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Zatoichi - The Blind Swordsman [DVD] (1989)

 R |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Arrow Films
  • DVD Release Date: June 29, 2011
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000N6U0WY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #573,570 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
162 of 164 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Zatoichi starter set September 19, 2006
Zatoichi is an institution in Japanese film, almost like James Bond or Star Trek films, but with the difference that the same actor has played the main character since the series inception, and with an amazing consistency of quality from the original film in 1962 through the final installment, #26, in 1989. Shintaro Katsu played many roles in his life, but in the minds of hearts of everyone who loves samurai films he will always be Zatoichi.

This boxset contains seven DVDs, all from the tail end of the Zatoichi series when Katsu had taken over the production duties on the series. They are all quality films, with "The Festival of Fire" and "Zatoichi meets Yojimbo" being among the best of the entire run. Its a great price for seven DVDs as well, which would cost much more if bought individually.

For those starting out with Zatoichi, the films are diverse enough to give a good feel for the flavor of the series. Funny films and serious films, they all have the charm and appeal that only Shintaro Katsu could bring to the table in a samurai action film. And this is some seriously cool samurai action. Katsu was a great actor, and a great swordsman as well.

The films in this collection are:

Zatoichi #16 - the Outlaw - A complicated story with a vast cast of characters. Directed by Satsuo Yamamoto, who also made the 1968 ghost story "Botan Doro."

Zatoichi #20 - Meets Yojimbo - A highly anticipated showdown between Zatoichi and Toshiro Mifune playing his famous Yojimbo character. Directed by acclaimed samurai film master Kihachi Okamoto, best known for "Sworld of Doom" and "Kill!"

Zatoichi #21 - The Festival of Fire - Considered one of the best entries in the series, directed by the original Zatoichi director Kenji Misumi.
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53 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Justice--blind and deadly May 19, 2005
Zatoichi is great entertainment-and this set collects seven of the best episodes-though I've yet to see any episode that wasn't highly entertaining. Played by Katsu Shintaro, blind (zato) Ichi is a master swordsman who wanders Japan dispensing justice from his sword which he carries in his walking cane. Along the way he earns money as an "Anma" or "Masseur" and as a gambler.
It may sound wierd--but it's top flight entertainment--and historically, the blind in Japan were taught to be masseurs by trade. There's just a perfect blend of drama, action and comedy in these movies to keep things interesting at all times. Nowhere near as bloody as movies like "Lone Wolf"--the fight scenes are very well done--and there's just a little blood and gore thrown in now and then. Katsu Shintaro is just fantastic in this role-and though I also like him as "Hanzo the Razor"-he plays the role of Zatoichi to perfection.
If you're not familiar with Zatoichi--or if you only know the blond, blind Zatoichi from Takeshi Kitano--give this a try--unless you have a hang up with subtitles--you're sure to be pleased!
The seven movies in this set are "Zatoichi the Outlaw", Zatoichi meets Yojimbo" (with Mifune}, "Zatoichi meets the One Armed Swordman", "Zatoichi at Large", "Zatoichi in Desperation", "Zatoichi:The Festival of Fire" and "Zatoichi's Conspiracy"
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71 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Collection of Zatoichi is Excellent May 15, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I got this collection without having seen a Zatoichi episode before. I was enthralled right off with Zatoichi, who is not played by Toshiro Mifune by the way, but is played by Shintaro Katsu who is also a superb actor. Toshiro Mifune appears in the episode "Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo" and does an amazing bit of swordplay when it is his character's time of confrontation.

Shintaro Katsu has an amazing ability to draw the audience into the "willing suspension of disbelief" in regards to these episodes. Some viewers may find a few of the scenes (in later episodes) to be shocking or disgusting. Fortunately, these are very rare, as are the occasional bad actors that remind us that this is not real but show business. With such things being wonderfully absent in 97 percent of the mix, this collection of DVDs is a great addition to my growing library. I have mostly Toshiro Mifune movies, and the "Spaghetti Western" flavor of this Zatoichi collection fits right in.

Some might say that Zatoichi is like the Lone Ranger or Eastwood's characters where one comes into a town, and defeats the bad guys with wits and amazing talent, dropping the jaws of the locals. Being a blind masseuse, Zatoichi has "super-hearing" much like the comic-book hero "DareDevil" and regularly does amazing feats that are very entertaining and sometimes deliberately humorous.

A really excellent bunch of movies/episodes, so 5 stars is what I give it.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the goods September 12, 2005
I'm probably too biased to review this box set in an appropriate manner. I've been a huge fan of the series for years. It would seem to me to be the equivalent of the saturday matinee idea here in the states. A well-crafted, if not absolutely top shelf, series of films. I mean this in the kindest sense. It plays more like an excellent show than, say, a Kurosawa masterpiece. But each episode is solid, no small feat given that these are the last in a 26 film series. A major shift from the first films would be the introduction of a bit more gore and sex (hey, it was the late sixties/early seventies). This may add or detract, depending upon sensibilities. I dig it. Highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good job
Published 18 days ago by kingkongjerry
3.0 out of 5 stars I would recommend buying them one by one instead.
All the movies in this collection are good per-se except 1 and it was horrible. I dont want to go into the details, sorry. I would recommend buying them one by one instead.
Published 24 days ago by John Neber
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Amazing hidden treasure.
Published 2 months ago by Lorenzo L. Garcia
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
was returned to seller. it would not play on my recorder
Published 2 months ago by George Duffy
2.0 out of 5 stars Bad, Even for Zatoichi Fans
This is a very stupid movie. There are some great Zatoichi films, but this isn't one of them. Don't bother.
Published 6 months ago by J. D. Crutchfield
2.0 out of 5 stars PAL!?!?
I enjoy the Zatoichi series, so I'm giving this (Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman) a low rating for only one reason:

Warning! Read more
Published 17 months ago by Kento
5.0 out of 5 stars Zatoichi
Great series, entertaining and fierce. Kind and empathetic Zatoichi is masterful at his swordsmanship. I put him in a different class than Musashi, but still as dazzling. Read more
Published 18 months ago by J. L. Zack
1.0 out of 5 stars This is NOT a box set. Review is for description, not movie.
This is only one movie, #18 Zatoichi:The Blind Swordsman.
All of the reviews and some of the quotes above are misleading describing
this as a box set. Read more
Published 18 months ago by D. J. Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars Zatoichi's Flashing Cane Sword
Zatoichi was a character in a series of 26 Japanese films (released between 1962 and 1989) that starred Shintaro Katsu. Read more
Published on June 12, 2012 by SeekingTraveler
3.0 out of 5 stars good box
why not a 1-26 box? is this not available?
iam lookong for theese
or comes a box out? later?
does it exist in german language?
Published on March 5, 2012 by Tuvok
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Topic From this Discussion
Zatoichi Collection 1, Collection 2, Zatoichi Boxed Collectors Set
Collections 1 & 2 I believe contain the first season's worth of TV episodes, 26 in all. They are the next chapters in the story following the 25th film, all featuring Shintaro Katsu. Definitely what you should follow up the 7 film box set with!
Jan 2, 2010 by chris church |  See all 4 posts
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