Blind swordsman/masseuse Zatoichi befriends a young woman looking for her father, a village leader who has disappeared. As he helps her investigate the disappearance, Zatoichi also becomes involved with another young woman who is trying to help her brother, who has murdered someone at about the same time and place as the missing man was last seen. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
This was my first exposure to Zatoichi series, which I think numbers 27 movies. My biggest problem was that the movie deposits you into the story without any explanation. My disorientation could be because I am unfamiliar with the Japanese culture and Zatoichi could be well-known there. Anyhow, after the first ten minutes, the movie is pretty easy to follow because it has the same structure as the classical western: stranger comes to a town with a problem, rids the town of the problem and then leaves. There are twists that aren't surprising and one that is. I have to say that the sword fights are very different than what I was expecting. Each fight lasted approximately five seconds. Even the fight with a really good swordsman lasted only 30 seconds, if that. The tactic of the vanquished standing very still for a little while until he collapses, was a good one and managed to be effective throughout the whole movie. The best fight was when Zatoichi prevented three thugs from ascending a staircase by pretending to be just a clumsy blind man. The fact that the film is very short, helps out a lot but in the end the movie only seems like an episode in a TV series. I guess I will have to see more of the series to really understand it.
4 of 15 people found this review helpful.
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