Criterion Announces Massive 27 Disc ZATOICHI Box Set

, Founder and Editor
Got a fondness for a certain wandering blind swordsman? Turns out so does the Criterion Collection, who have just announced a massive 27 disc Zatoichi box set due to release November 26th. It's a dual BluRay / DVD affair spanning twenty five feature films with special features including:

  • New digital restorations of all twenty-five films, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-rays
  • 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
  • New English subtitle translations
  • 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

These things are essential viewing for fans of classic samurai film and this promises to be the definitive edition.

Around the Internet:
  • I love the Zaroichi films and I am psyched about this. BTW Hulu plus has a nice selection if you need to get a quick fix.

  • Mr. Cavin

    I've had an excellent day, but this might be the very best thing about it so far. I am gonna get to reclaim so much shelf space!

  • Hector Morales

    Oh shit..I am getting this....This is Unreal

  • Dave Baxter

    Woooow. They really should have tried to get the "Blind Menace" flick as well and included it, and it's too bad they didn't do the 1989 26th film, too, as that one REALLY needed a better quality release. I'm sure there are plenty of reasons those were deemed not possible, though. And of course, it goes to figure they announce this shortly after I'd hunted down tons of RJ2 and French editions because they were so much better than the R1 releases. Ach, more money to be spent!

  • Hiroaki Johnson

    Yeah, I am fond of that one as well. I think storywise it's not nearly the best, but the action and gore effects are really fun.

  • Tom

    This isn't April 1, is it??

  • No, sir! It's coming for real ...

  • Martin Wagner

    This simply left me slack-jawed with awe.

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