Rating: 8 stars
Seen 2 times
Seen on: 02/23/2020, 08/21/2019 (rewatch)
Set in Qin Dynasty during the warring states period in ancient China. Shin was a war orphan. He has a dream of becoming a great general Shin has a fateful encounter with young King Eisei. King Eisei aims to unify all of China.
Length 134 minutes
Masaya Kato | Tak Sakaguchi | Takao Osawa | Masahiro Takashima | Renji Ishibashi | Masami Nagasawa | Kanata Hongo | Motoki Fukami | Takashi Ukaji | Ryûki Kitaoka | Jun Kaname | Jun Hashimoto | Shinnosuke Abe | Kanna Hashimoto | Ryo Yoshizawa | Kento Yamazaki | Shinnosuke Mitsushima
I really love this movie and I am so happy I was fortunate to see it on the big screen last year. My only regret is that I didn’t go see it again in theater. It is 100 percent my shit and basically a story stitched together with all the usual hero journey tropes. I fucking love it!
The cocky, hot-headed hero prone to explosive outbursts
The unlikely alliance / partnership
Overthrown king by an evil sibling
Fake-out by a questionable character
Super badass female warrior
Scrappy underdogs battling an army against all odds
I could list more but this movie really is the kitchen sink of this kind of action adventure tale. It’s a movie that either you’re sold and totally along for the ride or not. It really is like a live action anime or manga (I don’t believe it’s adapted from either but it easily could’ve been and feels like it)*. All the characters are exaggerated esp. the hero Xin. Probably why I love it so much b/c it’s easy to identify with all these character types from anime. Takao Osawa as the great general is doing a straight up anime character and is so damn perfect.
The entire sequence with the mountain tribe (persuading them to become allies) is a scene we’ve seen many times and yet I could watch it on repeat. Even when I saw it the first time I knew exactly how it was gonna play out. Literally brings me to happy tears. Plus I just love the design of the mountain tribe warriors. Super thrilled to see Tak Sakaguchi in a new film even if he’s the big bad. Also looks like he’s been enjoying retirement a little too much.
Of course it’s far from perfect and it would’ve been nice to have the action filmed better (less edits and longer takes) but I get it. They really gotta sell that these are believable fighters especially making Masami Nagasawa a convincing powerful female warrior. Love seeing Ryûki Kitaoka as one of the king’s soldiers (met him on the cruise when I was in Japan back in 2016).
Someday I’ll pick up this Blu but I was glad to see it on the new release shelf at my library. Sadly this Funimation release suffers the same as most of their releases and has no extras beyond the trailer. This is a shame b/c I’ve seen the Japanese releases which not only have a variety of different packaging but are loaded with features. I’ll probably throw down for one of those at some point.
* oh I just saw on IMDb that this is a remake of the animated series of the same name so I guess this is an anime adaptation! Figures and not surprised.