Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Zatoichi Vol 6 TV Series|
Actor: Shintar˘ Katsu
Genres: Indie & Art House, Television, Anime & Manga
The blind masseur Zatoichi (Shintaro Katsu) wanders through Japan looking to ply his trade. But wherever he goes, trouble follows and he must use his legendary, lightning sword skills to dispatch evildoers and defend justice.
If You Like the Film Series...
Robert H. Knox | Brentwood, NH United States | 03/23/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Volume 6 of the Zatoichi TV series wraps up Season One, and I have been very happy with the episodes thus far. They are exactly like the Zatoichi film series except that they are in full-frame TV format, and last about half the running time of an average Z film. Not surprisingly, many of the stories are lifted right from the films, or are at least very similar. But the Zatoichi series follows a definite pattern anyway...the discs have no quality issues, although the boxes don't hold the discs very well. My copy of Vol. 6 had a loose disc, but it played fine. If you're a fan of the Zatoichi films, you gotta have these; I hope the entire series is eventually released."
ZATOICHI TV SERIES, VOL. 6: EPISODES 22-26
Ernest Jagger | Culver City, California | 09/02/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For those who cannot get enough Zatoichi, welcome to Tokyo Shock's release of the final volume of the first season of the TV series. This 6th volume completes the entire first season of the television series. The TV series lasted from 1974-to-1979, and each season varied in the number of episodes filmed. They are as follows: SEASON 1  26 episodes; SEASON 2  29 episodes; SEASON 3  19 episodes; and the final season, SEASON 4  26 episodes, for a total of 100 episodes. This was a great TV series, and fans of the films will enjoy them immensely, as many of them are just as good as the film releases. The films are in the usual box format [Aspect Ratio: 1:33:1] that was the norm for TV shows at the time in Japan. [Stars: 4.5]. The episodes are as follows:
#22: "SONG OF THE FATHER AND SON." In this episode, Ichi meets the typical corrupt yakuza bosses one is all too familiar with by now. These bosses are schemers and cheat a man out of his family and home. It is here that Ichi involves himself as he has been befriended by this family. In order to protect the daughter of this man, Ichi comes to her rescue. However, there is another character who adds an intriguing twist to the film--and this samurai who actually has the main role in this particular episode has a major connection to the daughter. [Stars: 3]
#23: "SUICIDE SONG OF LOVERS." This is a very, very good drama. Moreover, the cinematography is just beautiful. Do not expect too much action in this film, however, the drama more than makes up for the action. I personally liked how this film opened up with a beautiful shot of the rough seas and the falling snow. In this episode, Ichi meets a traveling female Shamisen, who also happens to be blind. There is a man who loves her; however, he comes from a upper caste family, and the father forbids him to carry on any sort of relationship with the woman. Another thing I like about this episode is the beautiful music which accompanies the film. [The sound of the shamisen adds to the beauty of the film] Further, the sound of the howling wind and scenery makes this one of the better TV episodes. Also, this episode has a very sad ending. [Stars: 5]
#24: "THE COMING OF SPRING." This episode has a very good transfer, as does episode #23. It also has beautiful cinematography. Ichi comes to a village, in which the inn has no more room for customers. Left to the outdoors, he hears of a plot to kidnap the daughter of a master silk merchant and hold her for ransom. Plus, it does not help that the young woman is very naive and will not listen to Ichi. This is a decent entry in the TV series, not great, but well above average to very good. [Stars: 4]
#25: "WAY OF THE YAKUZA." This is an excellent episode. Two friends journey out to seek and kill Zatoichi. They want to avenge the death of their boss, whom Ichi killed. This was a very wicked boss, and the two young men believe in the Bushido code of honor, and therefore must kill Ichi. They are honorable men, however, the yakuza bosses are not. There is great intrigue in this particular episode, as the young men find out just what honor really is. You see, the yakuza bosses do not want the young men to succeed in killing Ichi, as they know that they will ascend to the former bosses position. There is great action in this film, as Ichi is as fast as ever. [Stars: 5+]
#26: "TRAVELING ALONE." This concluding episode of the first season is great. It also reminds me a lot of the 15th Film episode of Zatoichi. Ichi returns to his birthplace, and at the urging of the Chief Priest of the village, puts away his cane-sword, and settles into a life of peace. Even going so far as to give his cane-sword to the priest. However, this is a Zatoichi film, and by now viewers know this can never be. Ichi lives a the Village Temple with the priest, however, word has spread far and wide that Ichi is in town. This leads to a bounty on his head, and many, many would be takers come to town. The scenery in this film is very beautiful, and the village looks very ancient in this episode. The film boasts a great conclusion, and more excellent swordplay by Zatoichi. [Stars: 5]"