I donât write reviews that often but I had to write about this movie. Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman series, is out standing. Really fun to watch.
If you are a fan of foreign, Japanese films then you will love this. Of course this series is subtitled. The original series of 26 films featured Shintaro Katsu as Zatoichi. Shintaro Katsu acting is completely believable.
A little more info on the series: The first film was made in 1962 in black and white. The third film, in 1963, was the first to be filmed in color. The twenty-fifth film was made in 1973, and there was a pause of some 16 years before Katsu's last film, in 1989, which he wrote and directed himself. Shintaro Katsu acting is completely believable.
This is the first series of real foreign-film samurai movies I've gotten into, and I love it! The storyline rolls like an american western set in feudal Japan, with gangsters and outlaws holding towns ransom, and this hilarious eccentric blind guy stumbles into the story at first almost like one of the three stooges. But he is Zatoichi! Although I had to read subtitles, I really liked the developed characters in each story. I'm still watching the series so I'm not sure how essential it is to watch ALL of them, but they are definitely good foreign kung-fu/samurai action movies.
Having seen all of the Zatoichi series, I can truly say that this is one of the best series of films depicting a Blind former Yakuza who has morals & principles who rights the wrongs dealt to him & others. The sword play is amazing & Zatoichi's delivery of his lines superb!!! This is one of the best Japanese swordplay epics with a heart!!! Also check out Ken Watanabe in "Baian the Assassin."