“Ninja Warriors Kagerion” is a classic heroine film from Zen Pictures (Akiba Heroine). Released back in 2005, this film was one of the first Japanese heroine movies to catch my attention, and was probably the first to catch the eye of many fans of the heroine genre. It features no hard core sex or nudity and focuses on action, a sexy heroine, and relatively mild torture sequences. Even though it features some editing mistakes and isn’t quite up to the production level of today’s Zen Pictures films, it’s still a very good heroine movie.
The story begins on a dark street corner, with several gold-masked ninja type bad guys picking on an innocent male bystander for no apparent reason. They’re evil, and that’s reason enough in these films. Their bullying is interrupted by the star heroine, played by the very sexy Ayumi Onodera, one of the Zen Pictures / Akiba Heroine regulars, having also starred in the “Female Combatants Story,” “Cosmo Agent,” and “Sailor Ninja” series’, as well as many others. She’s clad in a form-fitting white, red and black outfit, which is absurd in every practical way, but sexy nonetheless. A battle ensues, and the heroine easily dispatches the bad guys with swords and various ninja-style moves. Onodera really gives it her all in her fight scenes, and does a great job of selling the action.
The next scene features an innocent girl walking down the street in broad daylight. The same bad guys in gold masks follow her (after the previous scene, maybe a change in strategy is in order). When they corner her, they are interrupted again, but this time, instead of the sexy, young heroine from the previous scene, two middle aged dudes in red and yellow spandex outfits rescue the innocent victim. This may be exciting to a certain subset of viewers, but it doesn’t really do anything for me. In any event, the heroine makes her appearance during the ensuing battle, and the three defeat the bad guys and rescue the innocent girl. Once again, Onodera makes this all work really well.
During the next scene at the girl’s house, some important information is conveyed, but I have no idea what it is since I don’t speak Japanese. It appears that the two innocent victims posses some important information that the bad guys need, and the heroine and her team swear to protect them from the bad guys… who we meet in the next scene in their hideout. They are led by a masked, evil overlord and his dark-caped, masked henchman.
Meanwhile, the heroine decides that it’s time for a long, hot shower, which we see, although only in PG-rated form. Again, these films feature no nudity or explicit sex, and this particular Zen film was made before the adoption of the “Over-15″ rating, which allows for nudity and mild sexual situations. So we’re only treated to blurry, non-revealing shots of Onodera in the shower. Too bad.
After her shower, a team of evil ninjas is dispatched to the heroine’s home to kill her. Even though she’s asleep and surrounded by ninjas, she manages to terminate the bad guys one at a time. She hides in a closet, grabs the bad guys’ swords, and uses her considerable skills to defeat the invaders. And all while wearing a sexy pajama-style outfit.
The ninjas have coordinated their attack and have the male and female victims cornered, but the heroine soon comes to their rescue. However, the evil henchman has now joined the battle and proves to be a match for the heroine. He emits some kind of hypnotic signal from his eyes, which weakens the heroine. In a daze, she is unable to defend herself, and he takes advantage by beating her to the ground with a metal staff. He defeats her and knocks her out. The bad guys capture the victims and head back to their hideout.
The heroine is awakened to find herself with her arms held behind her by a couple of bad guys while another baddie interrogates her. She refuses to answer his questions, and so he punches her in the stomach. Onodera’s reactions here are excellent, and she makes this scene a terrific belly punching torture scene. It is, however, very short.
Next, the bad guys tie her hands above her head and whip her in another very good scene which lasts for several minutes. Afterwords, the heroine is tied to a metal contraption and tortured with electric shocks from a prod-like device.
Eventually, the rest of the heroine’s team arrives to rescue her. A final battle takes place, the bad guys are all defeated, and they all lived happily ever after. The last few scenes are pretty boring, consisting of resolving many story threads that don’t really matter to the viewer (in my opinion). But so much of the movie leading up to the conclusion is very good, particularly Ayumi Onodera as the sexy heroine. I give it a B+.
For more information visit the official Zen Pictures web site.