by Matthew Hardstaff
Any admiration I have for Raizo Ichikawa is solely because of AnimEigo releasing the first 4 'Shinobi No Mono' films. Up to that point, I was Ichikawa illterate. It was not only a series of films about something dear to my heart, ninjas, but also a series featuring the ethereal enigmatic presence of kabuki actor Raizo Ichikawa. Whilst we are still anticipating the release of the last 4 'Shinobi No Mono' films, we can now sleep better at night knowing that in the near future we will get to see two other Ichikawa movies released on DVD. Samurai Vendetta: A Chronicle of Pale Cherry Blossoms and Shinsengumi Chronicles: I Want to Die a Samurai. Samurai Vendetta screened at screened at Japan Society New York these past few months in their Double-Edged Sword program, a series which screens films starring both Raizo Ichikawa and Shintaro Katsu which we discussed in November.
No release date or details have been released yet But don't fret. Whilst we wait with bated breathe, it is confirmed that they will be releasing the next 4 films in the classic series 'The Sleepy Eyes of Death' in the winter of this fair year, and for a Shintaro Katsu fix you can get 'The Blind Menace' this May, a film in which he plays a blind masseur with a dark streak that predates 'Zatoichi'. Good stuff.
In the meantime watch this.
Thanks to Wildgrounds for giving me awareness of this.