It's hard to overstate the importance of "Ninja Scroll" in the U.S.. The Madhouse-produced feature was one of those titles that--for a certain segment of the population--was the first mainline injection of anime into their lives. Instead of something more artful or thoughtful like the works out of Studio Ghibli, the 1993 film was a shot of bloody, oversexed, fast-moving exploitation brilliance to a generation whose exposure to Japanese animation up to that point involved transforming robots.

Nearly 20 years on, Sentai Filmworks/Section23 Films has re-released "Ninja Scroll," and for this fan, it still feels as essential as ever.

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Jubei's back--and not in a sequel, a remake, or a TV series, either. This winter, Section23 Films is rereleasing Madhouse Studios' "Ninja Scroll" on DVD and giving the anime classic its first domestic Blu-ray release.

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