Following the footsteps of the blind masseur and swordsman Zatoichi comes Ichi, a woman and a daughter who travels the land as a 'goze' or visually impaired woman who plays the traditional three-stringed shamisen. This woman, however, has a hidden talent. She not only has the command of a lightning-fast blade, but also uses it in terms of justice and a quest for her long-lost father. Matching her skill is a man whose swordsmanship is only bested by his internal inhibition.Written by
Lyrics by Natsumi Kobayashi
Composed by Ryosuke "Dr.R" Sakai
Arrangement by Yoichiro Kakizaki
Performed by SunMin See more »
A stylish take on a classic legend...
Having seen other movies about the Zatoichi legend and having been less than entertained and having ended up ejecting the disc about half way through, it was with some hesitation that I sat down to watch this 2008 take on the legend.
I will say this this 2008 version was particularly stylish and interesting compared to the other ones I have seen. It stands out as it is heavier on the action and the acting, than the older movies that are heavier on the melodrama.
The movie is easily summarized for those not familiar with the legend of the blind swordsman. Ichi (played by Haruka Ayase), a blind traveling musician, is seeking out her mentor, and on her travels she meets up with Toma Fujihira (played by Takao Osawa) and the end up in a feud between the Yakuza and a gang of thugs.
"Ichi" has some good action scenes and sequences that were nicely choreographed, and they used a great combination of slow-motion and regular motion camera work to enhance the action. And the sword fight scenes were spices up with spray blood, although there wasn't actually any gore, so it was tastefully done. Oddly enough, though, with her skills with her sword, Ichi never got any blood on her and was always pretty and clean.
The movie was driven by a good story, and helped along by some pretty good acting. I must applaud Haruka Ayase for her portrayal of Ichi, because it was really nicely done; emotional and beautiful. The movie did suffer from the acting of Shidô Nakamura who played Banki, the leader of the thugs, it was overdone and very staged.
There was a lot of good camera work in the movie, and lots of nice scenes. They made good use of the scenery in the movie, and the sets were working quite well. And the costumes and props were working well in favor of the movie as well.
For a live action Manga, then "Ichi" was a good movie, entertaining and full of action. I was glad that I watched this, despite of my former bad experiences with the older movies. Recommendable for those who like feudal Japanese swords fighting movies.
8 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this