after the Japanese Sengoku period, Iga and Kouga, two clans that produce powerful ninja for warlords, have been waging a vendetta against each other over hundreds of years.
Around 1614, Ieyasu Tokugawa, the ruler of Japan and the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate, perceives the threat posed by the ninjas. Attempting to consolidate his reign, he deliberately stirs up the feud by inviting the clans to choose their five best warriors to fight to the death (see the list below). Designated as the leaders of the two clans respectively, Gennosuke Kouga (Joe Odagiri) and Oboro (Yukie Nakama), who have secretly become engaged, are unwillingly embroiled in the political plot. Hence, they have to make a difficult decision.
Initially, being peaceful and knowing the preciousness of life, they try their utmost to prevent this meaningless and brutal fight by questioning the shogunate's motives. After the deaths of all their comrades, however, they gradually accept their fate.
In the last fight, Gennosuke Kouga chooses not to defend himself and allows his lover Oboro to kill him, thus letting the clan of Iga "win". Meanwhile, Ieyasu sends his armies to exterminate the ninja villages. To accomplish Gennosuke's hope of saving them, Oboro implores Ieyasu Tokugawa not to destroy the villages and, as a show of her sincerity, blinds herself, thereby destroying her most powerful weapons, her eyes (which possess the power to destroy an enemy from within the minute they make eye contact with her, a technique called "Piercing Eyes" (破幻之瞳, "Hagen no Dō" lit. "the pupil of annihilation").
Moved profoundly by Oboro, Ieyasu withdraws his armies and issues an injunction to protect the ninja villages. According to the movie, the ninjas of the villages live on peacefully.
The list of six top ninja of Iga and Kouga, along with other characters.
- Joe Odagiri as Gennosuke Kouga - leader - he has the power to see, react, and move at very high speeds.
- Takeshi Masu as Hyouma Muroga - has abilities similar to a 6th sense (seeing enemies kilometers away)
- Mitsuki Koga as Koshirou Chikuma - no supernatural powers, best weapons user.
- Tomoka Kurotani as Kagerou - poison specialist. Poison flows within her veins and she is able to breathe poison at enemies or poisoning them with a kiss.
- Houka Kinoshita as Saemon Kisaragi - he is able to assume the physical appearance of others and imitate their voice.
- Minoru Terada as Danjou Kouga
- Yukie Nakama as Oboro - leader - she has the "eyes of destruction", completely incapacitating an opponent with one glance.
- Kippei Shiina as Tenzen Yakushiji - he is the host to parasitic worms which prevent him from aging and heal any wounds he sustained, allowing him to quickly recover from nearly any injury.
- Tak Sakaguchi as Yashamaru - he manipulates thin wires, using them like whips. The wires are also sharp enough to cut through various objects.
- Shun Ito as Nenki Mino - beastman that has a keen sense of smell
- Erika Sawajiri as Hotarubi - she uses some sort of dust that manipulates butterflies and moths.
- Riri as Ogen
- Masaki Nishina as Jūbei Mitsuyoshi Yagyu
- Toshiya Nagasawa as Munenori Yagyu
- Yutaka Matsushige as Hattori Hanzo
- Renji Ishibashi as Tenkai Nankoubou
- Kazuo Kitamura as Ieyasu Tokugawa
The English voice actors who dubbed the characters in Funimation's English language version. The voices were by the same actors who voiced the characters in Funimation's dubbed version of the anime.
- Troy Baker as Gennosuke Kouga
- Kent Williams as Hyouma Muroga
- John Burgmeier as Koshirou Chikuma
- Stephanie Young as Kagerou
- Jason Liebrecht as Saemon Kisaragi
- Grant James as Danjou Kouga
- Laura Bailey as Oboro
- Mark Stoddard as Tenzen Yakushiji
- Justin Cook as Yashamaru
- Mike McFarland as Nenki Mino
- Colleen Clinkenbeard as Hotarubi
- Julie Erickson as Ogen
- Ed Blaylock as Munenori Yagyu
- Greg Dulcie as Hattori Hanzo
- Andy Mullins as Tenkai Nankoubou
- R. Bruce Elliott as Ieyasu Tokugawa
Differences from NovelEdit
Due to the length of the film many changes had to be made to the original novel. The number of ninja on each side was changed from ten to five (with Ogen and Danjou not included in the war) and many abilities were changed or swapped around e.g. Hyouma being given Juubei Jimushi's foresight. Almost all of the deaths are changed from the novel and in the end Oboro is left alive, though blinds herself when speaking with Ieyasu. The reason for the war was also altered, with Ieyasu wanting to destroy the ninja villages rather than determine a successor for the shogun. Some of the main ninja were removed in favour of ninja that played a more side-character role, such as Akeginu being switched for Hotarubi and Koshirou was even switched from being an Iga ninja to being a Kouga ninja.