Sword for Truth (1990) - full transcript

Feudal Japan: Amidst the absolute rule of the Shogun, one man, Shuranosuke Sakaki the master swordsman, furiously protected his independence. Bearing the legendary blade Onimaru he walks alone and unafraid, cutting a swathe through those who stand in his way. Hired by the Tokugawa Shogunate to rescue Princess Mayu from the clutches of a group of bandit ninjas - the Seki Ninja, Shuranosuke must rely upon all his skills as well as the aid of the beautiful ninja thief Orin to stand against the summoned undead spirits of Hell barring his way. Featuring direction by Osamu Dezaki and character designs by frequent collaborator Akio Sugino, Sword for Truth was based on a novel by Jo Toriumi (Yotoden) which also inspired the 1998 live-action film Legend of the Devil.

It has been 32 years since the start
of the Tokugawa Shogunate.

Iemitsu, the third Shogun,
now rules a seemingly peaceful nation.

There remain, however,
numerous problems still left unsettled.

Many forces are seeking to overthrow
the Tokugawa government...

and another cause for concern
is the clandestine Christians.

Are you sure that the clandestine
Christians have a meeting tonight?

We're certain, sir!

Don't just stand there!
Capture this monster!

Why, you! Ring the bell!
We must warn the Lord!

Don't panic, men!

It's just an overgrown tiger
that's escaped from a freak show!

Calm down!

We must protect the princess!

Guns ready!


Who's there?

Princess Mayu!


Guard the princess!

I'll get you.

Don't go, sir!
The thing is a monster!

- There is nothing we can do to stop it!
- Let go of me!

It's heading in the direction of
Edo Castle! We must protect our Lord!

Let me go! If I must give my life
to save the Lord, I will!

Out of my way, beast.

Thank you, sir! You have saved
our Lord from this monster!

Out of my way, sir.

What is your name, sir?

That's the crest of two scythes
crossing each other.

It's known as the "Scythes Of Death",
sir, and is rarely used.

It should be quite easy to find out
who that man is, sir.

Roll up! Roll up!

Come and see
the amazing snake woman!

A snake that's lived
for 200 years.

You'll never have seen anything
so strange as the amazing snake woman.

Hey, did you hear?

That tiger broke out of its cage
and killed 50 police officers.

Wish it could've
eaten my wife, too!

Your wife? Nah!

Not even a tiger
would be hungry enough to eat HER!

Excuse me.

Oh, I'm sorry.

Wait, sir!

You bear the crest
of crossed scythes.

You must be Shuranosuke Sakaki.

I am.

We have orders to kill you.

Let me Warn you.

If you wish to stay alive,
don't draw your swords.



I'm very impressed.

Six men down in a single instant.
It's more than I'd expected.

So, these men were sacrificed
to test my poWer.

That's right.
They were loyal servants.

And I suppose
you're a loyal servant, too.

Gunbei Tashiro, of the Nakura clan.
I have my orders.

I have been taught by Master Katori
in the Divine Shinto style.

I have no master. I know no god.


I think I deserve
some explanation for all this.

After our bout is settled.

You may not be alive to tell.

The silent blow.


"Phantom", you say.

So brief is human life.

Sakaki! Sir! Wait, please!

The man who slew a killer tiger
in a single blow.

I had my men look all over Edo...

for the man bearing
the "Scythes of Death".

It's an honor to meet you, sir.

I am Daizen Imura.

I am in charge of overseeing
the affairs of the Nakura clan in Edo.

Intruders in the house! Intruders!

There is something
we must ask of you.

The tiger was probably used
as a decoy...

to draw the guards away
from the Princess.

The intruders succeeded
in taking her away.


The Princess will be
returned safely...

in exchange for the Ginryu Sword.

Send one man to bring the sword
to the Benten Shrine in Ueno...

tomorrow night
at the hour of the Boar.

If our demand is not met,
the Princess will be raped and killed...

and her body will be exposed
for all to see.

The notorious group of Ninja
that served Motonari Mouri.

Unfortunately there is no one
in the Nakura clan...

who can fight them single-handedly
to rescue the Princess.

Please, Sakaki!
Save our Princess!

You're back early today,

That's one year's
advance payment of the rent.

