Samurai, The (Onmitsu Kenshi)-Volume 6 (1962)

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Released 8-Jan-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Martial Arts None
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1962
Running Time 74:09 (Case: 66)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Sadao Funatoko
Studio
Distributor
Senkosha Productions
Shock Entertainment
Starring Koiichi Ose
Toshiyuki Katsuki
Fuyukichi Maki
Bin Amatsu
Ken Mishima
Tamotsu Ohtake
Ryuji Ishikawa
Jun Haichi
Tadashi Tanemura
Case PUSH-26
RPI $24.95 Music Hirooki Ogawa


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

This is the sixth volume of The Samurai, but it's really the second volume of the second storyline. The first four volumes made up a complete storyline. You'll find my review of The Samurai Volume 5 discusses the second storyline please refer there for the background to the story

The three episodes on this disc are:

  1. Betrayed by a Ninja (24:57) - tip to expert ninja: if you're in disguise, make sure you leave footprints in the sand...
  2. A Spy's Revenge (24:19) - a young woman tries to kill Shintaro to avenge her brother, one of the Koga ninja who died attacking him
  3. Poison Blade (24:53) - a one-on-one confrontation between Shintaro and Genkaro does not go as expected

It is fairly clear that some camera techniques worked really well pans and zooms seem fine but some did not any shot involving a moving camera bounces around all over the place (well, this predates Steadicam by over a decade!). It even looks as though they didn't have a dolly system perhaps a TV show couldn't justify the budget?

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Transfer Quality

Video

This series is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. It is not 16x9 enhanced.

The image is softish, but this storyline looks a bit sharper than the first four volumes. There's some grain, but it's nothing compared to the film artefacts! Shadow detail is poor. There is no low-level noise.

This is black-and-white. There are no instances of over-hot whites, but the brightness does fluctuate a bit at times.

The level of film artefacts is impressive, and the catalogue includes every kind: spots, speckles, flecks, scratches, fluff, stains, and blotches. There are film artefacts on every frame. One particularly large one is worthy of note: at 6:05 in Episode 4 there is a large white patch that might be a piece of tape.

This disc, like all of discs in the second storyline, shows nasty film artefacts on one frame adjacent to many of the film splices I've discussed these in more detail in my review of Volume 5.

There is no significant aliasing, and no shimmer, except on the menu. There is some slight moire on one of the finely patterned kimonos, and on a basket hat, but it's only very slight. There are no MPEG artefacts on this disc.

There are no subtitles, unfortunately.

The disc is single-sided and single layered. There is no layer change to worry about, and no problem, given the limited amount included on this disc.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

The soundtrack is provided in English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono. The soundtrack offers limited dynamic range, and a full complement of analogue tape artefacts: hiss, crackle, and even one moment of wow.

The dialogue is clear enough, and fairly easy to understand. It's a horrible dub, by normal standards, but the show would be wrong without it.

Hirooki Ogawa's score is part of the show it combines traditional Japanese instruments with Western ones, including the occasional fragment of piano. I still don't like the drum going "boing", because it sounds like a cartoon punch line (it is not placed to emphasise humour).

This soundtrack makes no use of anything but your centre channel speaker.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

The fifth ring of the Go Rin No Sho is the Void. So is the list of extras for this disc.

Menu

The menu is static and silent, listing the episodes, and allowing selection and playing of one at a time. The background to this menu is yellow.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

This disc is not available in Region 1.

Summary

A second season of a classic TV serial, presented in poor condition on DVD.

The video quality is quite poor, but we wouldn't recognise it otherwise.

The audio quality is poor, but adequate.

There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Tuesday, January 14, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

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