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Samurai Fiction (1998)
"SF: Episode One" (original title)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 2,175 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 25 critic

A noble young samurai searches for a thief who has stolen a precious treasure and killed one of his clansmen and meets an older samurai who tries to deter him from the violence of revenge.

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Title: Samurai Fiction (1998)

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Aka Kage, Aoi Kage and Asuka are trio of ninjas sent to perform dangerous secret missions for their master. Although Aka and Aoi are both in love with Asuka, the friendship built from their... See full summary »

Director: Hiroyuki Nakano
Stars: Masanobu Andô, Megumi Okina, Kumiko Asô
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Morio Kazama ...
Hanbei Mizoguchi
Mitsuru Fukikoshi ...
Heishiro Inukai
Tomoyasu Hotei ...
Rannosuke Kazamatsuri
Tamaki Ogawa ...
Koharu Mizoguchi
Mari Natsuki ...
Okatsu
Taketoshi Naitô ...
Kanzen Inukai (as Taketoshi Naitoh)
Kei Tani ...
Kagemaru
Fumiya Fujii ...
Ryunosuke Kuzumi
Naoyuki Fujii ...
Shintarô Suzuki
Ken Osawa ...
Tadasuke Kurosawa
Hiroshi Kanbe ...
Gosuke
Ryôichi Yuki ...
Ninja Hayabusa
Akiko Monô ...
Ninja Akakage
Taro Maruse ...
Sakyounosuke Kajii
Ramo Nakajima ...
Denbei Kimura
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Storyline

Three centuries ago, a precious sword has been stolen by Kazamatsuri -- the sword, which historic and symbolic value is priceless for the clan (Shogun Tokugawa donated it to clan 80 years before that, at the same time that he established them as the local rulers). Lord's counselor's young son Heishiro goes to retrieve the sword himself to protect the clan from the shame or possible demise. He is accompanied with two friends, Shintaro and Tadasuke, and followed by the ninjas of the clan. After Kazamatsuri wounds Heishiro and kills one of his friends, the young aristocrat still wants revenge more than sword itself, but meanwhile have to recover from his wounds, in the small forest house of a lonely samurai and his daughter. At the same time, Kamazatsuri stays in nearby town in the entertainment center run by Okatsu and falls into her. The older samurai tries to dissuade Heishiro from fighting with Kamazatsuri, but is himself gradually drawn into the conflict. Written by zelvopyr

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

samurai | sword | revenge | shogun | ninja | See more »


Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

1 August 1998 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Samurai Fiction  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The sword that is stolen in this film was borrowed from the estate of 'Toshiro Mifune'. It was one of his personal swords. See more »

Quotes

Okatsu: I'm a woman who's killed all manner of men. Even trumped up little samurai like you! No stray dog is going to give me any cheek!
Rannosuke Kazamatsuri: How did it come to this?
Okatsu: Aaaaaiiiiieeeeee!
See more »

Connections

Spin-off Red Shadow: Akakage (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Swanee River
Written by Foster
Performed by Utaroku Miyakoya and Titi Matsumura
Taken from the album "Kyuukyoku No Nokogiri Ensou"
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Cool. Uplifting. Meaningful.
16 May 2004 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

If only every samurai flick from Japan is this cool, then I'd be a very happy man. But then again here lies the greatness of Samurai Fiction. It does not conform to the common rules of period film making. In fact, director Hiroyuki Nakano creates a genuinely fresh look at that age-old jidaigeki genre, by doing everything in the opposite direction. His sense of humour is slick, his presentation stylish and by the end of the movie you can not avoid being moved by the heart of the story. It's actually cathartic for me, a fan of samurai films and Japanese drama/comedy.

Don't be misled by the trailer though, Nakano takes on the film is far from creating a parody of the likes of Kurosawa. SF is essentially a fresh comedy which happens to be set in the Edo period, because it works so well in conveying his message to the audience.

The casting is pitch-perfect, characterization is sublime, editing is effective and smartly executed, while the direction is top-notch and funky. You would also love the art direction, cinematography and best of all the soundtrack of the film. The music pieces themselves are melody narrator of the story, as they carry you throughout the journey and mark transitions of the scenes so effectively.

I must say Samurai Fiction will be half as good without the music, so a special praise should go the the talented Tomoyasu Hotei, who himself turned in such a cool performance as the ronin Kazamatsuri. He's probably the most suave renegade on film after the great Toshiro Mifune.

The film directly opens with a promise of a sequel by directly entitling the movie Episode One: Samurai Fiction. Then we jump backward all the way to the year 1696, the Edo Period. The narrator then states that the character you see on the screen was the narrator himself, 300 years ago. The film then closes with the same narrator saying that it would take him a long time to learn the lesson of love. Enter the sequel: Episode 2002: Stereo Future. Can't wait to watch it!!!


5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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