IMDb > Sabu (2002) (TV)

Sabu (2002) (TV) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 2 | slideshow)


User Rating:
6.6/10   340 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Hiroshi Takeyama (screenplay)
Shûgorô Yamamoto (novel)
View company contact information for Sabu on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
14 May 2002 (Japan) See more »
Other People Don't Matter
When a young man is sent to a prison workhouse for a crime he did not commit his friend on the outside must find evidence to clear his name. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
(4 articles)
Berlin Film Review: ‘Chasuke’s Journey’
 (From Variety - Film News. 13 February 2015, 1:15 PM, PST)

Afm: Backup Media Pacts for Three Asian Pics
 (From Variety - Film News. 7 November 2014, 6:23 PM, PST)

Nippon Connection 2010: Kaiji Review
 (From Twitch. 15 April 2010, 1:25 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Superb Historical Drama See more (9 total) »


  (in credits order)

Tatsuya Fujiwara ... Eiji

Satoshi Tsumabuki ... Sabu
Tomoko Tabata ... Onobu
Kazue Fukiishi ... Osue
Kenji Sawada ... Okayasu
Naomasa Musaka ... Matsuda
Tatsuo Yamada ... Ryojiro Kojima
Yoshiki Arizono ... Yohei
Keisuke Horibe
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ken'ichi Endô ... Giichi
Mayuko Nishiyama ... Osono

Hiroshi Tamaki ... Kinta
Yôji Tanaka ... Toku
Akira Yasuda
Ren Ôsugi ... Heizo

Directed by
Takashi Miike 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Hiroshi Takeyama  screenplay
Shûgorô Yamamoto  novel

Original Music by
Kôji Endô 
Cinematography by
Hideo Yamamoto 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Masato Tanno .... first assistant director

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

122 min


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
4 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Superb Historical Drama, 20 April 2005
Author: Oskado from Kingman, Arizona

I find myself comparing this to the French miniseries, "Compte de Monte Cristo", and to "Manon des Sources - Jean de la Florette". Sabu, too was apparently produced for TV, and I admire the audience and director/producer/art director that permitted such a work to come to light. This is not a work produced for the lowest common denominator.

The photography - the palette - the attention to small historical details, to nature, to emotions is fine.

But I think of structure - ideas like exposition, rising action, peripetie, moment of final tension, denouement - and of Compte and Manon - and the French works seem more selective in their focus, as though examining a small group (the key parties to the action) under a microscope. Each fully. The good and the bad have their reasons, their views of life. Rising moments of tension are interspersed or silhouetted against pastoral moments or even comic or rustic relief.

Here, in Sabu, I sometimes felt the scenery stole the show - i.e., that the action or development stalled. I sometimes felt the focus was confused - that more attention should have been given to Osue, Sabu, Onobu - and certainly more to Roku and to the old fellow prisoner who is so supportive.

But I don't suggest Sabu fails to expose and delicately develop a host of characters - it does, but leaves us wanting more. And I sense a certain ideal "ratio" between the length of the film and the height and depth of its emotional swings has been violated. In Sabu, I find the rise and development of such moments too lengthy, or too understated to support the film's overall length in full dramatic fashion.

Still, there are wonderfully moving and touching moments, people we wish we could know better, even a growing understanding of a society and a time in history. Characters who appear cruel become sensitive and supportive, characters who appear innocent have their failings, and there's nature and fate and a possibility of achieving true happiness through resignation. Its world may be more accommodating than that of Manon.

I highly recommend this film. Despite weaknesses it's thought provoking. It's beautiful. It's humanist. I'll rate it a 9.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (9 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Sabu (2002)


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai Samurai III: Duel at Ganryu Island Fudoh: The New Generation K-20: The Fiend with Twenty Faces The Mysterious Rider
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Action section IMDb Japan section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.