Samurai, The (Onmitsu Kenshi)-Volume 2 (1962)

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Released 26-Sep-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Martial Arts None
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1962
Running Time 72:03 (Case: 66)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Toru Toyama
Studio
Distributor

Shock Entertainment
Starring Koiichi Ose
Shunsuke Omori
Case Click
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 second volume of The Samurai. Please read my review of Volume 1 first, because I won't be explaining the background to this serial again.

Now we are well into the journey Shintaro is committed to his quest, and Shusaku is his determined companion. This volume is a little unusual, in that it contains a complete story arc of a subplot (SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) the story of Kurobei, the ninja don't-wanna-be. I'm sure it is just happenstance that this arc fits perfectly onto this one volume, but it is a nice coincidence.

Production values are not high, which is perfectly understandable in a TV serial made in 1962. It's always amusing to see a "solid" wall wobble when an actor touches it. And I have no idea who does Shintaro's makeup, but it looks quite odd at times.

This volume contains three episodes:

  1. The Deathless One (23:43) - a ninja appears, claiming to be a bodyguard sent by a minister to protect Shintaro
  2. The Unseen Enemy (23:39) - while Shintaro is disabled he is stalked and attacked by a master of kasumi watari magic
  3. Danger in the Temple (24:41) - even a temple provides no protection for Shintaro and his companions

Unfortunately, the people doing the mastering chose not to put any chapter stops in the episodes. It would have been nice if they had. Also, in a series of four discs, Shock have used three different kinds of case - I don't know why.

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, as one might expect. It is not 16x9 enhanced.

The image is quite soft, and displays a fair bit of grain; there are even a few shots that are out of focus (see 19:05 and 20:21 in Episode 5). Shadow detail is poor. There is a little bit of low-level noise, but it is pretty much unnoticeable under the other artefacts.

This is a monochrome (black and white) presentation. The only colour is the menu, which is blue. The picture is a little bit brighter than the previous disc, but blacks are still black, and whites are not wildly over-blown.

There are film artefacts in almost every frame. We get the entire catalogue, including spots, burns, scratches, holes, specks, flecks, fluff and hair, and something that looks like black Texta on the picture (18:52 in Episode 6).

There is no aliasing or moire, no shimmer and no MPEG artefacts.

There are no subtitles.

The disc is single-sided and single layered, so 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 (coded as "Other language"), Dolby Digital 2.0 mono. The soundtrack is no better, and no worse, than on the first disc. There are occasional cracks, but they won't interfere with your enjoyment.

The dialogue is mostly clear and easy to understand, unless Japanese names are a problem for you. The comical audio sync mismatch continues.

The music, from Hirooki Ogawa, is an interesting amalgam of bamboo flute, tapping sticks, Wurlitzer organ, and sundry orchestral instruments.

Nothing but your centre channel will get a look-in on this soundtrack.

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

Extras

This disc is completely devoid of extras.

Menu

The menu is static and silent, listing the episodes, and allowing selection of one at a time.

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 classic TV serial, presented in poor condition on DVD. This disc contains all of a subplot, which is convenient.

The video quality is really quite poor, but it doesn't prevent you from enjoying the story.

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, October 15, 2002
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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