Japan • Year, Times, Color, Ratio Varies • Japanese
The colossally popular Zatoichi films make up the longest-running action series in Japanese history and created one of the screens great heroes: an itinerant blind masseur who also happens to be a lightning-fast swordsman. As this iconic figure, the charismatic and earthy Shintaro Katsu became an instant superstar, lending a larger-than-life presence to the thrilling adventures of a man who lives staunchly by a code of honor and delivers justice in every town and village he enters. The films that feature him are variously pulse-pounding, hilarious, stirring, and completely off-the-wall. This deluxe set features the string of twenty-five Zatoichi films made between 1962 and 1973, collected in one package for the first time.
- New digital restorations of all twenty-five films, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-rays
- The Blind Swordsman, a 1978 documentary about Zatoichi portrayer and filmmaker Shintaro Katsu, along with a new interview with its director, John Nathan
- New interview with Asian-film critic Tony Rayns
- Trailers for all twenty-five films
- New English subtitle translations
- PLUS: A book featuring an essay by critic Geoffrey OBrien; synopses of the films by critic, novelist, and musician Chris D.; The Tale of Zatoichi, the original short story by Kan Shimozawa; and twenty-five new illustrations inspired by the films, by twenty-five different artists