Dragon Princess

RYU NO OUJO
(DRAGON PRINCESS; aka,
YUMI THE DRAGON TAKES REVENGE) 1981

Director: Yutaka Kodaira

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl



Dragon Princess I saw a 35 mm subtitled print of this under the title Yumi the Dragon Takes Revenge. It's more commonly called Dragon Princess. A dubbed video version should probably be avoided, though the film is in general so bad perhaps abysmal dubbing wouldn't make it much worse.

Yumi the Dragon was raised by her maimed dad (Shinichi Chiba) to be an invulnerable karateka capable of achieving her father's revenge. She has never known anything but her training as a warrior. Chiba fans will be disappointed that he's only in the film at the beginning, but fans of girl-fight action will be satisfied with pretty Etsuku "Sue" Shiomi's ass-kickin' presence.

Her co-star is direct-to-video action star Yasuaki Kurata aka Shoji Kurata as heroic Toshi Masahiro. Supporting cast includes Koichi Sato as the main bad guy, Masashi Ishabashi as the white-haired assassin, & Ko Otsuko as the Tokyo pickpocket, & Shinichi Chiba's younger brother Jiro Chiba as a hired thug.

Karate choreography might be pretty good, but the cinematography is so bad it's not easy to tell. The story makes a very half-hearted attempt to have a little depth, in that it at least asks if a girl raised for vengeance will ever find happiness. It's kind of a teenagers' version of Kaji Meiko's Lady Snowblood but with none of the elegance. Anyone who was enamored of Etsuko Shiomi's dreadful Sister Street Fighter series ought to like Dragon Princess even more.
copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl



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