Years ago (must be around 2001.. oh how time goes by)i saw my first samurai film. Until then, i never cared for japanese film and culture but after "Samurai Fiction" an interest began to rise. What makes this film so special is, that he is nearly entirely in black-and-white, a homage to old samurai movies. But they inserted modern rock´n roll music and some artistic use of color; this is best seen whenever a character is killed, and the screen flashes red for a moment. Samurai Fiction was the first full-length feature film for writer-director Nakano Hiroyuki, who had been primarily a director of music videos. His experience with music videos makes this film so great and easy to watch for european viewers. It was also the first acting experience for rock star Tomoyasu Hotei and i must admit i loved his face when the camera made a close-up.
So what about the plot?
It´s about the development of Inukai Heishiro, the son of a clan officer. A sword given them by the Shogun, seemed to be stolen by the samurai Kazamatsuri (Tomoyasu Hotei). Against his father's advice, Heishiro went on to retrieving the sword. His father sends two ninja after him to protect the .. ähm...enthusiastic young man.
Kazamatsuri wounds Heishiro and kills one of his companions. The young noble ends up staying with an older samurai and his daughter Koharu. The older samurai who turns out to be the master Hanbei Mizogushi, convinces him to fight Kazamatsuri by throwing rocks rather than with a sword.
Because Kaza realy wishes to fight with Mizo he then kidnaps his daughter.
Mizoguchi reveals to Heishiro that he killed Koharu's father and has since never drawn his sword on another man, despite his immense skill. They then go to find Kazamatsuri and rescue Koharu. Mizo finaly disarms Kaza who then jumps of a near cliff. Later we learn that there was no sighn of a body in the river but Koharu spots the stolen sword and it is retrieved.