Memoirs of a Lady Ninja

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“The world’s first Christian soft-porn ninja film. And probably the last.”

This one is so obscurist I couldn’t even find an IMDB entry for it, despite a fairly high-profile release from Tokyo Shock. I can perhaps see why. It’s more an excuse for a series of coupling, mostly involving Hara, who has gone on to greater fame in the 3-D Sex and Zen movie. She plays a blue-eyed ninja called Hijiri. She gets frames for the theft of a scroll which can be used to gain immortality, and ends up falling off a cliff. She is nursed back to health by a Christian named Seitaro (Yoshioka), but their peaceful existence is threatened, as the scroll’s previous owner sends out minions to retrieve it, and another religious sect also vows to convert adherents to the ‘heathen’ religion, by any means necessary.

So many problems here, not least that no-one involved in this can fight their way out of a paper-bag, in particular Hara, who manages to block full swings from samurai swords with something better suited for opening envelopes. There’s a whole subplot about her mother also being a ninja, and abandoning the heroine for her own protection, shortly before she was killed, which has left Hijiri with issues. It is not very interesting, and serves largely to provide the McGuffin necessary for the final battles, when she has to take on the “Saint” at the head of the rival sect, and defeat someone who has read the scroll of immortality.

It deserves some credit for the blue-eyed ninja idea – Hijiri’s father was a Portuguese trader – and it’s got an unusual take on both xenophobia and religion, unashamedly depicting Christians as the good guys [while I’m agnostic, I appreciate seeing something you rarely get, even in the West]. However, it’s executed with such a complete lack of skill, as to have me reaching for the fast-forward through significant chunks [and I confess to actually using it in the sex scenes]. Despite my summary up top, there is apparently a Part 2 of this knocking about. It’ll likely be quite some time before I can be bothered to review it.

Dir: Jiro Ishikawa
Star: Saori Hara, Mutsuo Yoshioka, Akari Hoshino

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