Back in August '09, I posted my review of Tadashi Imai's Cruel Tales of Bushido. Now I've gotten hold of an advance copy of AnimEigo's DVD release (out February 9th) re-dubbed Bushido: The Cruel Code of the Samurai. As with all AnimEigo releases, the disk is packed with historical and cultural information in the form of supplemental notes and essays, as well as explanatory supertitles above particularly idiomatic/referential subtitles. In short, the package is a Japanese history nerd's dream. And speaking of Japanese history nerds, my boy Randy Schadel from the Samurai Archives provides one of his typically voluminous pieces on the disk, a definite value-add.
Even if you're not all that interested in Japanese history, you'll still find this film an unforgettable experience and a unique look into a centuries-old martial culture. Plus it's a great showcase for the talents of the great Kinnosuke Nakamura, here portraying seven different roles to devastating effect. Needless to say I'm overjoyed to see this true classic of Japanese cinema receiving the long-overdue DVD release it deserves.
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