(aka 'When the Last Sword is Drawn' or 'Mibu gishi den')

directed by Yojiro Takita

Japan 2003


From the director of Onmyoji: The Yin Yang Master comes this tale of a samurai who must pack up and leave his family behind in order to follow his profession to the big city and join a larger samurai faction that will allow him to support his family.  

Theatrical Release: January 18th, 2003 - Tokyo

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DVD Review: Intromedia (SE) - Region 3- NTSC

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Distribution Intromedia - Region 3- NTSC
Runtime 2:17:16 
Video 1.64:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.77 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Japanese DD 5.1 and DTS Audio
Subtitles Korean, English, Japanese, None

Release Information:
Studio: Intromedia

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.64:1

Edition Details:

• Making of...
• Deleted Scenes
• Interviews etc.

NOTE: Extras are not subtitled in English!

DVD Release Date: September 7th, 2004

Fold-out Digipak slipcase inside cardboard box
Chapters: 30


Recommended Reading for Japanese Film Fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)



The Japan Journals : 1947-2004,

by  Donald Richie

The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film
by Tom Mes and Jasper Sharp

Kon Ichikawa (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs)

by James Quandt, Cinematheque Ontario

Shohei Imamura (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs, No. 1)
by James Quandt
Eros Plus Massacre: An Introduction to the Japanese New Wave Cinema (Midland Book, Mb 469)
by David Desser
The Films of Akira Kurosawa by Donald Ritchie

Tokyo Story

by Yasujiro Ozu, Kogo Noda, Donald Richie, Eric Klestadt

Ozu by Donald Richie

A Hundred Years of Japanese Film by Donald Richie

Check out more in "The Library"



This is a duplicate of the Japanese DVD (but cheaper) with a superb anamorphic image and extravagant audio options (5.1 + DTS!). It also has good subtitles (sorry my software wouldn't let me get a sample). The failings of this SE package are the substantial extras which are subtitled only in Korean on the 2nd disc. Still, fans of the genre and Takita's Onmyoji: The Yin Yang Master will be overjoyed at this fine presentation. Kind of ostentatious, but included in the packaging are a small sword (letter opener - now used by me now to crack open DVD plastic wrappings) and a small segment of 5 frames of the film (encased in a plastic sleeve) - I guess it a keepsake. out of   

Gary W. Tooze

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Gary Tooze