Ah. Business is booming, eh?

Petty job.

Oh, yes.

You have a visitor.

A visitor?

Well, hello.

How did you find me?

Ha. That crest on your kimono.

The "Scythe of Death" is considered
very unlucky. It is rarely used.

A handsome fella wearing
the "Scythe of Death".

It wasn't too hard to find you,

What do you want?

You know what I want.
Embarrassing a girl in public like that.

It seems
I've fallen in love with you.

My name's Oren,
the Kishibojin Goddess.

This is why I got my nickname.

Hey, Sakaki-san.

You do more than
kill tigers, don't you?

Do you hate me so much
that you want to kill me?

Any man I sleep with
has to be hateful, so coldhearted...

and so dangerous
that he could kill me anytime.

Oren, huh. I like you.

Heaven and hell
both exist on earth.

I'll take you to them.

I love you, Sakaki-san!

Hey, send me to hell
one more time.

You'd better go now.

Otherwise you might end up
going to hell for real.


Come out.

Kill one, kill two,
it's the same to me.

This is a graveyard for lost souls.

What better place for you to die.

I'll get you!

Opium is made by drying
the sap of poppies.

It has been used over the years
as a sedative, and as a narcotic.

Any order given
under the influence of a drug...

is said to have
strong suggestive powers.

The Mizari cult
is known to have used drugs...

to control their assassins.

The Ginryu Sword, the treasure
of the Sugawara household...

is about to fall into the hands
of the Seki Ninja.

Mio. Pretty Mio.

Bring me the Ginryu Sword.

Yes, Okuni.

Yes, I will...
get you the Ginryu Sword.

The Eikanji Temple
at Toueizan Mountain in Ueno...

was built to ward off demons
from the Edo Castle.

The Shinobazu Pond is located on
the southwest corner of Eikanji Temple.

There are no bridges
to Benten lsland.

Welcome, Shuranosuke Sakaki!

I am Dogan,
the leader of the Seki Ninja!

Have you brought the sword?

Where is Princess Mayu?

Are you Princess Mayu?

Yes. And you are?

Just a hired hand.

Thank you for coming.

Ah. The Ginryu Sword.

The way I figure it, you used
some kind of drug to excite that tiger.

And while all attention
was focused on the tiger...

you kidnapped Princess Mayu,
daughter of the Nakura clan leader.

Why go through all this trouble?

Why do you so desire
the Ginryu Sword?

It seems like
an interesting enough tale...

to tell over a bottle of sake.

Too bad. You won't be able
to drink sake in hell.

Why did you kill the boatkeeper
and his family?

No one sees the Seki Ninja
and lives to tell about it.

They were unlucky, that's all.

Why did you have to kill the boy?

Whimpered like a pup
when l stabbed him.



You louse. Die!

Stop right there, Shuranosuke!
Throw down your sword.

Let her go. I promised
to bring her home safely.

You'll be bringing back
her dead body.

Try it, and the Nakura clan
will also receive YOUR head...

as a special gift from me.

How interesting.

What are you waiting for?
Kill me now!

Will you answer
just one question, Sakaki?


What is love? I shall die
without ever experiencing it!

Love is like the morning dew.

It stays in this world
only for a fleeting moment.

Perhaps it does not even
belong to this world.

I see. Now I am ready to die.

Take my head off, you lout!


Go on, throw down your weapons!

No, don't!


After them! Kill them both!

Who are you?

Who are you?
You're not the Iga or Koga ninjas!

We've come for the Ginryu Sword!

Out of our way, you monster.

"Kunoichi" ninjas!

No. You must be the Himiko Ninja!

Finish him!

Let's go!

Not so fast!

They don't call me
"Dogan the Invincible" for nothing.

Give me back the Ginryu Sword.

Come back here!

Is heaven a place like this?

You're not--

Don't you ever think about dying?

Love is like the morning dew.
Is human life like that, too?

I wonder.

Sakaki! Shuranosuke Sakaki!

We've been sent by the Nakura clan
to retrieve Princess Mayu.

Here, take my hand, Princess.


Get down!

You monster!

No! Murakami! No!

Shinbei, Kota...


They all died for me.

Hold on tight.

Death is in the air tonight.

