Synopsis by Mark Deming
In this period action-drama set in 15th century Japan, a band of youngsters have been taken from their families and brought to a secret village, where on the orders of the shogunate they are trained to become elite warriors sworn to protect their masters. As they learn the difficult and demanding ways of battle and espionage, they become the oniwaban, or "demon spies," whose skills are almost supernatural in strength and power. When it is learned that one of the emperor's vassals has broken his vows by establishing a private armory on his fiefdom, four of the young "demon spies" are sent in to destroy the weapons and bring the challenger to justice. Demon Spies marked a change of pace for director Tsuboshima Takashi, who was best known for his comedies.
espionage, Japan, shogun, village, warrior, weapons