Perhaps the honchos at Toei Studios were desperate to have a female "demon" fighter of some sort starring Junko Miyazono or how else can one explain the same film premise being redone in 3 variations within the course of two years? All the elements from "Female Demon Ohyaku" and "Quick Draw Okatsu" are here again. Is it any better? Well, that's a good question.
After a cool opening abstract action scene, we are treated to the sight of farmers being oppressed, kidnapped and murdered by the local ruling elite who are running a black market tobacco ring. Investigating this is Mr. Makebe a medium ranking samurai who writes down all the misdeeds of his compatriots and strangely attempts, on his own, to convince the leader Judayu to stop his criminal operation before the central government finds out. Judayu doesn't go along with this idea, captures Mr. Makebe and subjects him to a water wheel torture to find out where the document is hidden. When this doesn't produce results, Judayu tricks Makebe's wife and daughter, Okatsu, to his house where they are threatened with rape in front of Makebe. Mrs Makebe is thrown into a cage with grunting criminals who try to rape her but Okatsu, who we've seen perfect a special technique in sword fighting class earlier, breaks free and battles the minions of Judayu. In the mêlée Mr. Makebe kills himself and his wife but not before telling Okatsu where the document is hidden. Okatsu's sword instructor shows up and tricks her into letting her guard down then knocks her out. The evil Judayu rapes Okastu but she won't reveal where the document is hidden. Judayu then enlists the help of Okatsu's pathetic fiancé who helps Okatsu to "escape" only to see if she goes for the document. She gets it and goes on a quest for revenge against Judayu while being tailed by her fiancé.
Does the story sound a little un-thought out? Well that's because it isn't thought out very well at all. There are some big plot holes such as when Okatsu gets the document but no-one tries to get from her when she finds it. There's a scene of the bad guys feeding the farmers and suddenly killing them all. Why? Who knows, it isn't explained. Other times the bad guys just stop fighting and run away even though they seem to have the advantage. It's unfortunate since this is the best looking film in the trio. The camera and lighting are great. The actors are once again great and the fight scenes are well done at times. Junko Miyazono still seems uncomfortable with a sword but there are a few scenes where the choreography is perfect for her abilities. Of course her acting makes up for her physical limitations. As a note, Tomisaburo Wakayama wasn't involved in this film.
So we have three films where the chief villain virtually repeats the same lecherous threats against the heroine. We have virtually the same rape scene three times. We have two films where the family is tortured to death and two films with a plucky young woman in shorts/ miniskirt. This time the Rui character shows up as an orphan living in a temple but unlike "Quick-Draw Okatsu", she really has no point being in this film at all and is wasted. She kicks one guy, jumps into a tree and essentially disappears for the rest of the film.
This film isn't bad at all despite the poor plot structure, you should just watch it with some time between watching the other films otherwise the repetition might be deadly.
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