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(Review originally written at 7 May 2010)

I was interested in seeing how director Kenji Misumi would pick up the series again. He directed the first three movies but the previous one, "Kozure Ôkami: Oya no kokoro ko no kokoro", got directed by Buichi Saito. would Kenji Misumi continue on the same trend he had started the series in, or would he go with the successful more western style of approach Buichi Saito brought to the series.

The answer would be the first. Kenji Misumi pretty much continues what he had started. This is not a bad thing of course, since all of the first three movies were great and entertaining ones but it just makes it a little bit less accessible as a movie for the western audience. This style was however also more appreciated in Japan itself, so the switch back is quite understandable.

The movie starts off kind of slow and uninteresting and I wasn't too fond about its storytelling but it soon finds its old form. It actually turns into one of the more stronger movies out of the series, also story-wise. The movie does feature some great memorable moments in it, perhaps even more so than was the case with any of the previous movies. It's a very entertaining movie and its fight sequences are a pleasure to watch. It's being highly original and creative with some of its moments.

It's awesome to see how Ogami Itto is taking on whole armies again. You would think that by now his reputation would had exceeded him and people would know better to cross swords with him. The Japanese are however too noble and proud to just runaway at his sight or perform harakiri right away. Luckilly for use though, since it means that the movie gets action packed and features plenty of fountains of blood again, especially toward the ending when the movie becomes really more and more action filled and spectacular.

Such an awesome and entertaining movie.

9/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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