Bushido Man: Seven Deadly Battles is a tale about a Japanese student Toramaru who is seemly moving along in life to go from battle to battle. He follows his Gensai’s teachings that the enemy can best be defeated by learning their eating habits. His Gensai has given him the task of mastering fighting styles and techniques by battling warriors of the given style. After he defeats his opponents, he has to bring back proof of his victories by getting a scroll from each of them.
This is about the depth of the plot. The movie suffers from a lack of character development but the other side of that coin is there are some awesome fighting scenes. At first, the movie seemed like it was a period piece from Feudal Japan until some of the battles happen with modern opponents. The fight choreography is done with care and precision to make things feel very organic. The action flows smoothly and the actors lo like they have extensive practice. The movie also pulls from a place I like to call “successful moments” in anime such as fighting nomadic warriors and even fighting a blind swordsman, which I will say is arguably the best fight.
The movie has been transferred in a 1080p AVC with an 1.78:1 aspect ratio. However, there are a lot of inconsistencies with the video but I’ll get to that in a minute. The coloring and the hues are natural. There are also some excellent details and crisp lines that look great. Unfortunately, the details tend to get soft in a blink. The DNR is very heavy handed to the point of the faces look smudged. The same thing happens with the contrast levels, the video will look well tuned and become higher. The best example is during a scene in a wheat field. The brightness and contrast are so high that it’s overwhelming.
Unlike the video transfer, the audio mixes are done with precision. I screened the majority of the film with the English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 dubbed track. The mix is excellent. The effects of the fighting and the weapons furiously colliding sounds clear.
Also, the surround sound field creates ambient audio in the rear speakers and it envelopes you in the film. The LFEs are strong when it’s necessary and adds some depth to the mix. I also screened some of the film in the Japanese LPCM 2.0 as well and I have to say no real complaints. It’s really just a matter of your personal preference in original Japanese or remixed English.
The extra on the disc offers some good insights on the film. I would’ve liked to know a little more about the film but for only having one, it’s a good one.
-The Making of Bushido Man: From the Fantasia Film Festival: at the festival in Montreal, there is some footage of arriving viewers and a nice Q&A session.
1 25GB Blu-ray Disc
1080p AVC MPEG-4
Aspect ratio – 1.78:1
Japanese LPCM 2.0
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
English LPCM 2.0
The film is exactly what the name promises it to be: Seven Deadly Battles. Again, the movie lacks much in the way of depth when it comes to the actual plot but maybe that’s what the people expect from it. There is plenty of action and mixing up the fighting styles is what keeps the film moving forward. The video could have had a stronger transfer but the audio sounds excellent. Sometimes a strong soundtrack is what a movie needs and, in any language, the mixes have been done very well. It was also nice to have a good bonus feature but I do wish there was more. If you want a story about a man on a deep quest, this is not the film for you but if you want to see start to finish action and excellent technique, then this is worth checking out.