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Zatoichi films..What am I getting myself into?

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Zatoichi films..What am I getting myself into?

Old 05-30-04, 01:08 AM
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Zatoichi films..What am I getting myself into?

I really dig samurai films, I have all of Kurosawas that have been released. I started seeking out others and came about the Zatoichi series. How do these compare to Toshiro Mifune's films? To Kurosawa's?
Old 05-30-04, 01:18 AM
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watch em and you'll know.
Old 05-30-04, 01:26 AM
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Anyone know the new movie's release dates/cities?
Old 05-30-04, 01:33 AM
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So far I've seen three of the 26 Zatoichi films, and I own five of them. The three I've seen have all been excellent. The series has a lot of great violence, gratuitous nudity, but most of all, warm humor. They're a lot of fun and worth getting into. WhoGirl could tell you more, she's a Zatoichi junkie.
Old 05-30-04, 08:02 AM
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their pretty cool...I've only seen a couple...but I enjoyed them...
Old 05-30-04, 09:35 AM
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Linky.

If I've said it once, I've said it a million times... these are the cinematic equivalent of crack cocaine. Highly, highly addictive. I've got 14 volumes on my shelf... and counting. Try hitting Borders with one of their occasional 20% off coupons, and you can score the bulk of the series for about 12 bucks apiece.

And not to commit heresy, but I personally like them better than either Yojimbo or Sanjuro. Shintaro Katsu just has terriffic screen presence.

One great thing about discovering Ichi on DVD is the fact he's been given damn nice treatment by Home Vision and AnimEgo (the two companies producing the bulk of Zatoichi flicks)... with some beautiful, animorphic transfers from both.
Old 05-30-04, 10:24 AM
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Originally posted by Fielding Mellish

Highly, highly addictive. I've got 14 volumes on my shelf... and counting......

And not to commit heresy, but I personally like them better than either Yojimbo or Sanjuro. Shintaro Katsu just has terriffic screen presence.

One great thing about discovering Ichi on DVD is the fact he's been given damn nice treatment by Home Vision and AnimEgo (the two companies producing the bulk of Zatoichi flicks)... with some beautiful, animorphic transfers from both.
Agree completely, and I've got about that many in my collection, too. I'm a big fan of all kinds of martial arts movies, and I think the Zatoichis are kind of halfway between the Kurosawas and the Shaw Brothers old-school kungfu. The Zatoichis have beautiful cinematography, subtleties, layered, complex characterizations, earthy, humanistic themes, and uniformly great scores, but they are also higher on the action and martial arts choreography than the Kurosawas---although not quite as intense as the Shaw Brothers. And Katsu's Zatoichi is kind of the polar opposite of Mifune's usual samurai character. With so many sequels, there is a kind of James Bond-ness to them, in that there are obligitory bits in all of the movies, such as the crooked gambling scene, the sword-trick scene, and the woman who falls for him that he always has to leave, but if you like the series these are just part of the fun.
Old 05-30-04, 11:58 AM
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addictive

yup, crack cocaine....no doubt about it.

I have 16 of the DVDs (4 of /em out on loan, I am trying to get more people hooked...muh-ha-ha-ha)...and am going through DTs just waiting for more.

Excellent and fun flicks. I agree w/ Ky-Fi's take on the films. I don't know if my terminology is completely appropriate, but I find the Zatoichi flicks..more..ummm...'down to earth' than the Kurosawa (Yojimbo, Sanjuro, etc) flicks.

While we are on the topic... For those that know, what and where is film #14 from HVE?

Between Animego and HVE, are there plans to release *all* 26 Ichi flicks?

I don't know about anyplace else, but there is a Borders store near me that carries the HVE DVDs for $14.99 each..which is as good a price as I have found, either on-line or offline. The Animego ones seem to be rather pricey in comparison, anybody know a reputable place to get the Animego ones cheap?

Last edited by elengineer; 05-30-04 at 12:07 PM.
Old 05-30-04, 02:02 PM
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Originally posted by Suprmallet
So far I've seen three of the 26 Zatoichi films, and I own five of them. The three I've seen have all been excellent. The series has a lot of great violence, gratuitous nudity, but most of all, warm humor.
Hmmm. I've seen about 11 of them (Thanks to IFC) and own 1 (so far) on DVD. But I haven't come across any gratuitous nudity. Which ones have it? And yes, there is violence, but not the arterial spray-madness as in the Lone Wolf/Cub and Lady Snowblood films.


Favorites, that I've seen:

New Tale of Zatoichi (Most dramatic one yet)
Fight,Zatoichi,Fight (A new kind of mission for him)
Zatoichi and the Chest of Gold (Besides fighting "Ogami Itto", this has one of the illest credits-sequence I've ever seen)
Zatoichi's Cane Sword (All-out fun)
Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo (C'mon, how can you go wrong with this?)
Zatoichi and The Fugitives (The most Spaghetti Western-esque of the series)
Old 05-30-04, 08:42 PM
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Originally posted by Mondo Kane
Hmmm. I've seen about 11 of them (Thanks to IFC) and own 1 (so far) on DVD. But I haven't come across any gratuitous nudity. Which ones have it? And yes, there is violence, but not the arterial spray-madness as in the Lone Wolf/Cub and Lady Snowblood films.
Zatoichi 26, the last one Katsu made, was quite bloody (which Suprmallet may have been referring to.) Out of the 14 or so Zatoichi movies I've seen, it also had the most nudity. Not a huge spoiler, but I'll tag it just in case:
Spoiler:
Ichi gets laid in a hot springs by a female Yakuza. The scene is a good two minutes of nudity.


They are definetly addictive, but in the best way. The more you watch of him, the more you feel for the character's situation. But the best part for the casual Japanese Cinema fan: You don't have to start from movie One and watch them in sequence. They're all great self-contained movies in themselves.

Thread starter: I wouldn't try to compare them to Kurosawa. The Zatoichi series is great, but I wouldn't think it fair to raise the bar so high to compare it to most of Kurosawa's works. As for Toshiro Mifune, he fights Zatoichi in Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo.

Last edited by WhoGirl; 05-30-04 at 08:46 PM.
Old 10-16-04, 09:53 AM
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So a question:

Which is the best Zatoichi movie?

I went out and found "Adventures of Zatoichi" last night - loved it.

So what should I get now?
Old 10-16-04, 10:54 AM
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Any one know if there's any chance of a box set once all of them are out?
Old 10-16-04, 11:08 AM
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Originally posted by Gyno Rhino
So a question:

Which is the best Zatoichi movie?

I went out and found "Adventures of Zatoichi" last night - loved it.

So what should I get now?
Actually, Adventures of Zatoichi (#9) is one of my favorites---I love that final showdown as the snow starts falling, with the sparse, eerie drumming.

I think the amazing thing about this series is the uniform level of quality they maintained. You might like some of them better than others, but there's no real drop-off in quality---I've yet to see one I haven't liked. The later ones did get a bit more graphically violent, whether that's a plus or minus for you.

That being said, it seems that #5 and #8 are often mentioned as favorites by fans. I find Mark Pollard's reviews to be very accurate:

http://www.kungfucinema.com/movies/reviews_z.htm
Old 10-16-04, 01:05 PM
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Zatoichi: Challenged is the best by far I think. The final swordfight at the end in the snowfall is beautiful.

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