Monday, January 09, 2012

Jmovie review: Scabbard Samurai

Scabbard Samurai starts off with this samurai, Nomi who only has a scabbard and no katana on the run with his daughter. My first thoughts were is this going to be a lone wolf and cub type movie? I quickly realised it was not when Nomi runs across his first assassin and gets slashed in the back before running off. The daughter, played by the little girl from Runaway nurses his wounds by grinding plants together and applying on his wound.

Nori the scabbard samurai runs into two other assassins and gets shot in the head and his neck snapped before once again running away. Ok, now I know for sure this not a realistic samurai movie. Comedy, perhaps? Nori gets captured and has 30 days to make the son of the lord laugh or else he has to commit seppuku. Ok, now we're getting into the gist of the movie.

Samurai without a sword and his daughter have 30 chances to make this comatose-like young lord laugh or else he's dead. Throw in two guards who get caught up with helping Nori and you have the makings of an interesting comedy. I like the humour in Scabbard Samurai. Of course there's a lot of slapstick with Nori's attempts but the funny thing is how they come up with the jokes and the guards blaming each other when they fail.

Nori attempts a lot of crazy stunts, some of which require turning off your brain but without realising it, this movie really endeared me to this silent samurai and his smart daughter. Behind the 30 attempts to make the young lord laugh is a father and daughter story where the daughter does all the talking. Thank goodness the daughter is not too smart like in Runaway or maybe its just the absense of idiots in this movie that makes her stick out like a sore thumb.

Scabbard Samurai is one of those rare crowd pleasing movies that touches the audience without being overly manipulative. Its been a while since I've watched a Japanese movie this good. I guarantee that you will laugh, you will cry and you will definitely remember this gem of a movie.


Bonafide Jones said...

Wow I really want to watch this now.

Antspace said...

Yep! Gem of a movie indeed : ) This is the first role for the actor who plays the father! I liked the daughter in Runaway as well, but not enough to finish it : (
The rest of the cast for this movie is really great as well. I got to appreciate Tokio Emoto. His facial expressions are soooo empty :D

Anonymous said...

this movie is all known for the director. matsumoto hitoshi who is very famous and I love his shows like suberanai hanashi, zutto to suru hanashi whcich are talk/variety shows.

But anyways I saw his interview about this movie and he was talking about "warai" because he is a geinin. I thought it was really interesting. The main actor in this movie isn't really an actor. he's actually a comedian so i'm glad to hear that he did a great job cause in japan sometimes the actors do the worst acting ie. fujiwara tatsuya

Akiramike said...

Generally speaking IMHO, Japanese comedians are usually pretty good actors compared to idorus and talentos.