Based on the sword fighting classic Ichi (Haruka Ayase) is a blind minstrel searching Japan for her childhood mentor: a master of the martial arts. In a town beset by bandits, she comes to the rescue of, a samurai unable to use his own sword. Refusing to believe that a blind woman was his saviour, the townsfolk want Toma as a lawman, and the bandits want him dead. Ichi is their only hope for survival... she may be blind, but darkness is her ally.
Ponderoius Japanese period movie
- Ichi review by Alphaville
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Looking for an exciting period Japanese swordplay movie? Look elsewhere. Pantomime acting, laughable fighting and ponderous directing make Ichi one long, slow bore. Lead actress Haruka Ayase, playing the blind ace swordwielder, has little to do but look gorgeous, which she does brilliantly, but neither that nor Lisa Gerrard’s contribution to the soundtrack can save this one.
We're used to tales of blind Samurai warriors with lethal sword skills. Ichi follows a tradition of roaming blind musicians, but unlike her colleagues she is able to defend herself with ruthless efficiency. The film begins well but the premise fails to develop as poor attempts at comedy soon arise. The fight sequences are effective but the period costumes and settings highlight the low budget of this film, which comes across as being an Oriental version of Xena. This is a real shame as the main characters are certainly interesting but the humour and slapstick is not warranted.