Another entertaining entry in the long running Zatoichi series.
26 July 2004
'Zatoichi In Desperation' was the 24th movie in the long running and very popular martial arts series starring Shintaro Katsu as Zatoichi the blind master swordsman and masseur. Zatoichi, for those that don't know is a ronin (a wandering samurai), very quiet and unassuming with a wry sense of humour, but an absolute killing machine when crossed! In this episode he encounters an old woman while crossing a bridge, and after a brief conversation with her, she tragically falls to her death. Upset, Zatoichi sets off to a nearby town to look for the woman's daughter Nishikigi to break the news to her. He eventually finds her working as a geisha and learns she only needs to pay a debt of fifty ryo to buy her freedom. Zatoichi becomes obsessed with raising the money and in doing so ignores the hardships experienced by the local fisherman caused by the local evil boss Mangoro. But when Mangoro kidnaps Nishikigi everything comes to a head in a brutal climax, and Zatoichi must save her and his own life. I can't claim to be any kind of Zatoichi expert, but he's a most intriguing character, and Katsu plays the role masterfully. I highly recommend 'Zatoichi In Desperation'.
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