Lady Snowblood 2: Lovesong of Vengeance
This is the sequel to Lady Snowblood: Blizzard from the Netherworld. Kaji Meiko returns to carve a story of death and destruction. Directed by Fujita Toshiya once again.
Though her parents' deaths have been avenged, Yuki Kashima is now on the run from the Police, in Meiji era Japan. She has killed 37 people and though most of them were assassins, or guilty of crimes themselves, that cuts no ice with the judge. She is sentanced to death.
On the way to the execution ground, she is rescued by agents of a man who offers her a proposition. Observe an anarchist for a month and steal a secret letter for him. Then she will be pardoned. However everything is not as it seems. Her patron is head of the Secret Police and is himself guilty of murdering opponents of the government, in order to further his own career. Yuki must wrestle with her conscience and choose between her life and what she thinks is right. Can the child of the netherworld begin to atone for her sins, or will she ignore the plight of the powerless?
Some people that liked the original film will be disappointed by this. It lacks the emotional force of its predecessor and there is not quite so much action. However it does have a decent plot and the fight scenes have much less high-pressure blood spurting! Once more, Kaji Meiko is the impressive swordswoman who makes grown men wake up screaming in the night.
In one scene, near the beginning, she has just gone to the graveyard, to honour the dead priest who trained her and her surrogate mother (her real mother having died in prison, remember). She is attacked by a dozen or so men, but rather than stand off against them, she walks down the path. They attack but she kills them one-by-one, barely bothering to pause. She pauses to drink from a pool, which is partly filled with their blood!
Had this been a copy of the first film with different events, it would have been a poor film. Therefore there had to be a substantial plot this time and I think this makes one of the few decent sequels out there.