Blind masseur Zatoichi is nursed back to health by a young woman after he is shot by a gang member. Zatoichi, who had come to the village to repay a debt, now feels further indebted. He commits himself to use his amazing sword skills to help the young woman's father, whose river-crossing service is under attack by the same gang responsible for Zatoichi's wounds. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
[after trapping Yakuza Boss Yasugoro into a corner]
They say when you stutter like that, you're ready to be killed.
What's the matter? Aren't you going to draw?
[Turns to Boss Yasugoro's men as Yasugoro stutters in fear]
Your boss is trapped in a corner, and none of you have the guts to save him. Yasugoro, you sure know how to pick'em, don't you?
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In a plot not unlike A Fistful of Dollars, here we have Zatoichi dealing with two big gangs, the differences being that one of them is good and Master Ichi stays loyal to them. Of course, the movie is filled with the expected Zatoichi humor and action goodness, so it's definitely a worthy entry into the fine series. Following what was started in number 6 (The Chest of Gold), Flashing Sword continues to add some blood to the sword wounds, especially at the end. One shot has the red stuff spray hard all over one of the paper doors! Speaking of that, there was also an angled, side-scrolling action sequence with Zatoichi working his way down an alley that reminded me of the hall fight in Oldboy. Cool stuff!
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