Zatoichi, the blind masseur and undefeatable swordsman, is caught in turf war between rival gangs, becomes a wanted man when he learns of a lord's dangerous secret, returns home to discover his teacher has been working for... more » kidnappers, and seeks vengeanceon a powerful ronin, dueling with his most skilled samurai.
Actor:Shintar˘ Katsu Genres:Indie & Art House Sub-Genres:Indie & Art House Studio:Homevision Format:DVD - Black and White,Full Screen,Widescreen - Subtitled DVD Release Date: 06/12/2007 Original Release Date: 01/01/1962 Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1962 Release Year: 2007 Run Time: 5hr 45min Screens: Black and White,Full Screen,Widescreen Number of Discs: 4 SwapaDVD Credits: 4 Total Copies: 0 Members Wishing: 5 Edition: Box set MPAA Rating: Unrated Languages:Japanese Subtitles:English
"I have been looking for this set to show up at Amazon. If you don't have the first four Ichi films, buy it. Watch all four in order and you will be in for a real treat. The set of twenty six Zatoichi films and the first six volumes of the TV series are a treasure to be viewed over and over for the rest of your life. Watch them in a quiet setting and breathe the atmosphere of life in feudal Japan. Love, hate, violence, peace, honor, pathos..it's all here..in spades. I have never seen anything like it in film. And so much of it. I have a dozen of the films and the first six volumes of the series and have been enthralled with every one. I'll continue until I have them all. Then I'll start all over from the beginning. If you get hooked, you will too."
A treasury of zen, honor, and samurai
Abe Sapien | 04/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I came to the Zatoichi franchise in college when AMC or TCM had a saturday morning Samurai movie special every week. They pulled heavily from the Zatoichi films and I was instantly sold on their humor, sometimes through wordplay, but alternately in the form of slapstick.
The sword fights also resonated with me as being very different from what I was used to. They were compact and final. Enemies fell after a single blow and a the hero rarely started fights; always attempted to talk his way out of them not from fear, but rather because killing was not something he relished.
This collection is a tremendous value with high quality examples of this storied franchise. The packaging looks great, very colorful with dynamic images on each case. It looks fabulous on a shelf and looks even better on a screen."
There are some things you should know...
Michael Valdivielso | Alexandria, VA | 03/26/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First off, when the Japanese make a series of films they don't get cheaper - the films are either given the same budget or MORE! Also, while the crew may change they try to STICK to the facts. Watch all four of the first films in a row and you have a VERY long story, with plots that link together, the same characters played by the same caste, and the feeling that there was money, sweat and love poured into each scene. The first two films were in Black and White but by the third we get color. Wonderful, beautiful color. The scenes are realistic, the settings gritty, the characters dirty and the action wild. It was nice to see Tomisaburo Wakayama as the one armed Samurai in the second story. Not only is he acting as Zatoichi's brother - which works really well because he is the real brother of Shintaro Katsu - but it is nice to see him before he became famous for being the Lone Wolf, in Lone Wolf and Club. By getting them all together I did save money AND was able to watch them over the week, having my own Samurai Movie Convention! Yes, I did eat noodles and rice. Not really for kids - serious themes - but while there are tons of action there is little blood and it is SO cool. So many the kids could peek. Get it used or new."
John M. Patterson | Lampasas, TX United States | 09/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Every Saturday for the past few years I've arose on Saturday morning to watch a Samurai movie on International Film Channel. Since watching my first Zatoichi film I became a rabid fan of the series. My 4-volume set arrived this past Friday and I have already watched all four movies. Its a good thing I also ordered the 7-volume set.
The Blind Swordsmen movies are captivating in the way they are filmed. When it would have been easy to churn out a low budget action film, the producers of these movies took the high road and turned out films that are high quality in every way. Sure, there's the obligatory "blind swordsman wipes out two dozen samurai" stuff in it. But its all done in a believable way.
Zatoichi is a true antihero. Picture him as the Japanese version of the Lone Ranger, Marshall Dillon, Josie Wales, and John Wayne all rolled into one man. And Shintaro Katsu brings him to life in such a way that I cannot imagine anyone else playing Zatoichi. In fact, I was surprised to find out that Shintaro Katsu wasn't blind himself. He makes the part that believable.
Even if you've never seen a Zatoichi movie but you like samurai movies, I can promise you that you will not be disappointed in any of the Blind Swordsman movies."
Classic hero from Japan
JAG 2.0 | IN United States | 12/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ichi is the classic hero who is courageous, selfless, honorable and somewhat vulnerable at some level. He never gets the girl and always rides...er, walks off into the sunset!
Zatoichi is a blind masseur - a disability looked down upon in Japanese society at that time. However, craving respect, he learns the way of the sword and becomes a Yakuza gangster. When we meet Ichi, he has already decided to leave that life behind and "go straight" but his former life always come back to haunt him either because someone wishes to employ his services or because someone with a grudge wishes revenge. Ichi is a masterful swordsman but will often display his skills against inanimate objects to make potential opponents think twice.
I should point out that these movies are not the typical martial arts films which showcase action almost exclusively. Like the great western movie "Shane", there are very few fights in these films. Ichi is a character (wonderfully portrayed by Shintaro Katsu) that is fully developed. He has regrets, hopes, fears and desires. Ichi is a man who wishes to be left alone to live his life in peace but is never allowed to do so by circumstance.
These movies are more than a showcase for superb swordsmanship (yes, his skills are indeed superb and the action sequences are excellent). They are morality plays and tales of compassion and honor."