Lady Snowblood: Love Song of Vengeance: Fujita Toshiya’s sequel has the eponymous character pursuing a goal that is not truly hers, as the story mixes in quite a lot of early 20th century political intrigue; that weakens the character and the conflict. It’s hard not to compare this work to the original film side-by-side: the action here is sparse and less colorful, dully choreographed; the structure is linear and unremarkable, and the pace, slow (Inoue Osamu’s editing is the technical element that took the largest tumble from the first film, but the writing has much to blame as well). Kaji Meiko is, once more, very solid in the title role; the rest of the cast veer much into the stylized. Suzuki Tatsuo’s camerawork is merely OK in general, but includes some fine extended takes that are very attractive. The costume design mixes the traditional garments with more modern (and Western) clothes, to good effect.
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