Saturday, 30 December 2017

Azumi 2 (4½ Stars)

The story of Azumi continues directly from the first film, taking place a few days after the assassination of the warlord Ieyasu. The pace slows down as Azumi begins to have doubts about her path. She was trained all her life to kill individuals, the leaders, in order to prevent wars. Now she looks back on the hundreds of people she's killed and asks herself whether she herself has become a bringer of death. She has to face the army of the warlord Sanada. What's the difference between an army being slaughtered by another army and an army being slaughtered by her personally? She no longer has the moral comfort of one on one battles.

(This is manga, so read from right to left).

After the death of her master (at the end of the first film) she turns to the priest Tenkai for guidance. He impresses on her the importance of her mission, so she continues undaunted. For a while, at least. She meets the fighter Kozue, a member of the Uego clan which has sworn to protect Sanada. Azumi asks Kozue why she killed her friend Nagara, and the answer is simple: "It was my mission". A mission can save lives, but a mission can also cause death.

The two Azumi films form a whole. I strongly recommend that you watch them back to back for the fullest enjoyment.

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