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The 15th film in the Zatoichi saga is also one of the best and most entertaining of the films and pure Ichi fun! Zatoichi's Cane Sword has everything we've come to expect and love in the Zatoichi tales and one that once again follows Ichi as he tries to quit the life of killing and justice he has lead. A local blacksmith tells Ichi that his sword has one more kill left, but after that stroke it will break. Therefore, Ichi gives the blacksmith his cane sword and proceeds to begin a more leisurely life. Of course there are too many bad guys with injustice and evil ways about them for Ichi to simply quit, not to mention another 11 films and television series left. The smith is able to switch the nearly destroyed cane sword with the new cane sword being made for one of the leaders of a rival clan and sword enemy to Ichi. In a dashing final showdown Ichi learns the blacksmith, who earlier was killed by the same clan, has switched the swords and thus ensures Ichi's victory and the downfall of the evil clan. This film was a pure delight and one of the most fun and entertaining of the Zatoichi films.
Zatoichi continues on his quest to give up his life of killing. This time he gets a helping hand when a blacksmith tells him that his sword is on it's last legs, and good for only one more kill. This inspires Zatoichi to give up his sword and work exclusively as a masseuse. Zatoichi without a sword may not sound appealing, but it forces the director to find tension in other aspects, such as the gambling scenes. You can probably guess (with 11 more films in his series to come) that Zatoichi hasn't quite quit just yet, but it's the journey that leads him back to the sword that is enthralling. Yet another fantastic film that hits all the right Zatoichi notes.
Nice Zatoichi outing.
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