Zoku shinobi no mono (1963)

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Zoku shinobi no mono: Directed by Satsuo Yamamoto. With Raizô Ichikawa, Sô Yamamura, Shiho Fujimura, Mikiko Tsubouchi. Confident that he has destroyed the Iga Ninja, the evil Oda Nobunaga continues his quest to conquer Japan. Meanwhile, Ishikawa Goemon (Ichikawa Raizo) has settled down with his wife and child, and wishes only to live in peace — a wish that will not be granted. As mighty warlords battle and connive, Goemon must once again try to assassinate Nobunaga, in order to save the Bhuddist religious community that has come to mean so much to him. But the path to success is once again a twisted one, full of scheming samurai and nefarious traps!

“The second film in the Shinobi No Mono series improves somewhat on the first film. As it begins, Ishikawa Goemon (Ichikawa Raizo) has given up his ninja past and just wants to live a quiet life with his wife and young son. However, Nobunaga Odau0026#39;s men are hunting down all ninjas and catch up with Goemon and commit a savage (and surprising!) act of violence. In retaliation, Goemon swears to kill Nobunaga. To do this, Goemon manipulates one of Nobunagau0026#39;s men against the warlord. This plot is interesting and takes up about the first two-thirds of the film. The pay off is a thrilling action sequence, the best so far in the series, where Goemon gets his revenge.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eHowever, the film has more than a half-hour left, which makes for a somewhat awkward final third. A new villain is introduced and the film keeps giving Goemon reasons to get back into that black suit. The film ends with a cliff-hanger. All of this material would have worked better in a separate entry. As it is now, the filmu0026#39;s most visceral sequence is at the two-third mark. It should have been at the climax.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eAs a whole, this second Shinobi No Mono film is more enjoyable than the first. Action scenes are more plentiful and the intrigue is easier to follow. As usual, Raizo is good. I am still not converted to the series, but I am more interested in watching the third and fourth entries in the AnimEigo box set than I was after the first film.”


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