Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Zatoichi versus Yojimbo

***Warning Spoiler***
Re-watching one of my favorite samurai flicks "Zatoichi versus Yojimbo". I keep thinking the'res got to be a D&D adventure in there somewhere. Zatoichi after a harrowing escape in the rain decides to head for a peaceful village of the beaten path, which he remembers for the smell of plum blossoms, the babbling brook, and the cool breeze. When you see the dead body floating in the brook that Zatoichi doesn't see being blind, you know things aren't going to go well for Zatoichi (they never do). Turns out some crumb bums are stealing gold by clipping coins at the Shoguns mint, and hiding it here in this out of the way village. Unfortunately it seems that every villain within a hundred miles has heard the rumors. Plot is driven by strong characters: Zatoichi the blind swordsman who keeps trying to do good, but usually ends up cutting everyone to sushi. Yojimbo who pretends to be a drunken mercenary, but is actually a secret agent for the Shogun, and then there's the third guy who's sent by the Shogun to see whats taking Yojimbo so long, he's got his own secret army and a two shot pistol for when he doesn't feel like slicing people in half. The main plot problem I encounter for samurai flicks is of course rather than working as a team like a good D&D adventuring party the main characters end up squaring off to see who's the better swordsman. Zatochi and Yojimbo both draw blood when fighting but avoid killing each other. Unfortunately Yojimbo kills pistol guy so no sequel for him.
"Incident at Blood Pass" is another of my favorites with a somewhat similar plot, but this time the gold is just passing through and no blind swordsman, only the drunken samurai. How about you? Ever figure out how to convert a samuria flick into an adventure? How'd it work out.

P.S. One thing I like about samuria flicks not many reoccurring villians. Once the two guys draw swords, usually only one of them is walking away.

1 comment:

  1. In one of the Zatoichi movies, the guy is putting gold dust into the statues at the side of the road. It's a fantastic plot device/hiding place. Of course much of the material of early Zatoichi movies relies on personal connections so modeling events based on what the characters do is always easy at the start...


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