Oba the last Samurai Blu-ray

Oba the last Samurai (太平洋の奇跡-フォックスと呼ばれた男- / Taiheiyo no kiseki – Fox to yobareta otoko)

A nice package arrived from Japan a short while ago, Oba the last Samurai Blu-ray (& the soundtrack CD to complete the nerd collector factor). The movie tells the true story of Captain Sakae Oba who lead a group of soldiers and civilians on Saipan. They used guerilla warfare tactics and kept hiding & fighting even after long after Japan had officially surrendered.

The movie is quite well made, it can not compete with the high production values of hollywood blockbusters but it does look OK considering the much lower budget. Like many of the more recent Japanese WW2 movies some scenes appear a bit TVish. But nothing is seriously distracting. The infamous Banzai charge of July 7th is depicted in the movie as well, this is one scene which could have used a few more extras on the Japanese side. It’s just not large-scale enough. Obviously some liberties were taken and some of the characters would better fit in a Japanese version of the dirty dozen (tattooed badboy with captured Thomspon). Nonetheless “Oba the last Samurai” is a nice and entertaining movie.

The well used and dirty Japanese gear looks very cool, and the USMC gear is nicely done as well. Most of the Japanese actors do perform very well, some of the westerners portraying the Marines not so much (80s B-Movies style 😉 ). The movie is bilingual which greatly adds to the atmosphere, Americans speak English, the Japanese speak Japanese.

I was a bit surprised when i spotted Harlan Glenn the author of two books about the USMC in the movie. He plays a small role but it was fun to see him, his books are very good (except for the at times annoying use of “Marine Corps slang” and the somewhat egocentric/weird photos of himself in USMC gear). Somehow i was always distracted when he appeared on screen, it was even worse than the constant gear check (is that shoe correct, the Garand looks weird…)  😆

PQ of the Blu-ray is excellent, AQ is good too, nice soundmix with aggressive use of the surrounds.

Here is a photo of the real Sakae Oba when he finally surrendered on 1st of December 1945

Check out the book by Don Jones, a former Marine who fought against Captian Oda on Saipan:

~ by m1pencil on August 30, 2011.

8 Responses to “Oba the last Samurai Blu-ray”

  1. Is this movie also available at germany? You know with german dub and so on?

  2. This movie has just been released on DVD & Blu-ray in Japan and nowhere else (so far) 😦

  3. 😦 too bad

  4. The movie has now been released in Germany on Blu-ray and DVD: “Codename: Fox”

  5. Where do you order your Japanese BDs by the way? 😉
    Oh and does the Japanese BD have subs in english? ( I don’t trust the subs from German companies anymore since City of Life and Death)

  6. This one I got from somebody I know in Japan. The super strong Yen makes shopping Japanese BDs a very frustrating experience though 😥

    The Japanese disc does not have English subs, a lot of it is in English though. You are right with the German subs, still better than the terrible dubs!

  7. Thx for the info! 🙂
    I miss the times of 6€=1000¥ too.
    Anyways, I picked it up yesterday for 12€ at Müller’s Drugstore. I’ll post about the quality of the release when I’ve come around to watching it.

  8. Seen the German Blu-Ray yesterday, subtitles, especially of the Japanese parts, are very high quality and represent a nice transition into German. Picture and sound are also (IMO) absolute A+ quality.
    Oh and I really liked the movie, too. 😉

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