Blind swordsman/masseur Ichi (known as Zatoichi, or "Masseur Ichi") angers a local yakuza gang when he defeats several of them in a wrestling match. When he finds that his long lost love Tane is nearby and romantically involved with a tough samurai in the employ of the gang, he remains in the village. Meanwhile, the young heir to the leadership is forced to confront his own fear and weakness when the gang insists he fight Ichi. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The recurrence of a lost love might have made for an interesting change of pace, and change of tone for this series, but that mostly takes second stage to a contrived, yet shallow, story of redemption, without much resolution.
The climactic battles are reasonably good here, but it all feels alternately a bit too choreographed, and poorly choreographed, as the innumerable thugs all seem to politely wait their turn to attack Ichi, who barely gives them a passing glance, before they fall over dead, bloodlessly, and without even so much as a tear to their clothing.
I found the sake bottle scene to be too silly of a gimmick, like the slicing of candles with his sword, as well.
Still watchable, though, but a drop in quality from the earlier installments.
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