Blind swordsman/masseur Zatoichi is pursued by the retainers of a lord who fear that he will reveal a secret weakness of their master. Returning to the village where a year before he had killed Hirate, a much-admired opponent, Zatoichi encounters another swordsman and former rival in love: his own brother. He must face in combat not only the pursuing retainers but his own flesh-and-blood. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the 1960s and 70s, the Japanese made about 500000 Zatoichi films (or so it seems) and I have thoroughly enjoyed them all, even though after a while they all seem to blend together in my mind. Some viewers, like me, will like the familiarity of the character and story, while I am sure others will feel like "if you've seen one you've seen them all". Regardless of your opinion, they are all well-constructed and fun to watch even if the basic premise of the greatest swordsman being totally blind is ridiculous--you just need to suspend disbelief and enjoy.
This is an early installment of the series and it's better than average because it actually has some continuity--making reference to the prior film in the series. Here, in a follow-up, you see Zatoichi pining for a long lost love and having an ultimate showdown with his main rival. Along the way, he falls afoul of a clan who is trying to kill him to keep their secret (their leader "has issues"). And, as usual, the film is filled with amazing sword fights as well as tender moments. This one won't disappoint and is one of the better Zatoichi films.
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