Not Rated Dir: Kenji Misumi | AnimEigo | 7h 7min
Plot: What’s it about?
Ogami Itto (Wakayama Tomisaburo) lived his life by the harsh code of Bushido, as he was one of the Shogun’s most trusted warriors. He held the most grave, dark position of all for the Shogun, as he served as the official executioner. His blade was wielded with immense skill and no mercy, all those who were sentenced were executed by his hand. It could be a man, woman, or even a child, but Ogami would never hesitate to deal out swift, lethal punishment. The position was coveted by many, but not to the degree of the Yagyu clan, a group which wanted to overtake the position, not to mention ruin Ogami’s life in the process. In order to have him removed from his station, the Yagyu clan has him framed as a traitor and of course, the replacement is to come from within their ranks. But it doesn’t end there, as Ogami’s family is slaughtered, with no survivors aside from his infant son Daigoro. Ogami offers his son a choice between life and death, but like his father, his life would one on a path of damnation. Now Ogami wanders the land as a samurai for hire, while Daigoro rides in the cart and lends a hand at times. The cart is a special one too, with hidden blades and other assorted surprises. Does the future hold vengeance for these two, or will they find no solace, even on such a damned road?
Video: How does it look?
All five films are presented in 2.35:1 widescreen. The first movie looks incredible and is sure to have fans pinching themselves in disbelief. The image is clean and sharp, with a lot more depth on showcase than previous versions. The sequels however don’t quite reach that same level of performance. Make no mistake, these transfers are improvements over the DVD releases, but the jump isn’t as high as with the first Shogun Assassin. Even so, fans will be delighted with the more refined visual treatments, as all five movies look terrific.
Audio: How does it sound?
The English dub is offered on all the films and given that this is a Shogun Assassin set, not Lone Wolf and Cub, that makes perfect sense. The audio is clean and clear for the most part, with minimal signs of age or what not. I don’t think anyone will be all that impressed in terms of technical performance, but given the nature and age of the movies, I think all five sound quite good and I think most fans will agree.
Supplements: What are the extras?
The original Shogun Assassin has two audio commentary tracks to spin, while an interview with Samuel L. Jackson rounds out the extras.
- (2.35:1) Aspect Ratio
- Theatrical Trailer
- Audio Commentary
- Deleted Scene(s)
- Digital Copy
- 2 Disc Set