After an artist is threatened by the yakuza into creating valuable but highly illegal pornography, the law aims to execute him. Zatoichi, having been honor bound to protect the man and his family, must now run against the law.
Blind swordsman/masseuse Zatoichi befriends a young woman returning home with her baby. When gangsters mistake her for Zatoichi and kill her, Zatoichi determines to escort the baby to its father. He gains the reluctant help of a young pick pocket and together they travel to find the baby's father. But they do not reckon on the father's reaction to their arrival, nor on their own growing feelings for the child. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Shintaro at his best. He's a mother, a husband and a reluctant killer all rolled into one. I can't imagine anyone else pulling off the role of Zatoichi. His interaction with the infant is truly heartwarming. There is pathos and humor as well. What else is there? Swordfighting, swordfighting, swordfighting...
Not that he doesn't try to talk reason to his assailants. He deters an angry samurai without blood or violence in a scene I felt was so unusual, I played it back three times in a row. I LOVE martial arts sequences, but, the reason that I watch this one again and again is the acting and the natural building of his relationship with the infant that he has decided to help.
If you want to sample the Zatoichi series, I would certainly recommend this one to be your first...
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