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Zatoichi the Blind Swordsman, Vol. 13 - Zatoichi's Vengeance

13 customer reviews

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(May 18, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

With 25 film sequels and upwards of 100 TV episodes, Shintaro Katsu is the legendary Zatoichi! He’s a low-ranking blind masseur who lives by the Yakuza code and answers his foes with a deadly cane sword. By far one of Japan’s most time-honored screen personas, Zatoichi is to this day the ultimate everyman anti-hero.

A fast moving entry in the Blind Swordsman series, Zatoichi’s Vengeance is a tour de force of nonstop action. The blind swordsman meets a dying man who makes Zatoichi promise to deliver a large sum of money to his young son, Taichi. Zatoichi’s skill with his sword results in the death of several of the men, and Taichi sees Zatoichi as a second father. But a blind monk forces Zatoichi to question the violence of his existence and his future as a swordsman.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Shintarô Katsu, Shigeru Amachi, Jun Hamamura, Gen Kimura, Kanae Kobayashi
  • Directors: Tokuzô Tanaka
  • Writers: Hajime Takaiwa, Kan Shimozawa
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • 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: Homevision
  • DVD Release Date: May 18, 2004
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001OGURC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,058 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Zatoichi the Blind Swordsman, Vol. 13 - Zatoichi's Vengeance" on IMDb

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By R. Mendez on November 17, 2005
Format: DVD
For some reason, Amazon has posted identical reviews for both Vol. 10 and Vol. 13 of this series.

The previous reviewer has indicated that this is misleading, which is correct. However, it is not correct that the reviewers are doing the misleading, since all reviews posted for both Vol. 10 and Vol. 13 are showing up in both places, which is Amazon's error.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Irene Hamilton on November 24, 2005
Format: DVD
Thanks to the previous reviewer for pointing this out.

The review posted March 2005 applies to Vol. 10, and the review posted July 2005 obviously applies to Vol. 13.

As far as the one from 2002, it's anyone's guess.

Both 10 and 13 are terrific movies, but I will need to rewatch them to do a better review. And I would like to do one large review of both since it will end up listed in both places. Meanwhile, I have done reviews for Vols. 1 and 8 of this series, if you would like to know what I think about them.

--Irene Hamilton, big Zatoichi fan
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By J. H. Sweet on July 2, 2005
Format: DVD
*(This review was posted for Vol. 13, and is meant for Vol. 13, but is also showing up for Vol. 10, as several other reviewers have pointed out.)*

Like the other movies in the Zatoichi series, this story features strong female characters, exciting and well-staged swordplay, tasteful violence (no blood and gore), and our hero only killing when absolutely forced to. While there is nothing new to the basic storyline of this movie - Ichi saving townspeople and merchants from a band of evil men - there are many unique and surprising elements to this tale which set it apart from the others.

First, the ingenuity of Ichi's adversaries in using drums to hinder his hearing is somewhat surprising. Normally, his opponents are not quite that clever.

Also, the swordsmanship (skill and technique) is significantly raised to a much more intricate level when Ichi fights the samurai. This is a noticeable difference from the simplicity he usually employs against more the common/obscure swordsman he generally faces.

Another unexpected surprise is the amount of abuse Ichi is willing to take before acting to defend himself. He is bloodied and bruised when severely beaten; yet, he does not act, seemingly because he does not want to have to kill in front of a child, or risk provoking the evildoers into more extreme action against those he is trying to protect.

The addition of Ichi slipping and falling on the stairs at the end of the movie really showcases his vulnerability, reminding us that even heroes stumble.

One of the female characters, the wife of the innkeeper, demonstrates even more strength than the women in other films of this series: Though they beat and threaten her, she is able to stand up to her harassers.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 10, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
With the slew of well known asian films from the likes of Kurosawa, Tsui Hark, ect. it is easy to overlook these precious gems known as the Zatoichi series. Truly incredible, Shintaro Katsu owns this role and plays the part so damned well you'd swear he must have walked around every day of his life carrying a cane sword and pretending to be blind. The swordplay scenes are some of the greatest I have ever witnessed and I've seen it all. They are so realistic and provide a nice counterpoint to the frantic flying wirework approach of the chinese. If you are a fan of Japanese cinema you owe it to yourself to see these films. I guarantee you will be utterly captivated from start to finish.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hui Shen ben Israel TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 6, 2010
Format: DVD
ZATOICHI NO UTA GA KIKOERU (1966, dir. Tokuzo Tanaka) is feature film number 13. ("The Blind Swordsman's Vengeance", a.k.a. "Showdown for Zatoichi") I'm not sure what happens here, but I understand episode #10 also shares the same reviews.

Let me encapsulate episode #10 (ZATOICHI NIDAN-GIRI, THE BLIND SWORDSMAN'S REVENGE, which is why it is confused with #13, VENGEANCE): Ichi returns to the little village where he studied massage, to find his old master, Hiko-no-Ichi, murdered, the master's daughter captive in a brothel, and a plot to bring the village under control.

There. Now that is out of the way.

In #13, for the first and only time, Ichi encounters a blind travel companion: a Buddhist priest, who is clearly Ichi from another dimension in another age. The biwa-playing priest correctly surmises (falling a wee bit short) that Ichi must have been able to see until he was at least 5 or 6. After some swordplay, the blind priest concludes that Ichi is a sort of tormented spooky spirit, who is neither blind nor sighted.

At the beginning, Ichi encounters another version of himself, a young man named Tamekichi, cut down on his way home. This man bears a version of Ichi's name. His home village, as Ichi discovers, also bears a form of Ichi's name, and the little boy--the murdered man's son--is named Ta-ichi, "Big Ichi". Yet another parallel-universe character! Incredible that anyone thought of such a plot back then.

Naturally Ichi has to shield the boy and hand over the money destined for the family, which the dying young man had asked Ichi to take to them. Fatefully, the priest and Ichi, having crossed paths, stay close to each other. At one point, the priest scolds Ichi for killing in front of the boy.
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