Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 9th, 2008
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, October 25th, 1972
Japanese Title: Ginjo Nagaremono: Mesu Neko Bakuchi
Approximate running time: 86minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen
Cast: Meiko Kaji, Sonny Chiba, Shingo Yamashiro, Yukie Kagawa, Tamayo Mitsukawa, Toru Yuri, Hideo Murota, Chujiro Tomita, Fujio Suga, Junzaburo Ban
Synopsis: A wandering gambler named Nami searches for the man who murder her father in all the gambling halls in Ginza.
Wandering Ginza Butterfly 2: She-Cat Gambler is the sequel to Wandering Ginza Butterfly. This series bears many similarities to the Red Peony Gambler series which starred Junko Fuji. The character Nami played by Meiko Kaji can in many ways be seen a direct descendant to Junko Fuji’s Ryu character in the Red Peony Gambler series. The main story that drives the plot of Wandering Ginza Butterfly 2: She-Cat Gambler is Nami’s quest to avenge her father’s death. Other sub plots include a woman Nami’s saves from a life in prostitution and she befriends a low level hustler named Ryu who is played by Sonny Chiba.
There is plenty of action in this film including sword fights, stabbings, shoot outs and torture.The women in the film are often assaulted by the male characters. The best fights scenes include a duel between Nami and yakuza on a bridge and the Films final showdown which rivals the sword play and carnage of Kill Bill’s House of Blues sequence. Besides a fair amount of violence this one also features some offbeat humor like the scene where Ryu is taking a bubble bath and exposes himself to Nami or the scene where Ryu and Nami first meet at a gambling house and he acts like his hand accidentally touched her chest.
Wandering Ginza Butterfly 2: She-Cat Gambler was directed by Kazuhiko Yamaguchi who also directed Delinquent Girl Boss: Blossoming Night Dreams, Delinquent Girl Boss: Worthless to Confess, Wandering Ginza Butterfly, Sister Street Fighter, Sister Street Fighter 2, Sister Street Fighter 3, Karate Bull Fighter, Karate Bear Fighter, Karate for Life, Wolfman vs. the Supernatural, Dragon Princess and Karate Warriors. Visually Wandering Ginza Butterfly 2:: She-Cat Gambler is a stylish affair which features strong performances from its leads Meiko Kaji and Sonny Chiba. Anyone familiar with the films of Kazuhiko Yamaguchi knows that you are in for a high octane action extravaganza.
In the lead role Nami is Meiko Kaji who shows early signs of the bad ass female she would later personify in Lady Snowblood and Female Prisoners films. Meiko Kaji’s Nami while tough is still more compassionate then later the Femme Fatales that she would play. Sonny Chiba may not be the star of this film and yet he plays a pivotal role in the film. Sonny Chiba gets several chances in the film to show off his inner Badass. He also shows on several occasions his ability to handle comedy.
Overall the cast are all more then adequate in their various roles. Wandering Ginza Butterfly 2: She-Cat Gambler features a very cool score that sounds at times like the type of scores that Ennio morricone would compose for a Spaghetti Western. Ultimately Wandering Ginza Butterfly 2: She-Cat Gambler is an exploitation fans dream come true with its ample amount of bloodshed most of which comes via the hands of Meiko Kaji.