Like a reunion concert by an old rock band, Zatoichi plays all the hits with some new arrangements that are occasionally better but usually a little worse.
We have: A dice house scene, a wandering ronin, a yakuza power struggle, Ichi popping out of a barrel for the final fight, Ichi briefly fighting while holding a baby, a massaging the bad guy scene, a shamisen song, and probably a few more Zatoichi tropes that I’ve already forgotten.
The new: Better blood spray effects, more violence, brief nudity, Ichi getting some on screen, everyone in the gambling house betting whatever Ichi does and winning. The biggest end fight in the whole series.
The dull: The yakuza plot is boring, the supporting characters in general are pretty stock, the pop song that sounds like a rejected Michael McDonald demo.
I’m glad this exists as one final Zatoichi film, but there’s really not much here that wasn’t already done better.