Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 10th, 2004
|Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 1973
Director: Toshiya Fujita
Writer: Kazuo Uemura, Kazuo Koike
Cast: Meiko Kaji, Ko Nishimura, Toshio Kurosawa
|Approximate running time:||97 minutes||97 minutes|
|Aspect Ratio:||2.20:1 Non-Anamorphic Widescreen||2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen|
|Sound:||Dolby Digital Mono Japanese with English with subtitles||Dolby Digital Mono Japanese with English with subtitles|
|Region Coding:||Region 2 PAL||Region 1 NTSC|
The Film :
Yuki (Kaji Meiko) was born for one reason “bloody revenge”, the last words spoken by her mother. Her father a school teacher and her brother were brutally murdered and her mother was raped and forced into a life of prostitution. Her mother would be sent to prison for killing a client and through all of her pain and suffering she would stay alive long enough to to ensure vengeance would be handed down through her daughter. Yuki would be trained in the art of death by the priests who adopted her. Once Yuki has developed her skills she is now ready to seek out those responsible for the death of her family. Cold hearted Lady Snowblood exacts her vengeance upon those that have destroyed her life.
AnimEgio transfer of Lady Snowblood is superior in every way when compared to Warrior’s transfer that is washed out and murky it is barely watch able. AnimEgio’s has restored Lady Snowblood to its former glory offering a spectacular color palate and flesh tones that look natural. The amount of detail in every frame is amazing including the darker/night time scenes which had been obscured on the Warrior DVD transfer. The Warrior release is cropped and incorrectly framed it looks like they tried to make the cropped picture wider then it actually is. The AnimEgio release restores the missing picture information giving back the film its proper 2.35:1 scope aspect ratio.
Both releases offer only one audio option the original Japanese audio track in Dolby Digital mono. They both come with English subtitles that are easy to read and follow. Warrior’s subtitles can’t be removed they have been burned in and they are not as accurate as AnimEigo’s subtitles. Warrior’s audio track is in a bad of shape as their transfer. It sounds muffled and distorted at times. AnimEigo’s audio track comes through crystal clear and the music is nicely balanced with the rest of the audio never sounding to loud or distorted. For a mono track it packs a lot of punch.
Extras for Warrior’s release include trailers and cover art for Red Lion, Ambush at Blood Pass, Zatoichi the Outlaw, Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto, Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple, & Samurai III: Duel at Ganryu Island. Other extras include history and photos on The Russo-Japanese War, production art, movie stills and profiles for Fujita Toshiya and Kaji Meiko. Extras for the AnimEigo release include Trailers for the following AnimEigo titles Lone Wolf and Cub Sword of Vengeance, Lone Wolf and Cub White Heaven in Hell, Zatoichi The Outlaw and Zatoichi The Festival of Fire. There are also program notes about Japanese history and about the film. Unfortunately both releases offer a lot of filler that has nothing to do with Lady Snowblood instead of worthwhile extras.
AnimEgio’s DVD release soundly beats Warrior’s DVD in every way. Until someone decides to release a definitive special edition of lady Snowblood AnimEgio’s DVD is the best version currently available.