Ichi

ICHI (Funimation, 2008) D: Fumihiko Sori, w/ Haruka.


ICHI (Funimation, 2008) D: Fumihiko Sori, w/ Haruka Ayase, Takao Osawa. Rating: NNN DVD package: n/a Rating: NNN


Fans of the original Zatoichi, played by Shintaro Katsu in 26 features and a TV series between 1962 and 1989, will be happy with this new twist on the character, which recasts the blind master swordsman/masseur who wanders feudal Japan killing yakuza scum as a blind master swordswoman/folksinger who wanders feudal Japan looking for her father and killing yakuza scum on the side.

[rssbreak]

Haruka Ayase has a few of Katsu’s mannerisms, but she’s a very different character: embittered, mistrustful and generally misanthropic. This makes her a good foil for the warm-hearted, inept samurai who hooks up with her.

In a classic Zatoichi flick, Ichi and the samurai would duel. That doesn’t happen here, but there are several other traditional elements: the dice game, the good family who run the inn, the bad gangsters who are destroying the village and the climactic pitched battle. One worthwhile innovation is the monstrous larger-than-life villain, played by Shido Nakamura with immense gusto that makes up for the B-movie production values.

A making-of doc would have been welcome. Maybe next time.

EXTRAS Widescreen. Japanese, English audio. English subtitles.

Leave your opinion for the editor...We read everything!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *