When we purchase new films for our collection, we always try to buy their definitive version. This means that the films we get often come in extravagant cases with all sorts of bonuses. We’ve basically seen at all at this point: Futurama in a giant life-sized Bender head, Six Feet Under in a block covered in artificial turf, Singin’ in the Rain with a commemorative umbrella… you get the idea.
Even so, we were blown away by the case for Criterion Collection’s release of the Zatoichi films. Over the course of twenty-six films, the popular Japanese series chronicled the journey of Zatoichi, a blind swordsman who wanders the country protecting the innocent. Zatoichi has appeared in more movies than James Bond, which should give you an idea about his popularity.
The Zatoichi compilation showed up in this glorious multi-piece box set, decorated with Japanese woodblock-style artwork depicting the events of the series. It’s pretty gorgeous, even for a Criterion set.
Unfortunately, we’re not going to put this box on the shelf, so it’ll take us a while to make cases and covers for all the individual disks. But since you wouldn’t see this box otherwise, we really wanted to share it.
(And if you liked these, you also might like the library archives’ woodblock art collection!)