Azumi was adapted into a popular and extremely violent action film by Ryuhei Kitamura in 2003  

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Azumi was adapted into a popular and extremely violent action film by Ryuhei Kitamura in 2003. It gained its first international exposure when it was aired on the WOWOW satellite television network. A sequel, Azumi 2: Death or Love, directed by Shusuke Kaneko, followed in 2005.

Azumi feature film
The movie was produced by Mataichiro Yamamoto, and has been distributed to the US by his company, Urban Vision Entertainment, on their label AsiaVision. The film was given a limited nationwide theatrical release beginning in July 2006 with a DVD released November 21, 2006. Azumi has been broadcast on television in the UK, on Film4 and on Bravo, and in Sweden on the Swedish Viasat six.
After the Battle of Sekigahara, a samurai is tasked by the Tokugawa shogunate to raise a band of assassins to finish off Toyotomi's allies and other ambitious warlords, to prevent another civil war.
Azumi (played by Aya Ueto) is discovered as a 7–8 year old girl kneeling without visible emotion next to the body of her dead mother by the samurai master Gessai, played by Yoshio Harada, and his entourage of young students. Azumi is raised in the martial skills of samurai and shinobi sword fighting, and the art of assassination. Azumi and her fellow classmates, now at young adult age, are constantly being told about a "mission" they must accomplish, though they have no idea what this mission is yet.
Prior to setting out on their mission, their master orders his students to "pair up" with each others' best friend and proceed to kill each other, thus out of 10 students only five will remain to proceed with the mission. Questions and internal conflicts begin to arise amongst Azumi and her comrades as it seems their mission even prevents them from saving a village of mostly women and children from being massacred at the hands of a group of bandits, as their primary mission is to kill the warlords Asano Nagamasa, Masayuki Sanada and Kiyomasa Kato. Aside from the warlords, Azumi must also deal with a narcissistic mercenary, Bijomaru Mogami, whose sword has no hand guards as he claims to never have had to defend against attacks. He is very feminine in appearance, seen wearing makeup, having long hair and always carries around a rose. He kills one of Azumi's friends and is the final villain that Azumi has to fight in the movie. Azumi and Bijomaru fight to a standstill when Bijomaru, already insane, snaps. He becomes reckless and Azumi decapitates him.

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