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Director Fumihiko Sori simultaneously reinvents and continues the Zatoichi legend with this tale of a blind, wandering musician who was trained in the art of one-handed sword fighting as a young girl. Ichi (Haruka Ayase) learned how to wield a sword with the help of a blind masseuse. These days she keeps her sword concealed in her cane, only drawing it when the situation necessitates. She's searching for the man who trained her, the man she believes to be her father. When Ichi is ambushed by a group of vicious gangsters, a sympathetic samurai rushes to the rescue. But Ichi can fend for… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"With its hokey, flashback-heavy plotting, unadventurous camera use and a clutch of cloyingly earnest performances, it comes across like an irony-free, mid-season episode of 'Xena: Warrior Princess'."
‑ David Jenkins, Time Out
"Fumihiko Sori's attempt to make an original addition to the Zatoichi martial arts franchise never reaches the virtuosity of Takeshi Kitano's original. Needless to say, the fight scenes are better than the dialogue."
‑ Derek Malcolm, This is London
"Fumihiko Sori's film contains flashing blades and great sprays of arterial blood. The pacing, however, is as languid and soothing as a lullaby."
‑ Xan Brooks, Guardian
"Haruka Ayase gives a very memorable performance and she's truly steals every scene she inhabits."
‑ Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed
"Ultimately a romp, albeit one with some entertaining quirks and a strange melancholy undertow, we shouldn't make overly high-falutin' claims for Ichi, but fans of balletic fight scenes should get a kick out of some good-looking sequences."
‑ Catherine Bray, Film4
"The fight scenes directed by Kurosawa's choreographer Hiroshi Kuze are exceptional, actually enhancing the pathos at the heart of the film. This might be a simple story, but it's well-told and has an unassuming appeal."
‑ Jonathan Williams, Little White Lies
"A melancholy period drama colored by spurts of violent, blood-splattering swordplay."
‑ Mark Pollard, Kung Fu Cinema
"The villains are from the broad "har-de-har" school of banditry, the action is mostly fudged, and the resolution achingly obvious."
‑ Kevin Maher, Times [UK]
"With Ran action choreographer Hiroshi Kuze on swordplay duties, the fisticuffs is suitably impressive, with even Ayase not relying too heavily on quick editing."
‑ Rob Daniel, Sky Movies
More reviews for Ichi on Rotten Tomatoes