A threat is uttered, a blade is drawn, a flash of cold steel and then...a dozen attackers now lie silent, dispatched by the lightning sword of Zatoichi. A humble masseur and gambler, Zatoichi wanders the countryside of Jap... more »an, going from town to town plying his trade and rolling the dice. With kind heart and lethal sword skills, he is protector of the innocent and the ruin of wicked men. A pop culture icon since his screen debut in 1962, Zatoichi (played by Shintaro Katsu) was a matinee favorite throughout the 1960s. After a dozen years and 25 films, the blind swordsman transitioned to the small screen in 1974áin the series,á"Zatoichi Monogatari". The first 13 episodes have been compiled in this three-volume, six -disc set.« less
"Yes, that's sarcasm. The product description is less of a description and more like confusing haiku (at least that was my impression when looking at an actual DVD case in the store; haiku only really works in Japanese anyway).
What you're looking at here is a 6-disk set containing the first 13 episodes from the television series, which came after the films. These 6 disks are also available in pairs as "Zatoichi, TV Series" Volumes 1 - 3.
This collection is a great deal, especially considering that the 2-disk sets sell for $20-30 a pop--this is what they should have released in the first place!
Original Japanese audio, excellent English subtitles."
Season One, collection one, episodes 1-13
Moonstryfe | 11/13/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As stated in the title, Zatoichi Collection I contains Episodes 1-13 of the First Season.
Whether you are a die-hard Zatoichi fan, or a casual viewer looking for something different, the Zatoichi Collections are great place to begin (Or end, if you've already seen all 26 of Katsushin's movies. If you haven't, well...what are you waiting for?!?)
Each of the 13 episodes (1-13) averages *about* 50 minutes. If you find yourself questioning "how many scumbags can our hero possibly dispatch in only 50 minutes?", well, the answer is "as many as he wants".
Each episode is a mini-movie, with all the action, humor, drama and tragedy of a full-length movie packed into 50 minutes. I've seen all 26 episodes of the 1st Season, and I enjoyed every single minute of my time spent with Shintaro Katsu as the immortal-beloved, Zatoichi.
Fans of Zatoichi will notice repeat plot-lines, gags, and similar stunts during certain action sequences, but don't even think of letting that dissuade you from purchasing these treasures. The true beauty of Zatoichi is that it's star, the very soul of the show, Shintaro Katsu, could make a humorless joke funny, or a cliche' pratfall look new, interesting, and even dangerous. He could make eating a steaming bowl of rice look so delicious, that I just had to stop and cook myself some right then and there, while Ichi-san waited on pause in the living-room. And last but certainly not least, his swordsmanship is truly something to behold. Regardless of clever editing, even after multiple viewings one can marvel at actor Shintaro Katsu's impressive skill with a sword. Hat's off to the stuntmen/extra's as well.
Now, writing a review of each of these 13 episodes is a lot of work, and I'm far too lazy to even consider doing that, so just take my word when I say that even a *not so good* episode of Zatoichi, is still twice as good as almost anything out there. In my book, there are a few *not so good* episodes, while the rest (and there are 100 episodes in all) fall into the *Oh my god, that was awesome!* category.
In closing, I'll just say if you don't already own Zatoichi Collection I, buy it right now. If you already own it and are reading this review of Collection I, you can stop reading now and go buy collection two; I won't be offended you didn't finish reading this, I promise."
Richard Richter | Oconto WI USA | 06/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This a joy to watch. I have pre-ordered the collection 2 with English subtitles. Well the series is like our old westerns yet you see things like action and humor in close quarters not like the long range of rifles and horse chases. And there is a deeper understanding of human nature of the actors rolls. I see why it was so popular in Japan. Its a fun watch and with most of the stuff on TV now, this is like a trip to the lake. Very refreshing and enjoyable."
Ghostdog | LI NY | 08/08/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The 4 stars are for the "The Blind Swordsman". I give zero stars to the company that put this out. Last Year I bought all six double DVD packages of the first year of the TV Series. When I saw this compilation I thought it was all 26 episodes of season 2 in two separate packages. I was happy at the reduced price from last year and "Very Unhappy" that it was just a repackaging of Season One. I will now wait and be sure that what I'm buying from this company is what it purports to be. They should have listed the episode titles on the box, then I would have known I'd seen them before. I'm really disappointed with Tokyo Shock & Media Blasters. I've been waiting year for season two and they do this. I think on purpose. NEVER AGAIN!"
Zatoichi re visited
Ojiisan | Upstate NY | 09/30/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I watched the originals in Japan in the 70's. This is what I watched. I didn't have the luxury of english subtitles then, but they are on this set. I have shown these to friends who are very impressed with the old shows. I like them."