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Wandering Ginza Butterfly (1972)

Meiko Kaji , Tsunehiko Watase , Kazuhiko Yamaguchi  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Meiko Kaji, Tsunehiko Watase, Tat
  • Directors: Kazuhiko Yamaguchi
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Black & White, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Restored, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Synapse Films
  • DVD Release Date: May 19, 2009
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001SGEUG0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,419 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Wandering Ginza Butterfly" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Gang leader Nami (cult film legend Meiko Kaji) kills a member of a yakuza group and goes away to prison. Upon her release three years later, she s a shamed woman confined to living in the shadowy world of sex clubs and street gangs. She returns to the city to live with her uncle, a billiard-hall owner, and after befriending pimp and ne er-do-well Ryuji (Tsunehiko Watase), she gets a job working at a hostess club in the chic Ginza neighborhood, where the expensive shops and neon lights conceal a dark world of crime and sexual slavery. But when a rival gang attempts to muscle in on the club, Nami becomes enmeshed in a violent struggle that forces her to wield a skilled pool cue to defend her uncle s business, and eventually a short sword to wreak bloody vengeance upon her enemies. SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE:
New, fully restored, anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) transfer mastered in high-definition from Toei s original vault elements
Japanese language with newly-translated, removable English subtitles
Audio commentary by Japanese film expert Chris D.
New, exclusive video interview with director Kazuhiko Yamaguchi
Original Japanese theatrical trailers for both films
Reversible cover with original Japanese poster artwork

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Watchable for Meiko... July 18, 2009
By UbiK
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
GINJO WANDERER is a fairly typical Toei produced Ninkyou (chivalrous) Yakuza tale which means that if you've seen more than three or four films from this genre you should know exactly how the plot will play out!
While this is not a criticism as such because the Ninkyou Yakuza genre has always been pretty predictable so what usually makes one film stand out from the other is the quality of the final showdown battle and the appeal of it's star.
In this regard GINJO has a superb final scene, but it's only 5 minutes long so I leave it up to viewers to decide if the pay-off is really worth it...
What makes this fairly unmemorable entry watchable, of course, is the remarkable Meiko Kaji. Her role here sits a little awkwardly between her tough-girl performances of the STRAYCAT ROCK series and the SASORI (Scorpion) trilogy, which will make her name. Those who know her only from those exploitation classics will see a more animated heroine here than the sexy cool she is normally associated with. But that's a good thing, in case anyone out there thought Meiko was a one-hit note!
Made in 1971, GINJO rightly feels more like a Ninkyou Yakuza film of the 1960s in both its look, pacing and narrative. For me one of the highlights of these films has always been the location filming in and around Tokyo and we get some nice images of Ginza in that era - so Tokyo obsessives like me score a point there!
Sadly there's not really much more to say about the film. It's got the requisite over-the-top Yakuza thugs without honor, a young man who (apart from being the male audience identification figure) will help Meiko and a fallen hero who must be avenged...
There is however a tense (and oddly instructive - an actual on-screen explanation with voice-over appears!) game of "Three-Cushion" (!?!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Synapse Restores A Lost Meiko Kaji Momento... May 9, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
As fans of the iconic Meiko Kaji, we all know what to expect from her acting and posturing abilities, as well as what types of films she appears in. This film is nothing out of the ordinary, which isn`t necessarily a bad thing, it`s a comfort pillow of sorts, assuming you appreciate these films and Meiko Kaji. The other review gets mired down in whether the subtitles are acutely accurate or not, something 97% of those watching could care less about. This film isn't anything special, but it's entertaining enough and captures the era and genre adequately. Meiko is always a treat, and I agree with the other reviewer that this flick expands her acting to be more than the one-trick-pony sort associated with the Sasori (Prisoner Scorpion) series. She has more depth and comes off as an unfortunate, slightly virtuous, likeable character attempting to escape her past unsuccessfully. While not as good as 'Blind Woman's Curse' or the first two 'Female Prisoner Scorpion' flix, it`s better than the 'Stray Cat Rock-Sex Hunter' and the sequel to this film, which veered way too close to the comedic kung-fu crap of the early/mid 70`s (thanks to a stuttering Sonny Chiba) for my tastes. If you`re not already familiar with these films, avoid entirely, if you are, then by all means, gourge yourself on this offering, and belch loudly when you`re done, as is customary in these parts...
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