Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Zatoichi the Blind Swordsman Vol 13 - Zatoichi's Vengeance|
Actors: Shintar˘ Katsu, Shigeru Amachi, Jun Hamamura, Gen Kimura, Kanae Kobayashi
Director: Tokuz˘ Tanaka
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Television, Anime & Manga
With 25 film sequels and upwards of 100 TV episodes, Shintaro Katsu is the legendary Zatoichi! He?s a low-ranking blind masseur who lives by the Yakuza code and answers his foes with a deadly cane sword. By far one of Ja... more »
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#10 & #13 of series posting identical reviews, Amazon error,
R. Mendez | Ohio | 11/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For some reason, Amazon has posted identical reviews for both Vol. 10 and Vol. 13 of this series.
The previous reviewer has indicated that this is misleading, which is correct. However, it is not correct that the reviewers are doing the misleading, since all reviews posted for both Vol. 10 and Vol. 13 are showing up in both places, which is Amazon's error.
Duplicate Reviews Showing Up for 10 and 13 of Series
Irene Hamilton | 11/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Thanks to the previous reviewer for pointing this out.
The review posted March 2005 applies to Vol. 10, and the review posted July 2005 obviously applies to Vol. 13.
As far as the one from 2002, it's anyone's guess.
Both 10 and 13 are terrific movies, but I will need to rewatch them to do a better review. And I would like to do one large review of both since it will end up listed in both places. Meanwhile, I have done reviews for Vols. 1 and 8 of this series, if you would like to know what I think about them.
--Irene Hamilton, big Zatoichi fan
Vol. 13 - One of the Best of the Series, as Far as Unique El
J. H. Sweet | 07/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"*(This review was posted for Vol. 13, and is meant for Vol. 13, but is also showing up for Vol. 10, as several other reviewers have pointed out.)*
Like the other movies in the Zatoichi series, this story features strong female characters, exciting and well-staged swordplay, tasteful violence (no blood and gore), and our hero only killing when absolutely forced to. While there is nothing new to the basic storyline of this movie - Ichi saving townspeople and merchants from a band of evil men - there are many unique and surprising elements to this tale which set it apart from the others.
First, the ingenuity of Ichi's adversaries in using drums to hinder his hearing is somewhat surprising. Normally, his opponents are not quite that clever.
Also, the swordsmanship (skill and technique) is significantly raised to a much more intricate level when Ichi fights the samurai. This is a noticeable difference from the simplicity he usually employs against more the common/obscure swordsman he generally faces.
Another unexpected surprise is the amount of abuse Ichi is willing to take before acting to defend himself. He is bloodied and bruised when severely beaten; yet, he does not act, seemingly because he does not want to have to kill in front of a child, or risk provoking the evildoers into more extreme action against those he is trying to protect.
The addition of Ichi slipping and falling on the stairs at the end of the movie really showcases his vulnerability, reminding us that even heroes stumble.
One of the female characters, the wife of the innkeeper, demonstrates even more strength than the women in other films of this series: Though they beat and threaten her, she is able to stand up to her harassers.
Many other characters are given a great deal of depth, which allows us to have a better understanding of their motives, adding dimension and accentuating their flaws to make them interesting. For example, the scorn shown by the child (whose previous admiration and emulation bordered on reverence) when Ichi allows himself to be punched, kicked, and humiliated instead of killing his tormentors as he easily could. Another example is the prostitute's judgment of her love in calling him a drunk and her subsequent lapse into drunkenness after his death.
The silhouette scene, which includes fighting and drumming against a dusky sky, is tremendously beautiful.
As in other Ichi films, extremely creative and surprising swordplay is featured such as the tip of a lit candle balanced perfectly on the end of a sword to illuminate the faces of the "animal" bullies, slicing a hilt from its blade while the sword is still in the scabbard at his opponent's waist, taking out several bad guys while protecting the child in his arms, and deftly cutting the bonds of the innkeeper's wife without causing her injury.
Finally, the sadness in our hero's face at the number of people he is forced to kill in this movie is extremely exquisite and touching, and seems to be more intense than similar emotions he expresses in other adventures. We feel Ichi's pain very deeply from what he is forced to do at this stage in his journey, particularly when he kills the samurai.
Though there is sadness in this story, it is one of the most interesting, surprising, and beautifully filmed movies of the Zatoichi series.
J.H. Sweet, author of The Fairy Chronicles, and Zatoichi fan."
Japanese cinema at its very best
enslaved52 | BC Canada | 05/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With the slew of well known asian films from the likes of Kurosawa, Tsui Hark, ect. it is easy to overlook these precious gems known as the Zatoichi series. Truly incredible, Shintaro Katsu owns this role and plays the part so damned well you'd swear he must have walked around every day of his life carrying a cane sword and pretending to be blind. The swordplay scenes are some of the greatest I have ever witnessed and I've seen it all. They are so realistic and provide a nice counterpoint to the frantic flying wirework approach of the chinese. If you are a fan of Japanese cinema you owe it to yourself to see these films. I guarantee you will be utterly captivated from start to finish."