Japan's most iconic samurai Zatoichi gets a whole new spin in the action-packed swordplay drama Ichi
from award-winning Ping Pong
director Sori Fumihiko. The pulp adventures of blind masseur and lethal swordsman Zatoichi were first made famous by Katsu Shintaro in a long-running film and television series from the 1960s to 80s, and Kitano Takeshi later portrayed the fictional samurai in his eponymous 2003 blockbuster. In 2008, the Zatoichi franchise is reimagined again, this time with a heroine in the leading role! Popular actress Ayase Haruka (Cyborg She
), who won Best Actress at the 2008 Nikkan Sports Film Awards, stars as the female counterpart of Zatoichi - Ichi
- a blind and world-weary loner swordswoman with superior fighting skills. The film co-stars top actors Osawa Takao (Midnight Eagle
), Kubozuka Yosuke (Ping Pong
), and Nakamura Shido (Letters from Iwo Jima
), in a charismatically over-the-top performance as the villain. Though featuring a female in the leading role, Ichi
is very much cut in the vein of classic samurai actioners, with archetypal characters, stunning photography, and intense, elegant swordplay action choreographed by Kuze Hiroshi (Ran, Twilight Samurai
Blind and beautiful traveling singer Ichi (Ayase Haruka) has been wandering the country searching for her teacher, a blind masseur who taught her the way of the sword when she was a child. She reluctantly gains a traveling companion when kind-hearted samurai Toma (Osawa Takao) tries to save her from a group of thugs, and ends up needing to being saved himself. After Ichi dispels the thugs with a flash of the sword hidden in her walking stick, the two roll into a village being terrorized by a gang led by the ruthless Banki (Nakamura Shido). Though Ichi isn't interested in fighting, she soon gets pulled into the lethal battle between good and evil.
NOTE: The feature film on this Blu-ray disc is playable in all regions and on all Blu-ray disc players. However, the included trailer is PAL standard, and is only playable on a PAL-compatible PlayStation 3 or Blu-ray player.