Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 4th, 2004
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 1974
Director: Toshiya Fujita
Writers: Kazuo Kamimura, Kazuo Koike, Kiyohide Ohara, Norio Osada
Cast: Meiko Kaji, Yoshio Harada, Juzo Itami
DVD Released: May 11th, 2004
Approximate Running Time: 89 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Japanese
DVD Release: AnimEigo
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $29.98
"Be grieving snow falls in the dead of morning. Stray dog’s howls and the footsteps of Geta pierce the air. I walk with the weight of the milky way on my shoulders, but an umbrella holds onto the darkness is all there." – The Flower of Carnage
Synopsis: Shurayuki-Hime Yuki (Lady Snowblood), Samurai blood flows through her assassin veins. Love Song of Vengeance picks up where the first Lady Snowblood left off. Yuki is now wanted by the police after taking revenge on those who had murdered her family. Armed with a Tanto short-sword, Yuki cuts through a group of thugs who try to attack her. When the police surround her she throws her sword away and surrenders. While in prison she is offered a deal by the secret police. She must infiltrate the home of Urami Renga an anarchist revolutionary leader as she poses as his maid. She must secure an incriminating document from his possession and kill him to receive a pardon. Yuki refuses to kill him when she becomes sympathetic to his cause. The police surround them and capture Urami as she escapes with the document which she is to now give to Urami’s brother who is working as a doctor in one of Japan’s largest slums. In a final blackmail attempt Yuki takes the document to the police in exchange if the will help the people who live in the slums with food and medical aide. Only the police have other ideas that lead to a final bloody face off.
Love Song of Vengeance is different then its predecessor as its focus is more on politics then revenge. This film contains the requisite amount of spurting blood, severed limbs, and eye-gouging are present only the violence in Love Song of Vengeance is more realistic then the comic book style violence in Lady Snowblood. To bad this series was cut short it would have been interesting to see how the character Lady Snowblood would have evolved film to film. As a sequel Love Song of Vengeance is a good enough film to stand on its own. Meiko Kaji returns as Lady Snowblood and she is as powerful as she was in the fist film. Love Song of Vengeance is the conclusion to the Lady Snowblood saga that takes place in the Meiji restoration, a period in the history of Japan that in many ways helped usher in "modern" Japan. The end of Meiji restoration also brought the end of old Samurai class system.
Love Song of Vengeance is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. The detail is as breathtaking as AnimEigo’s Lady Snowblood DVD. The flesh tones are normal throughout and the darker scene exhibit little of no grain at all. The colors are rich and full of life. AnimEigo has restored this classic tale of revenge and they have done an amazing job.
Presented in its original Japanese Dolby Digital Mono and the music cues sound full of life. The sound effects are rather thin and dialog is clear and easy to hear. The subtitles are easy to read and follow.
Included are trailers for the following AnimEigo titles Lone Wolf and Cub Baby Cart in peril and Zatoichi at Large. There are also program notes about Japanese history and about the film. Trailers for both Lady Snowblood films are included on this DVD but they were left off the Lady Snowblood DVD. Love Song of Vengeance is one of a handful of sequels that hold their own against the original film. I highly recommend Love Song of Vengeance.