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  • Memoir of Japanese Assassinations

    Memoir of Japanese Assassinations

    ★★★

    Definitely an oddball, this one!

    Starts off as a series of short vignettes on historic incidents of assassination being employed as a tool in rebellions across the arc of Japan’s modernization and opening to the world.

    The bulk of the film dwells on the personal story of a down on his luck laborer (played by Sonny Chiba) that transforms into a political assassin after falling in with a Buddhist sect with nationalist leanings.

    The actions of the protagonist create momentum…

  • Brutal Tales of Chivalry 5: Man With The Karajishi Tattoo

    Brutal Tales of Chivalry 5: Man With The Karajishi Tattoo

    ★★★★½

    This might well be my favorite in the series.

    Junko Fuji joins the cast along with Ken-san and Ikebe, rounding out an already strong lineup in her nuanced portrayal of Ikebe’s wife.

    The plot is a little darker and less focused on saving the underdog/downtrodden in this entry - Ikebe is simply out for revenge, and Ken-san is his comrade at arms.

    The fact that Ikebe’s character spends most of the movie with just one arm makes his sword fighting…

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  • Contemporary Tales of Chivalry: Forbidden Love

    Contemporary Tales of Chivalry: Forbidden Love

    ★★★½

    Deleted my old review as I accidentally posted it to the wrong title in the series...


    Review for this one forthcoming!
    m(__)m

  • The Kanto Scarlet Cherry Gang

    The Kanto Scarlet Cherry Gang

    ★★★★½

    While this is a send-off film for Junko Fuji’s career at Toei, her role is just one of many in an all-star ensemble cast.

    Supergroups in the music world almost never live up to their potential, but this ninkyo eiga supergroup simply nails it! It is cool to see Fuji play a personality that is quite distinct from her tough yet polite demeanor in the Red Peony Gambler series, and the cinematography and pacing and plot development are all spot-on.…