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Wandering Ginza: She-Cat Gambler (1972)

Gincho nagaremono mesuneko bakuchi (original title)
Nami(played by Meiko Kaji) returns to Tokyo to find the man who killed her father 13 years ago. On the way she saves a young woman named Hanae who's father had sold her for prostitution. ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Nami Higuchi
...
Ryûji (as Sonny Chiba)
Shingo Yamashiro ...
Monjirô Tôgarashi
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Junzaburô Ban ...
Senzô Asai
Hiroshi Date ...
George
Yukie Kagawa ...
Miyoko
Maki Kawamura ...
Kaju
Osamu Kimura ...
Bartender
Keiichi Kitagawa ...
Yazawa
Chie Kobayashi ...
Yukari
Akira Kuji ...
Toshiaki Minami ...
Gentleman
Tamayo Mitsukawa ...
Hanae Asai
Hideo Murota ...
Tadokoro
Seiya Satô ...
Koga
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Storyline

Nami(played by Meiko Kaji) returns to Tokyo to find the man who killed her father 13 years ago. On the way she saves a young woman named Hanae who's father had sold her for prostitution. But by doing this noble thing she becomes involved with Yakuza gang who doesn't want to let their property go and wants to keep a tight control over the Ginza district. With the help of Ryuji(played by Sonny Chiba) she has to find the man who killed her father and deal with the Yakuza threat. Written by Janis Livens

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25 October 1972 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Wandering Ginza Butterfly II: She-Cat Gambler  »

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2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Similar to the first, which is not a bad thing in the slightest
3 May 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Wandering Ginza Butterfly 2: She-Cat Gambler reviewed by Tim Irwin

Along with the first Wandering Ginza Butterfly movie, Synapse Films has released its sequel. Once again the transfer is clean and neat, and the subtitles are once again very well done. And once again, the sequel is basically the same movie as the first time around, but with Sonny Chiba added to the mix and gambling taking the place of hustling pool.

Nami (played again by Meiko Kaji), is once again wandering around Tokyo and the surrounding areas. She's a professional gambler, following in the footsteps of her wrongly murdered father. She's still a tough cookie, and still quite beautiful. Her first act is to save a girl sold into prostitution. She rescues her and takes her back to Tokyo to work as a hostess (without the sex) at a club run by an old friend of Nami's. She also runs into a no-good gambler thug and helps him out, putting him forever in her debt. Then she runs into Sonny Chiba, this time playing a character named Ryuji (like the first movie, but not the same character). He runs the only other prostitution ring outside of the Aoshida Company, which is the evil corporation of Yakuza this time around. But he's a nice guy and very kind to his girls.

In any case, things go okay until Aoshida starts muscling in on the club and Ryuji's racket. It doesn't help matters that he might have had something to do with Nami's father's death. Eventually everything ends up in another orgy of violence and destruction.

Up until that point, though, the film is again basically a Yakuza drama. This time, though, there's more comedy thrown in, even some slapstick stuff with Chiba and the no-good gambler. There's even a little more nudity, though most of it is still in pinups on the walls. The violence, however brief it may be, is a fair bit more bloody and spurty than the previous entry.

I wasn't sure if it was supposed to be a sequel or a prequel, since some events line up in both films, such as Nami's father being dead. In the end I decided it was more like the Yakuza Deka films, also starring Chiba, where from the first to the second we basically get the same characters in slightly different situations. It's almost like alternate universes where the same people exist yet get into different trouble.

No matter, I still quite enjoyed the film. It's nice having the thirty plus years since its release to appreciate the two almost as companion pieces. Chiba adds quite a bit this time around, as his presence always does. The directing has a few more stylish flourishes that Kazuhiko Yamaguchi must have learned between the films. Kaji is once again wonderful as the same character she almost always plays. She's tough and independent, a wanderer in the rough streets of Tokyo. She's pretty but able to handle herself, not taking any crap from anyone. Plus, at the end of the film it's all slicey-dicey goodness.

This film is perhaps a little better than the first one, but as a sequel it doesn't have quite the same effect. Since both films are 86 minutes long it's no problem watching them together; a double dose of Kaji never hurt anyone. Well worth watching.


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