Fight, Zatoichi, Fight (1964)
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Ichi sticks his nose into a crappy diaper; and earns the admiration of a wayward middle-aged woman. Caution: dirty laundry is shown on screen.
There is little action in this film, still some, but Fight, Zatoichi Fight is more a film showcasing Zatoichi's soft side and love of innocent children and enjoyment of peace. The film starts with Zatoichi graciously giving up his escort to a woman with a newborn baby so that she can rest on her journey home. The men in pursuit of Zatoichi stab the woman, thinking it's Zatoichi inside, and leave the baby with no mother. Thus Zatoichi makes it his mission to get the child back to his father, all the while fending off attacks from the group pursuing him. One hilarious scene involves him striking down several men while in the process of changing the baby's diaper. The film really focuses on Zatoichi and his loving and caring attitude more than the action but it makes for a deeper look at Zatoichi and his kindhearted ways.
A bizarre title for this as it contains the least amount of fighting so far. This film is all about emotion and character development. There are still plenty of sword fights, but this mostly has Zatoichi talking his way out of fights. Here, he takes care of an infant until he can return it to it's father. Though there are plenty of those bonding moments, this isn't incredibly cheesy, nor does it soften Zatoichi. He isn't some gruff action hero that "doesn't want a kid around", he enjoys the company and becomes very attached. It becomes a real tearjerker without becoming some manipulative drivel. As this is the 8th film in the series, I was thankful for the change in pace and the wonderful characters. Slower, but understandably so.
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