Kai Doh Maru

Director: Kanji Wakabayashi
Script: Nobuhisa Terado
Character Design: Shou Tajima
3D Director: Makoto Endo
Producer: Katsuji Morishita
Duration: 40 minutes

The story follows the life of a girl Kintoki who is raised as a boy so she may carry on her family's name. Kintoki witnesses her uncle murder her parents as is forced to her home. Kintoki is then given the name Kai Doh Maru and is saved by Lord Raiko who trains her to be a soldier. By age 17 Kintoki is a member of the Four Knights of the Ministry of Defense, whose sole purpose is to protect the city of Kyo. As time wears on she develops a feelings for Lord Raiko who reciprocates those feelings. Before their love for one another can blossom a former paramour of Kintoki's threatens them, and the lives of all the citizens of Kyo.

Kai Doh Maru embodies the great genius and art mastery Producting I.G. could muster. The scenes are breath taking. The colors, and wardrobe of the characters are very seductive to the eye and the viewer is left utterly amazed and in a certain state of awe.

The only pitfall to the movie is the length. Kai Doh Maru is under an hour long and packs so much complexity and character development into so short an amount of time that unless you are familiar with the time period and have some inkling into what is supposed to happen in the movie it is possible to get lost. In addition to that, the movie leaves so many questions unanswered.

Food For Thought
If you are interested in a movie with stunning graphics and visual effects then this movie regarless of its shortcomings is perfect for you. I imagine that if Quentin Tarantino ever directed an anime, I imagine it would look something like this.