Awake, the highly-awaited film from samurai action/adventure epic Samurai 4 is finally here! Based on the manga series of the same name, Awake tells the story of Ujima Madarame, who is selected by the kingdom of Jutsui to participate in a tournament where the strongest samurai will be chosen to face Yoruichi Shihoin, a skilled ninja from the Kono Affair. With the help of a mysterious and powerful shinobi, Uji finds himself thrown into the tournament and must learn the true meaning of honor amongst the martial arts.
Now that it's available for everyone to watch Awake, the hype is strong for this sleeper movie. It's been hyped as a possible Academy Award contender since 2004 and has even received four nominations including Best Picture. The online community surrounding Samurai 4 is alive with discussions about how realistic the film can be for those who have seen it before. It's been hailed as a great example of how fantasy and martial arts can work together in a movie, and perhaps the most important point is that anyone can enjoy this fantastic film. If you have not seen it yet, there is no reason to worry because Awake is streaming awake right now and waiting eagerly on your computer to be downloaded immediately!
This Awake streaming movie is in Japanese, but that is not a problem since the subtitles are clearly visible and easy to follow. The movie begins with a very brief overview of what is supposed to happen before we get to the meat of the story. We are introduced to our main character, Uji, played by Hiroyuki Sanada. As soon as we see his father dead, his childhood friend Sayaka comes into the picture, and the two take off to find out what happened to Sayaka's family. What follows is a series of action sequences that build up as the characters struggle to survive in a city called Edo.
In order to save Sayaka, Uji must travel through time, and he does this by taking a magical clock from his grandfather. He then uses this clock to travel back in time, which results in him meeting his childhood sweetheart, Ritsu Tainaka. While they are trying to solve the mystery of what happened to Sayaka's family, Uji finds himself falling in love with Ritsu, who happens to be an agent of the Japan Self Defense Force. In order to stop an impending invasion of Japan by the Teppanyaki chicken coup, Uji and Ritsu team up with a mysterious man called Gingka to help them. After battling their way through a series of events, the two finally come face to face with the enemy, who turn out to be General Ushihakasama, and the anime starts to show its fantasy elements. The three of them eventually learn that their fates are bound together if they work together to defeat the Shikai.
After a series of events takes place that has them traveling to the future, where they meet the original Japanese legend "The Samurai's Wife". The two of them learn that they have a son, Ritsu Tainaka, who is a samurai, and becomes the leader of the Samurai clan. The movie ends with the two of them travelling back to the present, where they discover that Gingka had planted a bomb under Uji's car, and that it had sent him and Sayaka to the future, where she had been killed by a sniper named Setsuna.
This movie is a great example of how a simple setting can turn something outrageous into something very serious, as the mysterious figure of Gingka sends Sayaka and Ritsu back to their own time and reality, while at the same time reversing the events of their first encounter. It is also a perfect example of how two separate realities can be merged into one with the use of a powerful device. In addition, the way in which the events of one timeline are woven into the other makes this film one of the most thrilling animated movies of its time.