(aka "Love and Honor" or "Bushi no ichibun" )


directed by Yji Yamada
Japan 2006


Yoji Yamada’s final episode in his Samurai trilogy is understated but nevertheless an immensely gripping success. Following his two previous Samurai flicks “Twilight Samurai” and “The Hidden Blade,” Yoji Yamada takes some of the similar elements from his prior two films and injects some new twists in his final and perhaps best Samurai installment.


Stylistically the movie has a similar austere feel as the Twilight Samurai and The Hidden Blade. For the casual viewer one could mistake Yoji Yamada’s style as being plain or even bland, yet with such a dramatic script, the contrast in style between the zen like visuals and the melodramatic tendencies of the script formed a perfect balance. In lesser hands, you would probably have more of the over the top melodrama that would most likely cheapen the effects of such a dignified film.

Excerpt from Lunapark6


Theatrical Release: December 1st, 2006

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DVD Review: Shochiku (Special Limited Edition - Japanese Versi) - Region 2 - NTSC

Big thanks to Luiz R. for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Region 2 - NTSC

Runtime 121 min

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.24 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 (Dolby Digital 5.1), Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles Japanese, English
Features Release Information:
Studio: Shochiku

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• 3 Dual Layered DVDs Plus:
• Special Postcard Collection
• Photo Book
• Kimura Takuya Comment Card
• Special Booklet
• Swordplay Instruction Guide
• Features:
• Audio Commentary
• Swordplay Documentary
• Deleted Scenes
• Promotional Footage
• Award-winning Footage
• Interview with Kimura Takuya
• Making Of

DVD Release Date: June 1st, 2007
Special 3-Disc Boxset

Chapters 16


Comments PACKAGE:
I enjoy these special Japanese editions, they usually come with plenty of extras, some of them a bit useless. This one comes with a beautiful box, 3 Dual-Layered DVDs (2 of them dedicated to the supplements) separated in two cases, photo-booklet, sword-fighting guide and even some postcards. Now, this is all very fun, but the useful items are the DVDs only in this package. Considering that the supplements do not have English subtitles, only the movie might be worth IMO if you are not taking those advanced Japanese courses. I real good addition would be a soundtrack CD, it is universal and and will have its use for a long time, as long as the music is good, which is this case here.

The image is consistent throughout the whole movie and quite similar in quality to "The Hidden Blade" release by Shochiku. Both, I believe, used a very light warm filter and are noisy, mostly in darker areas. In my opinion the filter has a positive effect making the scenery more pleasant and adequate to the movie climate. The noise is not very serious, hardly disturbing the viewer, and could be diminished in about 30% in my home system.

Contrast and colors are light and I couldn't get any real better results by playing with my system's settings, both came well balanced from factory. Decreasing the brightness a little bit also helped "disguising" the noise without hiding any details in the shadows.

Overall the image is good enough to make noticeably improvements hard to happen in the short future DVD releases.

Both sound options are clear and well equalized with the 5.1 option being slightly more convincing, but I was expecting more background details from it. Actually I am not sure if a 5.1 mix is necessary for this movie, a higher quality 2.0 would be enough maybe. The audio commentary is the same 5.1 option with occasional comments and no extra subtitles for them available.

There are plenty of extra stuff divided among the 2 dual-layered DVDs, but since 80% of the content are interviews their value is drastically decreased without the English subtitles to non-Japanese speaking audiences. But the quality here is really good and some of the content are even presented in anamorphic widescreen, this is the case for a good part of the trailers.

I would easily exchange the other stuff that comes in the package for a soundtrack CD. There is nothing special about the thin photo-booklet, it is written in Japanese and only have a few small pictures, besides that the only items that you can find some use for are the postcards and the poster that comes together with them, but unfortunately it was too big for my scanner. Note that the postcards and the poster were only available in the "First Press Limited Edition", the special edition still available is a bit cheaper and comes with everything else.

This may not be the best movie from the trilogy but still is very good with convincing performances and a subtle but provocative script, definitely recommend in my opinion. This complete special Japanese edition presents a very good image and sound quality, but In the end I would recommend the cheaper NORMAL Japanese edition, also from Shochiku and with the same movie quality, instead of this special one mostly because of the lack of subtitles for the supplements.

There is also a HD-DVD version available HERE, but no Blu-Ray announced.

 - Luiz R.





DVD Menus


Disc 2


Disc 3



Screen Captures

Subtitles sample




























DVD Box Cover

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Thinking of buying from YesAsia? CLICK HERE and use THIS UPDATED BEAVER PAGE to source their very best...



Region 2 - NTSC


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