Non-stop action, a deadly love triangle, and a mysterious one-armed samurai round out the second installment in the legendary Zatoichi series. When Zatoichi discovers the lord who has hired him suffers from a madness that ... more »-- if made public -- would bring ruin to his empire and the livelihood of the samurai warriors he employs, the blind masseur becomes a wanted man for the secret he now possesses. Attacked at every turn by the crazed lord?s samurais and hired yakuza thugs, Zatoichi manages to escape relatively unscathed. But in a final duel, masseur Ichi must face his old foe, the infamous one-armed samurai (played by Tomisaburo Wakayama, the brother of star Shintaro Katsu).« less
Mark vonSchlegell | Chicago, Illinois United States | 05/28/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the second in a series of 20-plus films about traveling masseur, petty gangster, and deadly swordsman Zatoichi. This film looks a tad better than the first one. HVE is to be commended for putting these films out in a widescreen format as well as trying to restore them to their original luster. After all, this is a nearly 40 year old movie! This film builds on some of the characters and situations from the first one so it's advisable to get that one first. One thing about this series is that it relies on as much dialogue as it does action. Zatoichi is a likable rogue, but he's not turned into a total scoundrel. If you're serious about collecting Japanese cinema, as well as good martial arts films, then the Zatoichi films are a must buy. Trivia Note: the one armed samurai in this film is played by Shintaru Katsu's real life brother-Kenzaburo Jo, who later took the name Tomisaburo Wakayama and went on to play the character Itto Ogami in the "Lone Wolf and Cub/Shogun Assassin" series."
Zatoichi the Blind Swordsman, Vol 2
Dennis Shields | Victorville, Ca | 02/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the early seventies, I was enamored of the Zatoichi and Sword of Vengence movies produced in Japan, and viewed at the Toho Brea Theatres in Los Angeles. When the Toho closed down, these movies were lost to me and others. Now, they are back, on DVD, with Japanese wording and good subtitles! Thank you for making these great works of Movie History available again! Everything about them is excellent!! 10 stars would be better!!"
Bill Lee | Florida | 10/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've seen basically all of the 'Zatoichi' films and this is far and away the best. Although it's relatively short (75 minutes or so), it's got well-coreographed fight scenes, great acting (when he's not killing three people at a time, you'd think Shintaro Katsu was really blind), and all sorts of wonderful plot twists. In this film, Zatoichi develops more as a character rather than as a gimmick. Although the first film was superb, we really only got to see that he was this avenging angel from the yakuza, if such a thing is not a contradiction in terms. This time around, however, we get to see more of what motivates Ichi as well as some more insight into his past. We are introduced in this chapter to Ichi's law-breaking brother, played by Tomisaburo Wakayama (who was Shintaro Katsu's brother in real life as well). We learn that the two had previously feuded over the same woman to the point that Ichi cut off his brother's arm in a fit of rage. While all this is going on, Ichi is being pursued by Kanbei, an assassin sent to dispatch Ichi before he can tell of Kanbei's lord's insanity. In his pursuit of Ichi, Kanbei hooks up with Sukegoro, Ichi's employer from the previous installment who has a score to settle with the blind swordsman. These various groups all come into conflict with one another at various points and make for a film that is simultaneously action-packed and well thought out. Highest recommendations."
Top notch Ichi.
Matthew Phillips | Knoxville, Tennessee United States | 11/16/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Yet another good offerring in the Zatoichi series of films. About the only thing I can offer that I have not seen mentioned before in any of the reviews is that this one is a fair bit shorter than part one but it has quite a bit more action than the first. At any rate, and most importantly, if you liked the first, you will like the second as well as the rest of the recent releases on dvd( of which they are apparantly going to release the first seventeen films in the Zatoichi series.). Also, a company called animeigo has the rights to a few of the later Zatoichi films and are supposedly planning on releasing them in the near future as well."
Katsu's real life brother(Lone Wolf and Cub) plays his foe
morgoth | omaha, NE | 07/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"So obviously the acting could not get any better. But the story is the thing to watch. If you have not seen the first episode let me catch you up. Zatoichi came into town and was unsuccessfully hired to help take out a rival gang in town. One side had already hired a master samurai. When that samurai became sick the other gang thought they weren't going to fight. But he shook off his sickness for a final heroic stand and helped the gang he was hired from beat out the other one even though they were outnumbered by double the swordsman. But then the samurai decided that he must face Zatoichi before he dies. "Better than dying at teh hands of goons". I am horrible at quotes but it was something like that. And then the table were turned and the gang that had more men ended up winning. Also from thsi Zatoichi became known as like a one man army.
Well in this one he is back in town one year later to visit the grave and pay his respects to this samurai. The story starts out almost a bit dumb but you forgtet it and it turns good minutes in when Ichi starts some sh** talking and though justified, he may have gone too far. Well these people are not happy and decide to try and kill him. What follows is a VERY good story about another samurai who we find all about. Ichi ends up meeting this "samurai" and we find out the connection between the 2. The whole movie I was deciding whether or not this should be a 4 or a 5, but then the end happened. You don't f*** with Zaoichi or anybody who is close too him.
The DVD is amazing picture quality, even though it is in black and white. Also perfectly letterboxed and some of the best subtitles you will ever see traslated for asian cinema."