The smell of blood.
Many lives have been lost.

The streets of Edo
can be dangerous at night, sir.

You must take caution.

How much longer?
How much longer do we have to go?

Just a little further, sir.

I've been ordered to guide you
to Lord Tsusaka's mansion, you see.

Stop here.

Stop here.
This seems like a good spot.

You smell of blood, too.
The blood of many men.

It's difficult to hide
who you are.

You must be quite confident
that you can beat me.

Otherwise, you wouldn't
turn your back to the enemy.

Tsusaka must have
hired you to kill me.

You'd be smart
to call the deal off now.

Why waste your life
for a no-good embezzler like that?

Thanks for the offer, but...

it's my policy to carry out
any contract to the end.

I'd even kill my own brother
if it came down to it.

I see.

And I might not be the one
to end up dead.

Kazuma Utsuki. Superintendent officer
for the Okayama clan!

I am Marouji, the assassin.

Where is your weapon?
Have you a dagger hidden somewhere?

Ah. Jujitsu, eh?

Kamui-style martial arts.

I see.

You're the third assassin sent by them,
and by far the most intimidating.

Are you married, Marouji?
Any children?

How about you?

I have a daughter.

She just turned three this spring.

She's going to grow up
into a beautiful woman.

Ah. That's something
to look forward to.

Don't worry about me.

No one's going to cry for me
when I'm dead.


Your daughter's name?

Where are we heading?

There's an inn near the Suwa Shrine
that's run by a friend.

We'll hide there for tonight.

Hmm. It seems a little early
for the festival of the dead.

The lanterns will soon be carrying
YOUR spirit to hell.

This is the gateway to hell,
the River Styx.

I am Kagairo, a Seki Ninja.

Lanterns to greet the spirits,
lanterns to carry them away.

In hell, there's nothing
but darkness.


Who is it at this hour?
We're closed already.

Oh! It's you, Shuranosuke!

You should've told me
you were coming.

Oh, look.
You're all wet.

Who's your friend?

We'd like to stay the night.

Oh, come on!
How old is she, anyway?

You sure know how to hurt
a girl's feelings.

Please! Come in, young lady!
You're very welcome here!

One minute you think he likes you,
and the next--

And to think l believed him
when he said he preferred older women.

You liar!

What's the matter?

I can't sleep.
Please, let me hold you for a while.

Just as I thought.

You're really a very warm person.

I killed my parents...

and my younger brother.

How can a man like that be "warm"?



Get some rest.

Princess Mayu!
You're all right!

Princess! Princess Mayu!

I'm sorry to have kept you waiting.

Here's the rest of your reward.

Please. You have earned it.

Words aren't enough
to express our appreciation.

Go on. The money is yours.

Why are you dressed like that?

Well, Sakaki...

we must ask you
for just one more favor.


You must give your life for us...
right now.

I am sorry.

If you want my life...

you can have it.

But I'm going to take
your head with me!

Of course.

That's why I'm dressed to die.

To protect the Nakura clan,
I'd give up my wretched life any day!

Prepare to fire!

Remember, men, shoot us both!
Through the heart!

- Stop!
- Princess Mayu!

Stop! Stop! Stop!

Daizen! What is the meaning of this?

Sakaki saved my life!
I will not allow such absurdity!

Princess, this is for the good
of our clan! Please understand!


It goes against
all human decency!

Princess Mayu!

Go on, shoot!

But you will have to kill ME first!

Princess! Princess Mayu!

Take her to her room!
And call the doctor!

Put your guns down! Go!
You're not needed here!

Forgive me.

This is yours.

Throw a stone at a stray dog...

and it'll never
take food from you again.



Ah, I see it.

So, the white tiger
has been slain.

One of god's four incarnates
has been destroyed.

So be it.
It's an ordeal we must undergo.

It's a test to see whether
the Tokugawa will rule...

for generations to come,
or be overthrown.

This is all a test!

Wow, it's bad.

I don't know who you are, sir,
but it's bad. Really bad.

What is?

The smell of blood.

I can smell it from a mile away.
Yeah, you stink of blood, sir.

Maybe I stink of blood too.

I wonder.

We need to find a place to die.
Pretty soon.

That's what I've been thinking.

What else can we do?