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  Samurai Swordplay [read more]
  Azumi coming soon on DVD
  Serialised since 1994, Azumi, a Samurai comic by Yu Koyama, has developed an avid following, at once shocking and seizing readers with its audacious scale and extreme depictions of violence and cruelty. Since its introduction 8 years ago, the highly popular Azumi has sold over 8.5 million copies.

Now adapted for the screen, Azumi is a Japanese action fantasy from director Ryuhei Kitamura (Versus) featuring swordplay, bloody fight scenes and some unforgettable characters. Set in 19th century war-torn Japan, Azumi (Aya Ueto) is a beautiful young girl, who has been trained from childhood with nine other orphans to become a fearless assassin. Martial Arts Master, Gessai (Yoshio Harada) has raised the ten children in complete seclusion in the hope that his protégés will one day defeat the merciless warlords and restore peace to the land. To test that they are the cold-blooded, ruthless killers they will need to be for the mission, Gessai orders them to pair off and fight to the death. Burdened with the cruel mission to kill friends and enemies alike, and sacrifice innocent lives – Azumi begins to question her fate – but Gessai leaves them neither room nor time for self-doubt as his trap ensnares them. Azumi and her friends forge ahead, unaware of the terrible bloodshed that awaits them.

Special Features are "Fighting on the Edge: The Making of Azumi", "Battle on the Wild Side" Featurette (84 mins approx) and the trailer.
  Graeme Clark [14 Jul 2004 at 00:12]

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