Synopsis by Jonathan Crow
Former music video director for such Japanese bands as Glay and Mr. Children, Hiroyuki Nakano follows up on the cult success of Samurai Fiction and Stereo Future with this mainstream adaptation of a 1960s comic book character. Set during in 1545 during the period of Warring States, the film centers on the once powerful and feared Kageichi ninja clan which now only boasts one master (Naoto Takenaka) and three disciples -- the good-hearted though innocent Akakage (Masanobu Ando), the bold but bull-headed Aokage (Jun Murakami) and the lithe but lethal Asuka (Kumiko Aso). As the trio performs acts of unrivalled bravery for their morally dubious master Lord Togo (Masahiko Tsugawa), they become embroiled in the affairs of the neighboring domain of the Kyogoku clan. Following the death of the old lord, the heir Princess Koto (Megumi Okina) takes the realm of power with an iron fist, even though her evil retainer Takeunouchi (Takanori Jinnai) is plotting her assassination with the help of Negoro (Jinpachi Nezu) and his band of ninjas. As the trio decides to fight against the usurpers, their altruistic battle becomes one of revenge when Asuka is struck down. Meanwhile, Princess Koto starts to develop some very unregal feelings for Akakage.
master [expert], Ninja, disciple, political-unrest, heir, matriarch, princess, revenge, assassination