Zatoichi: A Challenge of Change

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Posted In: Action Movies, Aikido, All Movies, Bushido, Kung Fu Fighting, Kung Fu Movies, Martial Arts Movies
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Season 1, Episode 1: While traveling, Zatoichi meets a kindly stranger named Tatsuso. They travel together to Ashido Village, home to a copper mine, where corrupt government officials and a ruthless Yakuza boss named Yasaburo terrorize the locals and slowly run them out of their businesses.  Zatoichi learns that his traveling companion was once known as Tatsuso the Sword-Thrower and together they help a young woman named Oshin to protect her business.

This classic Japanese Television series is the product of Daiei studios that made some 25+ Zatoichi movies before bringing a condensed version of the Zatoichi stories to television. One may wonder if the quality of the series dropped off with a smaller budget, hour long episodes, and the demand for a new story each week. And amazingly, the Zatoichi television series is just as good as the film series that preceded it. In fact many may prefer the television series.

Since each episode is reduced from 85 to 55 minutes, you get to the climatic fight a lot sooner. Also since the plot has to be simplified to accommodate less characters, the films are easier to follow. Zatoichi movies usually have several plot lines that converge at the climax while the television shows usually have only one. And with exception to the absence of fountains of blood pouring out of Ichi’s victims [ something only seen in the later movies ] the production quality is every bit as good as the movies. There are some episodes that reuse plots from the movies, but by the last few Toho films they were already recycling some of the earlier film plots. The series lasted for 100 episodes before the character was retired. This is a wonderful series, I’ll soon be posting more of these. Enjoy! Thomas DiSanto

2 Responses to “Zatoichi: A Challenge of Change”

  1. zkel Says:

    it is a blessed experienced to see vintage classic movies as these so beautiful in cinematic style my heart pounds with the action and samurai skill of a swordsman i hope you put more together and let the whole world enjoy these priceless movies.

  2. zkel Says:

    I enjoyed watching Katusha Shin taro movies that have comedy and teachings and it has heart also familiar with lone wolf and baby cart GoyoKibai Kamsori hanzo Jigoku Zeme these movies are an art form and non-stop action from beginning to end. I would stay up all night if you had more.