Reviewed by: Jason Stillion
Review Date: June 11th, 2012
Last Updated: August 22, 2015
Animation Studio: Madhouse Studios
Director: Rin Taroo
Japanese Release: 1985
Length: 132 Minutes
Version Reviewed: AnimEigo DVD
Language Reviewed: Japanese Dialogue w/ English Subtitle
Plot: “On the eve of the Meiji restoration, as a slumbering Japan awakens and turns its eyes westward, an innkeeper finds a baby named Jiro in a drifting boat; his only companion a glittering blade, the Dagger of Kamui. When Jiro is thirteen, his adoptive family is murdered and Jiro is blamed, only to be rescued by Tenkai, a priest, who trains him in the mysterious arts of the Ninja. Seeking revenge for the loss of his adoptive family.” (Source: http://www.animeigo.com/products/anime/dagger-kamui)
Review: 7 years in the making, 3 years in production, and it came out in the 80’s. This movie attempts to have an epic plot of a young boy and his quest for revenge. The first part of the movie felt like it was going to pull this off. Towards the latter part of the movie the plot seemed to lose focus as to where it’s going, there were too many plot events that just seemed too unbelievable. The ending events right after the final confrontation with the person he is seeking revenge against seemed completely out of character.
I actually like Rin Taroo (director) other works. One trait I’ve observed with this director, is the ability to make a movie seem longer much longer then it really is without it feeling rushed. This worked out great with Galaxy Express 999 (the movie, not the series) and his version of Metropolis (Based / inspired by the original German 1927 film).
My Grade: 2 out of 5 / “May want to avoid”
Watch online @
Netflix – Japenese Language with English Subtitles
Can be purchased @
If you are going to purchase Dagger of Kamui, I would consider purchasing it from AnimEigo directly. There one of the original anime license distributors companies (when anime was not mainstream) and have not had new anime license in some time. They sell what they still have license rights to (early anime works) cheap and do offer a good variety of live action Asian and Samurai films.