Azumi (2003)

I was thinking about Asian movies. Well, movies … I only saw Crouching Tiger…, Seven Swords and the beginning of The 7 Samurai (I must admit it took a bit too much concentration from me. I will have to watch it again someday, seeing it is a classic. I should find out why.) and then there is Azumi.

Azumi is actually a manga-type comic book and it was made a movie a couple of years back (there already is an Azumi 2, but got bad reviews – besides, I don’t think it needed a sequel.). Azumi is an adolescent girl, who is taken in as an orphaned child to be trained with 10 other boys of her age to become an assassin. She masters the sword masterfully and grows up to be the top assassin of the pupils. During her training, she forms brotherly bonds with the other boys, but then comes the day they have to take out their targets. And everything changes. Aya Ueto is very good as Azumi. Even though she is an all-round pop type of performer, a dime a dozen in Japan’s entertainment business.

I’m not here to say it is the best movie in the genre. How can I, seeing the limited samurai-type sword movies I’ve seen (Kill Bill not included). But it’s filmed in an exciting way, the images are impressive although a bit messy by the bloody scenes. And yes, here as well some characters give a humoristic “je ne sais quoi” to it. Maybe anyone out there can give some suggestions to other films they liked. I’m not a snob, so all suggestions (bombastic big budget movies or low-budget beauties) are considered. (Except horror, I’m jumpy).

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6 thoughts on “Azumi (2003)

  1. Seven Samurai is a classic but i prefered Yojimbo. I love manga and anime. Not seen the film you recommend but will look out for it.

  2. I grew up watching Bruce Lee movies and went to school in Japan, so I’ve seen a few. I like the artistry of movies like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, but sometimes the cultural differences make it hard to appreciate films that don’t have a martial arts theme. I tend to stick to the fight films.

  3. My Brother just gave me a box of Akira Kurosawa dvd’s to watch after reading the comments on this post. I will have some viewing to do to keep up with you, Stewart!

  4. I left out Hero, with Jet Li and Zhang Zi Yi. I like the way they used colour to tell the story.Captain, story-wise, it is a bit naive. But you are only aware of that after viewing. Because the mind has to settle a bit from all the gushing blood scenes. But otherwise, beautifully shot movie.Sqt, I read on Stewart’s blog you went to Japan. That must have been an exciting experience!Stewart, Witchhunter rings a bell, but I can’t place it… I like Japanese animation as well. Characters are always larger than life!

  5. Crouching Tiger is beautiful, and Seven Samurai is a classic. I have both on DVD. The film you describe is interesting.

  6. Stewart Sternberg September 28, 2009 — 9:37 PM

    I am about to launch into viewing the top anime films. I have rented Witchhunter D, Ghost In The Shell, and Appleseed….just wanted to experience it. I really became aware of Japanese culture through videogames. Some unusual stuff there.

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