The sword cane broken
Zack Davisson | Seattle, WA, USA | 08/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For 14 film's Zatoichi's trusty cane sword has been his constant traveling companion. An extension of his body, it is what keeps the blind masseur from being a victim of his own handicap. And what should happen if it should fail him?
That is the question of "Zatoichi's Cane Sword" ("Zatoichi Tekka Tabi" or "Zatoichi's Violent-tempered Journey"). Through his usual gambling shenanigans, Zatoichi finds himself on the wrong side of a group of local gangsters. Seeking shelter, he hides with an old blacksmith, who reveals the secret of Zatoichi's famous cane sword. It was forged by a master swordsmith, the blacksmith's former master. But Zatoichi has tested the strength of the forging for too long, and the sword will break if it is used again. Zatoichi leaves behind the useless sword as a token or remeberence for the blacksmith's former master, and seeks a new path.
Feeling helpless and weak without his protection, and fearing for his handicap for the first time in years, Zatoichi abandons his violent, wandering life and takes up a position as a masseur in a local inn. All seems well for a short while...but this is a Zatoichi film, and it isn't long before his good heart drags him into the inn's troubles, and he needs to arm himself again.
"Zatoichi's Cane Sword" is a good chambara flick, with all the elements that make the series good film after film. Seeing Ichi brought to a state of helplessness with out his sword is an interesting twist, as is seeing him afraid for perhaps the first time. As always, Shintaro Katsu brings out the heart in the character, and even though the ending comes as no surprise, the journey is a good one."
Tubby | Oc. Md | 08/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First and foremost I would advise that any viewer who wants to add Zatoichi to their list of movies , do so by watching the first one.There are many values from this , the main one being the character outlines mean little if you have not followed him as he strolls through life, being the man he is I beleive it is crucial for the viewer to first understand much about him before watching this one. Zatoichi's Cane Sword was a very exciting film with lots of plots and twists around every turn,duckhunt dancing and of course the beloved kindhearted yet deadly Zatoichi. Need I say more? I awaited this one for a long time and was mighty pleased with it when I first saw it and any Zato fan would be advised to add this one to the collection. I will not give away any of the movie because I had to buy it as well. Regardless what some might say about the man verse the myth I would say that these are plainly ,some of the best films I have ever seen. Some like to spend time putting down a man's life work with a few harsh words when the true fact is that they themselves are the ones they speak of. In Shintaro Katsu's case let us relish in the true beauty of one man's work and the undying gift he left all of us......ZATOICHI.............."
#15: SUPERB AND OUTSTANDING ZATOICHI FILM
Ernest Jagger | Culver City, California | 09/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 15th entry into the Zatoichi series is a truly superb one. I highly recommend this episode. As this Zatoichi episode opens up, we find that Ichi has run afoul of the local gangs when he is gambling. Therefore, Zatoichi finds shelter in the local blacksmith's place. It is here that he discovers that his cane-sword is about to break. The blacksmith tells Ichi that if he uses the sword one more time it will snap.
What is poor Ichi to do? Long the companion of the blind masseur, the cane-sword must now be retired. Further, Ichi decides to give up the sword, and live a straight and narrow life. Really? Well, he tries to anyhow. But this is a Zatoichi movie right? Now, with all these "bad-guys" lurking all over the place how is this possible? Well its not. And when the locals are terrorized who else is there to help? You got it--Zatoichi. Not to let a bad sword stand in his way, there will be plenty of action to go around. Besides being a good drama, and action film, this Zatoichi episode is also a very humorus one as well.
The cinematography and acting are excellent--as usual. This Zatoichi episiode is a true delight. I do not wish to give away too much of this film, because I think that you will enjoy it, whether or not you are a Zatoichi fan. This is a great episode and most highly recommended. [Stars: 5+]"