Samurai, The (Onmitsu Kenshi)-Volume 8 (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 96:15 (Case: 88)
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 Yes
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 eighth volume of The Samurai, and the concluding volume of the second storyline. The first four volumes made up a completely different 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 four episodes on this disc are:

  1. Dogan the Master Ninja (23:42) - the beginning of a double-episode, concerning a trip to Ninja Country to recruit Dogan or his pupils
  2. The Stolen Case (23:42) - the conclusion to the double-episode, with treachery afoot
  3. The Wolf Ninja (24:57) - a different kind of ninja joins the fight wolf ninja, who fight in packs
  4. The Last Duel (23:54) - as the caravan approaches Kyoto there is a final showdown everything rests on this battle

Unfortunately, the final episode has something of a glitch (it would be the final episode!). I could not get two copies of this DVD to play past 2:26 on either of my Pioneer 733s the picture froze, the sound broke up, and then the player either locked or returned to the menu. Fortunately, I could resort to my Sony 905, and that managed to play past the glitch; a Sony 336 was equally tolerant. There is some serious picture and sound break-up, and MPEG macro-blocking, from 2:26 to about 2:40, but past that point everything is OK again. That's fortunate. By the way, note in the background at 4:19 in the final episode: there are cars driving past.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

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

The image is soft, but it still looks sharper than the first four volumes. There's some grain, but it doesn't blur the image badly. Shadow detail is poor. There is no low-level noise.

This is a black-and-white series, showing a good range of luminance, but there are occasional variations in brightness.

There are lots and lots of small film artefacts to be seen here, but not a whole heap of large ones, except for those associated with the film splices. This disc, like all of the discs in the second storyline, shows some 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, but I must warn that this problem is worst on this disc. There are some sequences of shuriken impacts that have frequent film splices, with artefacts at most of those splices ugly.

There is no significant aliasing, only a tiny bit of moire, and no shimmer, except on the menu. The only MPEG artefacts on this disc are those associated with the glitch mentioned above.

There are no subtitles.

The disc is single-sided and single layered. 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 is fairly low-fidelity, but perfectly adequate to the task.

The dialogue is clear enough, and fairly easy to understand. Part of the charm of the show is the dreadfulness of the sync of the dubbing.

The score, from Hirooki Ogawa, is highly percussive during action, and more melodic at other times. The Wurlitzer organ during the opening credits always makes me think of silent movies, and I'm still hating the "boing" drum (that's a technical term!) that emphasises certain parts of the dialogue.

This soundtrack uses your centre channel speaker, but nothing else.

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

Extras

Eight volumes, each sadly bereft of extras of any kind.

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 purple.

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, with a glitch in the final episode.

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...)
Thursday, January 16, 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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