Kamui Gaiden (カムイ外伝) is a 2009 Japanese film directed by Yōichi Sai, based on Sanpei Shirato's manga series of the same title. The film is written by Sai and Kankurō Kudō, starring Kenichi Matsuyama in the title role. It premiered at Toronto International Film Festival on September 16, 2009,[3] to mixed reviews. The English version was released as Kamui and the film was retitled Kamui: The Lone Ninja on the home video.

Kamui Gaiden
Theatrical poster
Directed byYōichi Sai
Screenplay by
Based onKamui Gaiden
by Sampei Shirato
Produced by
  • Akira Morishige
  • Yui Tamae
  • Tomoo Ezaki
  • Junichi Fujisawa
Edited byIsao Kawase
Music byTaro Iwashiro
Distributed byShochiku
Release date
  • September 16, 2009 (2009-09-16)
Running time
120 minutes
Budget$18 million[1]
Box office$11,891,739[2]



The young Kamui is a runaway ninja who has abandoned his clan, now constantly pursued by assassins. His travels bring him to a seashore village where he meets Hanbei, a fisherman who shares the former ninja's sense of honor. Though Hanbei's wife is wary of the stranger, the fisherman and Kamui become good friends. Life at the seaside seems idyllic but Kamui does not get to enjoy the peace for very long when his past life is catching up on him, and everything and everyone is not as it seems. Now he must draw upon his shadowy arts if he hopes to escape with his life.



Production and release


Kamui Gaiden was filmed in 2007–2008 at Nago, Okinawa. On April 1, 2011, Matsuyama married Koyuki whom he has met on the set of Kamui.[4] In addition to Toronto Film Festival, it was also screened at London Film Festival[5] in 2009, as well as at Rotterdam International Film Festival,[6] Sci-Fi-London,[7] the Asian Film Festival of Dallas[8] and the Durban International Film Festival[9] in 2010. The film was released as Kamui in the English version, and as Kamui: The Lone Ninja for the 2010 UK DVD and Blu-ray Disc releases by Manga Entertainment;[10] it was also re-titled as Kamui - The Last Ninja by Cine-Asia in Germany.[11]



English-language critical reception of the film was generally mixed. Rob Nelson of Variety wrote that "this would-be epic needs more show and less tell" as it "comes to a crawl too often over its two-hour running time," but applauded Matsuyama as "perfect as the brooding title character."[12] Alternatively, DVD Talk's David Johnson said "it makes Scott Pilgrim vs. The World look like The Pianist" and "if you can get past the laughably bad effects work, there's ridiculous fun to be had with Kamui."[13] Eye for Film gave the film 4 out of 5 stars, applauding its "immense visual beauty" which helps to "keep the viewer entertained and enthralled."[14] Tony Rayns even called it "probably the best ninja movie ever made."[15] However, EasternKicks.com, which gave the film 3 out of 5 stars, commented on Rayns' opinion by saying this would be true only if "your reference point is Ninja Assassin or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," but called the film enjoyable.[16] Kurt Halfyard of Twitch Film wrote that "function and value of art is a pretty high minded premise for a simple, populist action-melodrama" and "the collection of underwater, tree-top and sea-side ninja battles are not enough to enliven the whole turgid affair," adding that "Shinobi offers a more compelling scenario and characters and that is not saying much."[17] Heroic Cinema, rating the film 6/10, stated that "when it comes to a movie that could have been great —should have been great— that’s a whole new level of disappointment."[18] Cinema Verdict reviewer rated it 5/10, also finding Kamui to be a disappointment, "built upon a story and characters who didn’t capture my attention with its overall fake look."[19] Nevertheless, James Mudge of BeyondHollywood.com wrote that Kamui "stands out as one of the better examples of the ninja genre," stating that Sai brought "Sanpei Shirato’s vision to life without too much grand standing, and the film is all the more enjoyable for paying equal amounts of attention to character and excitement."[20]

See also



  1. ^ "Japanese Film Festival in Australia this November « SciFi Japan". Scifijapan.com. Retrieved 2013-10-28.
  2. ^ "Kamui gaiden (2009)". Boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved 2013-10-28.
  3. ^ "KAMUI World Premiere at Toronto International Film Festival « SciFi Japan". Scifijapan.com. 2009-09-19. Retrieved 2013-10-28.
  4. ^ Actors Koyuki and Matsuyama get married Archived 2011-04-20 at the Wayback Machine, The Mainichi Daily News, April 20, 2011
  5. ^ Concannon, Philip (2009-11-02). "London Film Festival 2009 - Final Round-Up". Phil on Film. Retrieved 2013-10-28.
  6. ^ "Kamui - Cast, Crew, Director and Awards - NYTimes.com". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2013-10-28.
  7. ^ "Sci-Fi-London 2010: Full Feature Line up films section". Eye For Film. Retrieved 2013-10-28.
  8. ^ "Kamui | Asian Film Festival of Dallas 2010". 2010.affd.org. Retrieved 2013-10-28.
  9. ^ "Durban International Film Festival - 2010 Programme". Scribd.com. Retrieved 2013-10-28.
  10. ^ "Manga Entertainment UK to release Kamui Gaiden and Summer Wars on DVD and Blu-ray Disc | Affenheimtheater". Blog.affenheimtheater.de. 2010-01-05. Retrieved 2013-10-28.
  11. ^ "Kamui - The Last Ninja, ab 2010 Action & Thriller". Amazon.de. Retrieved 2013-10-28.
  12. ^ Rob Nelson (2009-09-27). "Variety Reviews - Kamui - Film Reviews - - Review by Rob Nelson". Variety.com. Retrieved 2013-10-28.
  13. ^ Sullivan, Gordon (2011-01-14). "DVD Verdict Review - Kamui Gaiden". Dvdverdict.com. Archived from the original on 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2013-10-28.
  14. ^ "Kamui: The Lone Ninja (2009) Movie Review from". Eye for Film. 2010-08-09. Retrieved 2013-10-28.
  15. ^ Colin Bartlett (2009-10-06). "Korean Connections at the 53rd BFI London Film Festival". London Korean Links. Retrieved 2013-10-28.
  16. ^ "Kamui: The Lone Ninja Blu-Ray / DVD review". easternkicks.com. 2010-08-05. Retrieved 2013-10-28.
  17. ^ "TIFF 09: KAMUI Review". Twitchfilm.com. 2009-09-17. Archived from the original on 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2013-10-28.
  18. ^ "Kamui (2009) | Heroic Cinema 3.0". Heroic-cinema.com. 2010-09-20. Retrieved 2013-10-28.
  19. ^ "VIFF Review: Kamui — Cinema Verdict". Archived from the original on 2011-12-15. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
  20. ^ "Kamui: The Lone Ninja (2009) Movie Review". BeyondHollywood.com. 2010-07-23. Retrieved 2013-10-28.