Ninja Resurrection (PAL)

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Details At A Glance

Category Anime Main Menu Animation
Trailers (6)
DVD Credits
Year Released 1999
Running Time 80:10 minutes
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 2,4 Director Yasunori Urata
ADV Films 
The AV Channel
Case Transparent Soft Brackley
RPI $? Music Masamichi Amano

Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English (Dolby Digital 2.0, 224 Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio No
16x9 Enhancement No
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 1.33:1
Macrovision ? Smoking No
Subtitles None Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

Plot Synopsis

   One of the relatively early Anime releases from The AV Channel/Madman (nee Siren Entertainment) was the NTSC version of Ninja Resurrection. Since that time, The AV Channel have commenced authoring Anime locally, in PAL. Their original business plan was to release a relatively inexpensive PAL version of a given title with only the English dub on the DVD, leaving the more expensive NTSC version for the hard-core anime fan who demanded both sub and dub versions of their anime. This plan seems to be gradually being phased out as the PAL versions of more and more of their releases contain both sub and dub versions.

    Ninja Resurrection is one of the titles that has been reissued in PAL, dub only.

   Now interestingly, this particular title was the one anime title I have reviewed that has drawn the most communication from readers, at least one of which was almost vitriolic in its condemnation of my views about the DVD. Well, unfortunately I anticipate that I shall once again be inundated with such e-mails as I am not going to amend the original plot synopsis in any way, for the simple reason that the second episode on the DVD remains almost as mysterious in meaning to me as the first time I saw it. So you best head over to the original review to check out what you will object to.

    Despite the fact that the rating on the contents has dropped from an R to an MA, there has been no diminishing of the violence shown here. It therefore remains a DVD that should not be indulged by those with an aversion to extreme animated violence and gore.

Transfer Quality


    The original NTSC DVD was a most respectable video transfer with no substantial problems apart from shimmer, which to be honest is almost an inherent trait of such formatting. Thus, this PAL effort has some serious comparisons to live up to. Unfortunately, it is perhaps not quite up to the job.

    The basic shape of the transfer remains the same obviously, presented in a Full Frame format apart from the opening sequence to the second episode, which is in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The transfer is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The basic comments relating to the NTSC version remain pretty much the same here. This is a decently sharp transfer without reaching any great extremes in ultimate sharpness, being as the overall style of the animation is slightly softer. Definition is pretty good too and there is enough detail here to allow the action to stand out. Shadow detail is good but not especially spectacular. The transfer is reasonably clear with no serious indications of grain. There are no problems with low level noise in the transfer.

    The colours are nicely rendered, although the style of animation here is not for bright vibrant colours. The overall palette is a reasonably richly-toned effort that is no deterrent at all to diminishing the feel of the violence. A rather more vibrant transfer could perhaps have aided the overall feel a little more, but overall I have no qualms about the style of colour matching the style of the animation. There are no indications of oversaturation in the transfer, and colour bleed is also a non-issue.

    There did not appear to be any MPEG artefacts in the transfer. The one noticeable improvement in this PAL transfer is the diminished aliasing in the transfer. In fact, there did not appear to be any film-to-video artefacts in the transfer at all. There are no obvious film artefacts in the transfer either, other than perhaps a couple of minor white spots here and there.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-to-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There is just the sole soundtrack on offer on the DVD, being an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. That is the one major difference between the NTSC version and this PAL version - and a difference that will be very hard for some anime fans to swallow if they want PAL formatting.

    The dialogue comes up well in the soundtrack, being clear and easy to understand. There did not appear to be any audio sync problems in the transfer, apart from the obligatory animation sync issues.

    The original musical score comes from Masamichi Amano and is a fairly atypical example of the genre in having more of a Japanese sound to it than usual. A good if not entirely memorable score.

   The soundtrack is a pretty reasonable effort, obviously without anything in the way surround and bass channel use. Free of any distortions, this is a quite open-sounding soundtrack with a decent enough and natural soundscape.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    The extras package on the original NTSC DVD was not terrific but it was decent enough - and significantly better than this shortened effort.


    Nicely themed with some rather neat albeit minor animation if you leave the menu on-screen long enough.

Trailers (6)

    Whilst the trailers themselves are quite familiar, they are actually a little better-looking in their PAL formatting. The six trailers are Spriggan (1:17), Neon Genesis Evangelion (1:08), Slayers (1:26), Gun Smith Cats (1:39), Bubblegum Crisis 2040 (1:27) and Tekken (1:39). Spriggan is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.66:1 and Slayers is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1: the remaining four are in Full Frame format. They are not 16x9 enhanced and come with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. Quite good technically even though the contents have been seen before. Neon Genesis Evangelion has a slightly muffled sound to it.

DVD Credits


    As far as we have been able to ascertain, there are no censorship issues with this title.

R4 vs R1

    Since this supplements the previously issued NTSC version which was exactly the same disc as that released in Region 1, the differences are the half dozen trailers, gallery and web links lost from that release. There is not that much between them in the transfer department and the extras package is slightly better on the NTSC version. If you need PAL formatting you have little choice but to go with this DVD, but if you need the original language soundtrack and NTSC formatting does not present problems to you, then that DVD is the preferred option.


    Ninja Resurrection remains for dedicated anime fans only, as I find the animated violence (including rape) to be a long way over-the-top. The DVD itself is good in the transfer department if not in the extras department.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ian Morris (have a laugh, check out the bio)
22nd May, 2001.

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-515; S-video output
Display Sony Trinitron Wega 80cm. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Built in
Amplification Yamaha RXV-795. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Speakers Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL