MDIDFAN | Lextown USA | 08/21/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Zatoichi Vol. Four is as good as the first three volumes. Like some of the other episodes they do tend to be simular to some of the films. Despite this, the series is excellent. You forget your watching a tv show and you are immersed into the continuing story of ichi. I am so happy that these are finally coming out on dvd, slowly, but being the huge fan of Ichi that I am, I couldn't get enough with the 25 of 26 films available. Where's #14???? My only complaint is that media blasters would release the series by seasons and not volumes. The 4th vol is still season 1. There are 100 epsiodes to the series and with only 4 or 5 on each vol, well do the math that's a lot of volumes. If you like the films and you are a fan of samurai cinema, these dvd's are a must have."
Zatoichi vol 4
Osvaldo Fombellida | usa | 07/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"i buy movies from japan all the time in amazon.com the best place,zatoichi is the best samurai ever
ZATOICHI TV SERIES, VOL. 4: EPISODES 14-17
Ernest Jagger | Culver City, California | 09/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an excellent volume of the Zatoichi Television series, which Media Blasters and Tokyo Shock have put together. Thus far, 26 complete episodes of the entire first season have been compiled. If anyone is not sure that these episodes are as good as the films, then I would highly recommend that you purchase or rent this Volume No. 4. It is a great one! Also, you may notice several of the characters in the films also reprise their roles in these TV episodes. Moreover, there are some that also cull the material from the films with slight to not so slight deviations. However, they are done with class, and are excellent to watch. This Volume comes highly, highly recommended. [Stars: 5+] The episodes are as follows:
#14: "FIGHTING JOURNEY WITH BABY IN TOW." This TV episode borrows some elements from the film "Zatoichi #8: Fight Zatoichi Fight." Here as in the film, Ichi offers his palanquin to a woman with a baby, and as a result, assassins seeking Ichi mistake the palanquin as his, which results in tragedy. As Ichi sets out to find the father, the assassins are in full pursuit. Now, even though it is almost like Zatoichi #8, it is still a very good film. I thought about marking down a half point because of the film version, however, this is too good an episode not to give it a full 5-stars. This film also has great cinematography, and once again, it is a very good remake. [Stars: 5]
#15: "FESTIVAL SONG OF THE RAVEN." The transfer on this particular episode is great. With excellent cinematography, action and drama, this 15th TV episode is outstanding! As the episode opens, a group of assassins lay in wait for Ichi, but he spares one of them who promises to go back home, and walk a righteous path. The man vows to do this, however, something happens to him as Ichi leaves the area. This episode has great suspense, drama and action. A very, very good episode. Moreover, the scenery in this episode is incredibly beautiful, and the shots of the Japanese countryside are breathtaking. Further, this episode ranks right up there [as many do] with some of the great motion picture films. A truly great episode. [Stars: 5+]
#16: "THE WINDS FROM MOUNT AKAGI." This film has much in common with "Zatoichi #6: Zatoichi and the Chest of Gold." Albeit, with a deviation here and there. Also, this film boasts great cinematography and the visuals of the countryside and village are terrific. In this episodes a yakuza boss named Chuji is in hiding for stealing rice for the starving townspeople. It is in this setting that Ichi arrives in the village. The film was also directed by Shinataro Katsu [as were many]. The sounds, visuals and acting are superb in the episode. There is also great swordplay by Ichi. Ichi feels indebted to Chuji for helping him in the past, and has come to help him out. However, Ichi learns that Chuji is not the same benevolent man he once knew. Can Ichi persuade Chuji to change his ways? Will Chuji change? This film has an excellent ending, which is in black and white, and gives a very emotional depth to this particular episode. Highly recommended. [Stars: 5+]
#17: "BURNING SUNSET IN BRIDAL PASS." This final episode in the volume is outstanding. Ichi hears the slaying of two men, who are killed by a ronin under the watchful eyes of the villages Official Government Administrator. This is no ordinary ronin that Ichi has encountered in the past. What is he doing in this town? And why does he warn Ichi to leave the village? Ichi has arrived for the wedding of a beautiful young woman about to be wed. However, the government official intercedes and has her groom arrested. Why? Moreover, another government official has come to town to hear about village complaints. There is great intrigue and suspense in the final episode of volume 4. And of course, there is Ichi with remarkable skills with his cane sword. No, Ichi has not slowed down. A great episode, and great conclusion. [Stars: 5+]"