'Zatôichi: The Blind Swordsman' Blu-ray Dated and Detailed

Posted Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 06:00 AM PDT by

25 Japanese action classics will be available in a Criterion boxed set this November!

In an early announcement to retailers, the Criterion Collection will proudly present 'Zatôichi: The Blind Swordsman' on Blu-ray on November 26.

The colossally popular Zatoichi films make up the longest-running action series in Japanese history and created one of the screen’s great heroes: an itinerant blind masseur who also happens to be a lightning-fast swordsman. As this iconic figure, the charismatic and earthy Shintaro Katsu became an instant superstar, lending a larger-than-life presence to the thrilling adventures of a man who lives staunchly by a code of honor and delivers justice in every town and village he enters. The films that feature him are variously pulse-pounding, hilarious, stirring, and completely off-the-wall. This deluxe set features the string of twenty-five Zatoichi films made between 1962 and 1973, collected in one package for the first time.

The 27-disc set (9 Blu-rays + 18 DVDs) will feature new digital restorations of all twenty-five films, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-rays; and supplements will include: The Blind Swordsman, a 1978 documentary about Zatoichi portrayer and filmmaker Shintaro Katsu, along with a new interview with its director, John Nathan; New interview with Asian-film critic Tony Rayns; Trailers for all twenty-five films; and a book featuring an essay by critic Geoffrey O'Brien; synopses of the films by critic, novelist, and musician Chris D.; "The Tale of Zatoichi," the original short story by Kan Shimozawa; and twenty-five new illustrations inspired by the films, by twenty-five different artists.

Suggested list price for the box set is $224.95.

You can find the latest specs for 'Zatôichi: The Blind Swordsman' linked from our Blu-ray Release Schedule, where it's indexed under November 26.

See what people are saying about this story in our forums area, or check out other recent discussions.

Discs mentioned in this article: (Click for specs and reviews)
Zatôichi: The Blind Swordsman (Criterion) (Blu-ray)
Tags: Disc Announcements, Criterion (all tags)