I guess you can refer to “Ichi” as part of the official Zatoichi canon since the story of Ichi is one the reflects the effect Zatoichi the Blind Swordsman had on the people of Japan during his travels. Though not a remake or a reboot of the Zatoichi series, “Ichi” is an unofficial spin off that takes from the film series and creates its own branch off of an epic story about a beautiful young Goze who is taking a journey to find her savior before finally lying down to die. Haruka Ayase is incredibly beautiful and fierce as the Goze Ichi who spends most of her life wandering around from village to village trying to survive one more day while on a search for something in her life that’s kept her motivated to fight ever since she was a child.
Not many people are aware of it, but I’m a huge fan of the “Zatoichi” series. I love the series, and I’ve seen almost all of them, so when I was finally able to get my hands on the Beat Takeshi sequel, I was ecstatic. What made Zatoichi was that Shintaro Katsu presented such an inept and humble distinction to him that he was never thought to be a dangerous persona, but Katsu strived in making Zatoichi so unassuming, yet so utterly deadly. Katsu was short, chubby, and seemingly incapable of being able to learn any sort of arts, but once criminals crossed Ichi’s path, he spoke loudly with his rapid fire sword work. For those unaware of the character, Zatoichi is an ex-yakuza who lost his eyesight during a war, and became a masseur traveling across the land as an anti-hero.