Gennosuke, a clan retainer, kills one of the clan ministers as part of a plot to achieve reform. He is pursued by his former comrades, each hoping to complete the vendetta put on Gennosuke ... See full summary »
Before he portrayed the legendary blind swordsman, Zatoichi, Shintaro Katsu played Suganoichi, a blind court masseur with a dark side. An outcast since birth, he learned from a young age ... See full summary »
Hanzo is an incorruptible and unorthodox officer in Edo, as famous for his self-discipline and his love shaft as his sword. Against the backdrop of his magistrate's occasional rounding up ... See full summary »
Nemuri Kyoshiro, a youthful and cynical ronin with unparalleled skill, is approached by both sides in a game of corruption, ambition, and double crosses. The leader of the Kaga clan, who ... See full summary »
Shinpachi, a poor samurai with no prospects, gets in an argument with Magodayu, a high-ranking officer, resulting in an illegal duel and Magodayu's death. To save face for both familes, ... See full summary »
Feudal Japan, 1543 to 1562. Kansuke Yamamoto is a samurai who dreams of a country united, peaceful from sea to sea. He enters the service of Takeda, the lord of Kai domain. He convinces ... See full summary »
While performing in a touring kabuki troupe, leading female impersonator Yukinojo comes across the three men who drove his parents to suicide twenty years earlier, and plans his revenge, ... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
One might mistake this for the first Zatôichi in colour, so bold are the colours during the opening credits that they'd challenge even Imamura's hyper-lush "Kamigami no yakubo" (1968).
What the films achieve wonderfully is that they still allow the necessary plotting to take its time. In modern fare I think we'd be having all the quiet moments and hesitations removed, let alone all the human drama. Thus the film really has genuinely suspenseful moments and genuine drama. Otane reappears, and we are allowed to see a loose end tied in the drama.
I'm going through the films in chronological order just now. It will be interesting to see where the series goes as it matures; these early films have all been very brilliant.
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