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A Film By Hiroyuki Nakano: Samurai Fiction

4.3 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Sep 30, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Heishiro, a noble Samurai, sets out in search of the renegade who stole his clan’s treasure and killed his best friend. Heishiro should be able to hold his own against the villain Rannosuke, who has only killed hundreds of men and fought entire armies while simultaneously defending himself against dozens of deadly ninja assassins. This is Samurai Fiction. Don’t believe everything you see in Chambara movies!

From the Back Cover

Heishiro Inukai is a noble samurai and the son of a loyal retainer. He seeks vengeance against Rannosuke, the renegade villain who stole the clan's prized treasure. To save the clan's honor, Heishiro resolves to take down Rannosuke and departs with his friends pursuing him in a bid for fame. A descendant from a long line of great warriors, he is a remarkable yet untested swordsman. On the other hand Rannosuke, has killed hundreds of men and fought entire armies to a standstill. Heishiro Must open his eyes to the true meaning of dying for the sake of pride. As he prepares for the showdown, Heishiro is faced with a conflict between reaching a peaceful or a bloody resolution. The superior man has a dignified ease without pride. The common man has pride without dignified ease. This is Samurai Fiction.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Morio Kazama, Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Tomoyasu Hotei, Tamaki Ogawa, Mari Natsuki
  • Directors: Hiroyuki Nakano
  • Writers: Hiroyuki Nakano, Hiroshi Saitô
  • Producers: Hiroto Kimura, Mitsuru Itô, Tsuyoshi Takashiro
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Color, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Tokyo Shock
  • DVD Release Date: September 30, 2003
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009V7OB
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,377 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Film By Hiroyuki Nakano: Samurai Fiction" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I'm not sure why this movie is as far under the radar as it seems to be, but here's hoping it doesn't stay there.
I bought this film sight-unseen, which is pretty rare. Like most people, I like to have some idea of what I'm plunking down my money for. For some reason, though, this movie sort of snuck off the shelf, took the twenty-five bucks out of my pocket, and came home with me before I'd even realized it. Maybe it was the cool, minimalist cover, or maybe I was still coming down off my "Kill Bill vol. 1" kick and wanted a Samurai film, I don't know. Either way, I found myself watching it last night, and I was floored by what I was seeing.
You know those happy coincidences, where you realize you wound up with a lot more than you thought you were going to get? Like when you go to a new sushi place and realize they've got the best stuff around for less money than that other place you've been going to for years, plus you get more maki roll for your money? This movie brings a similar feeling to mind; "This is great! I'm glad I took a chance here."
The story revolves around a young Samurai named Heishiro Inukai, who is on a quest to retrieve a clan treasure stolen by a wandering, steely-eyed Ronin by the name of Rannosuke. It's classic Samurai fare through and through, and for a Japanese film is remarkably straightforward, though it's never dull. Quite the opposite, actually.
Director Hiroyuki Nakano uses the relative simplicity of the story as a blank canvas, and paints in a masterfully blended portrait of a classic Akira Kurosawa Samurai epic lovingly clothed in a hip, MTV Asia-style update. The effect sounds overwrought on paper, but Nakano pulls it off without seeming to bastardize the source material.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The plot is as follows. A samurai clan entrusts a talented but unknown ronin to guard their ceremonial sword. He ends up stealing the lovely weapon for his own use. Upon hearing this, a young swordsman and his two best friends go on a journey to retrieve the sword. Their first confrontation causes each of the three warriors to take a path separate from the other.
The plot is fairly basic (the stealing of the sword reminds me of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"), but the way director Hiroyuki Nakano sees it is very original. Shot mostly in black and white, it's an obvious way to get the audience to appreciate his artistic vision.
Perhaps my favorite aspect of "Samurai Fiction" is the musical score, composed by Tomoyasu Hotei, who you may know as "...the guy that made that song from Kill Bill" (Battle Without Honor or Humanity, the part where O-Ren is entering the house of blue leaves). Every fight scene and many simply well directed scenes are pulled from 1696 to modern day with hard rock or techno anthems.
This is a must have DVD for any martial arts fans, particularly those looking to see where Quentin Tarintino got "Kill Bill" from.
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Format: DVD
I saw this DVD in the shelves several months ago and was intrigued. Later I saw both installments of the "Kill Bill" saga and was particularly taken with a jam from the first volume's soundtrack called "Battle Without Honor Or Humanity" (which can now be heard in Jaguar ads, by the way).

Eventually I had heard that not only were some of Tarantino's scenes from "Kill Bill Vol. 1" taken directly from "Samurai Fiction", but the composer of "Battle Without Honor..." also scored the film and had a major starring role in it. I decided I had to give it a look.

And it was worth it. The movie is a different take on Akira Kurosawa's old skool samurai epics from the '50's and '60's. In some ways it's a bit of a send-up, but this is no lampoon in the vein of "Airplane" nor is it a knock-off/homage similar to...well, pretty much every movie Quentin Tarantino has ever made. It doesn't take itself too seriously, but the plot twist that brings the movie to its conclusion is hardly that of traditional martial arts movies (there seems to be more of "kinder and gentler" school of martial arts flicks being produced today...Jet Li's "Hero" is not dissimilar to "Samurai Fiction" in this regard).

There are enough old-skool elements that tie this film to its predecessors, but the film is marketed as "an MTV generation samuari movie", and I don't really see the connection (other than having prominent Japanese musicians playing roles and the score being more contemporarily pop-oriented rather than Japanese classical music), but the attitute is decidedly lighter. This is a good thing; Jackie Chan has longsince proved that comedy has a place in an otherwise serious action movie, and the humor in "Samurai Fiction" is nowhere nearly as obvious or Chaplin-esque as in Chan's work.
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I love this move because it is unique. Somehow, this sentence says it all. This is a unique movie and very original, even it is somehow a parody but also a serious one about Samurai movies. The whole movie is B&W and the actors are sometimes playing like in a 'silent movie' with strong, overdone expressions esp. Tamaki Ogawa. However this is not overdone and the movie itself is IMO far away from being too serious. In fact it is hilarious and fun to watch. I have to admit that for people who do not know very much about Japanese culture, this movie might be boring and senseless. This is not a martial arts movie even there are some fighting scenes in this movie. They story is told using a valuable sword stolen by the incredible Tomoyasu Hotei, who acts in this movie as the villan and wrote most of the music for this movie too. He also wrote the IMO unforgettable music for the big battle in 'Kill Bill 1'.

If you can lower your expectations and let yourself dive into the story, watched some Kurosawa Samurai movies before and share a general addiction to Asian culture, you should give this movie a try and I believe, you will be positively surprised. For the real lover of Japanese movies this DVD comes in the only way, it is suitable for the fan: Original Japanese language with English subtitles. If this annoys you, put it back on the shelf.

For all others, highly recommended. It features a wonderful love story, some criminal story and how the underdog Samurai can beat the master Samurai in the best sense of a drama.

For me, this is an absolute gem and stands for it's own. As I wrote at the beginning: Unique.

I am writing this here, because you can't buy this movie in Germany but I can order it in the US and I highly appreciate that I can do this and Amazon is just a very reliable company. I am not paid to write this, it reflects my true opinion :-)
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