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Lone Wolf & Cub Complete [Blu-ray]

4.7 out of 5 stars 98 customer reviews

Additional Blu-ray options Edition Discs
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Blu-ray
(Sep 25, 2012)
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2
$299.98 $234.32

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Editorial Reviews

He is the most feared assassin in all of Japan, known only as the Lone Wolf. Pushing his young son along the back-roads of feudal Japan in a heavily armed baby-cart, he strikes fear into the black hearts of evil-doers everywhere -- as long as someone can come up with his fee. Nothing, not the legions of a mad shogun, hordes of Yagyu ninja, or even the undead, can stop him! Now for the first time, all six films in spectacular High Definition!

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Format: Blu-ray, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Animeigo
  • DVD Release Date: September 25, 2012
  • Run Time: 507 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008H1Q3NW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,245 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
For pure, unadulterated, visceral entertainment, the "Lone Wolf and Cub" series can't be beat. The acting, directing, the screenplays, and the cinematography are all top notch. The action sequences have to be seen to be believed. Each and every film feature loads of "money shots". Fans of Tarantino will immediately see where he drew much of his inspiration for the "Kill Bill" series. I suspect that these movies were an influence on "Mighty Python and the Holy Grail" as well. Another little known fact is that the manga that this is based upon was also the inspiration for "Road to Perdition".

People with no experience with Japanese cinema will probably find these movies to be very bizarre the first time they see them. They depict a culture whose morals and values are quite different from Western standards. Its not uncommon in these movies for someone to kill, or commit suicide, for reasons not easily comprehended. Examples: in Volume 2, a cult of female ninjas brutally dismember and kill one of their allies, just to prove a point (that they're superior fighters). In volume 6, one thug after another joyfully sacrifice their lives in order to help a princess perfect her killing technique. In volume 3, following a brutal rape and murder, a Samurai attempts to help the criminals cover up their atrocity. His actions are depicted as honorable behavior.

The main character, Ogami Itto, can only be described as an anti-hero. An assassin by trade, he describes himself as evil, a demon, "one who walks along the crossroads of Hell". He will kill anyone for 500 pieces of gold, even women and children. The opening scene in the first film sets the tone of the series, when Ogami, the official executioner of the Shogun, brutally decapitates a toddler.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Lone Wolf and Cub" is the pinnacle of Asian grindhouse cinema and the most action-packed and downright cool series of samurai films ever made. The violence is brutal, the sex (both forced and consensual) is plentiful, the characters are memorable, and there is a lot of subtle humor and beautiful Japanese culture to be enjoyed as well. I cannot recommend these six films enough.

Beginning as the Shogun's personal executioner, our anti-hero Ogami Itto is framed by the jealous and ambitious Yagyu clan's shadow ops; his wife murdered in the process. In his rage, Itto takes his young son, Daigoro, and declares them to be demons, apart from the world of men to live as assassins for hire. His primary target: the head of the Shadow Yagyus, a decrepit old warrior known as Retsudo. Along the way he encounters hidden ninja and other Yagyu warriors, deadly kunoichi, clan heads in need of his services, friendly villagers, prostitutes, yakuza, Retsudo's skilled offspring, and many more, most of whom will either be diced up by his sword, or by his enemies'. Thankfully, Lone Wolf and Cub are more than ready for whatever comes their way. Ogami Itto pushes his son around in a modified baby cart that is packed full of hidden surprises for anyone who wishes to take his head. And nobody is his equal with a sword. Nobody. Amusingly, Daigoro manages to rack up a little body count of his own and embarks on his own little adventures from time to time too.

The first film "Sword of Vengeance" focuses on Ogami Itto's first clashes with the Shadow Yagyu clan; playing a bloody game of chess as the disgraced samurai embarks upon his demon's journey by outwitting Retsudo and escaping to the open road.
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I'm a huge fan of martial arts films in general, samurais in particular. Part of the problem, for me, in finding samurai films I'd like is the tendency of Japanese filmamkers to include odd humor and action scenes that are too unbelievable. Now, I like unrealistic action fights, I can watch Drunken Master 2 or Crouching Tiger,Hidden Dragon all day, but sometimes you can take fantasy too far--in the anime version of Samurai Showdown, Haohmaru the samurai defeats a swarm of bees with his sword by chopping them up. A bit too much.

The reason I bring this up is to let anyone who has the same taste as I do in martial arts films (fantasy fighting with some gravity to it) know that they'll enjoy these movies as much as anything they've seen.

First off, the story is just great in each film. You really can't predict the actions and decisions that lead hero, Ogami Itto, will make. He's the perfect samurai character, grim, silent, and ruthlessly efficient. I was a bit leary about Tomisaburo Wakaya, as he's not the vision of the ultimate samurai, but his fine acting and martial arts chops make you forget about his double chin. Upon first seeing him, I wished they had cast an actor who looked mroe like the comicbook Ogami Itto--twenty minutes into a film, I forgot all about the comics.

The action is just incredibly well done. It's not the beautiful, agile swordplay of the Chinese sword films, but it has an elegance to it. Whereas the Chinese like to draw out a fight and have both warriors display every move in their arsenal, the Japanese directors tend to focus on a single, perfect stroke. The fights are fast and furious, with limbs and fountains of blood. For those seeking to avoid blood and guts, you might want to rethink getting this.
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