Kuro-obi (Black Belt) (2007) - Rotten Tomatoes

Kuro-obi (Black Belt) (2007)





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Director Shunichi Nagasaki and screenwriter George Iida ponder the delicate balance between fierce confrontation and moral reflection as related to the realm of defensive martial arts in this thoughtful tale of two students divided by their disparate beliefs. The decade is the 1930s, and the setting is a secluded dojo on the southernmost Japanese island of Kyushu. As watchful sensei Eiken Shibahara (Shinya Ohwada) reinforces the defensive aspect of the martial arts to his three most dedicated students, a military police force led by the forebodingly stern Captain Tanahara (Hakuryu) arrive to forcefully eject the peaceful group. The confrontation fast turning physical, principled pupil Giryu (Akihito Yagi) responds to the absurd orders by successfully defending himself against the grim-faced Captain. Aggressive fellow student Taikan (Tatsuya Naka) mocks Giryu's passive stance, and after the officer wounds third student Choei (Yuji Suzuki), Giryu is left to die after being forced over a cliff. But Giryu isn't out of the fight just yet, because as the traitorous Taikan teaches Captain Tanahara's men how to adopt martial arts for combative purposes, the more traditional student is generously nursed back to health by a kind local family. Later, Giryu and Taikan clash in the ultimate battle of corruption versus tradition. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Action & Adventure , Art House & International , Drama
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Critic Reviews for Kuro-obi (Black Belt)

All Critics (1)

Like a 1962 martial-arts movie, influenced by the landscape of American Westerns and relying on A-to-B storytelling, villains and heroes unfettered by backstory or motive.

Full Review… | July 5, 2011
Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Audience Reviews for Kuro-obi (Black Belt)

awesome movie. a bit slow at times but I really liked it. very different from modern MA flicks. To me its right up there with "fighter in the wind".

Richard Ohaver
Richard Ohaver

Great movie on the essence of Karate. A must for any martial artist. Top notch fight scenes with no hint of wires, mysticism of CGI.

Michael C
Michael C

Set in the early years of the Showa Era in Japan, the story revolves around three men who aspire to receive the "kuro-obi" that can go only to the rightful successor. In contrast to modern martial arts film where wires, CGI or stylized filmmaking techniques are used to dazzle audiences with stylized action scenes, the director has combined a character-driven story with the talents of real black belt karate masters/actors Akihito Yagi, Tatsuya Naka and Yuji Suzuki. The film makers have gone for style and substance over mindless entertainment and produce a very entertaining story of 3 students deciding their paths after their sensei has passed and the military has requisitioned the dojo. This is real karate, real fast, so be sure not to blink or you might miss something Photobucket

El Hombre Invisible
El Hombre Invisible

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