DVD Title
Shogun Assassin
International Title
Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx
DVD Length Original Length
86 minutes 82 minutes
Company Year of Manufacture
AnimEigo 2006
Language Subtitles
English None
Region Number of Discs
1 1
Aspect Ratio Sound
2.35:1 (Anamorphic) 2.0 Mono
. Menus (English)
. Chapters (30)
. Trailers: Shogun Assassin, Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengenace, Lady Snowblood, Demon Spies
. Program Notes
. Daigoro's History Lesson
. Restoration Gallery

While the Lone Wolf and Cub films have been available on VHS and DVD for years, the psychedelic reedit of Sword of Vengeance and Baby Cart at the River Styx: Shogun Assassin has been unavailable in America for over a decade. This new release from AnimEigo changes all that. Sadly, the original negatives for Shogun Assassin seem to be missing, so what we get here is a reconstructed version made from AnimEigo's own releases of the first two Lone Wolf films with adequate extras.

 Video: Star Rating

Compared to the numerous unauthorized bootleg DVDs of Shogun Assassin that have proliferated in the last five years, the film looks absolutely great. Since the film was painstakingly reconstructed digitally from AnimEigo's own masters for the first two films, you know what kind of quality to expect: nearly pristine quality with excellent contrast and color. I have but two gripes. First, the title cards are not the originals but computer recreations. Though they are very decent, high quality computer recreations, they still don't look as good as the real thing. Second, for some reason the image seems to have a bit more MPEG-2 compression than on the Sword of Vengeance and Baby Cart at the River Styx DVDs, but it could just be me.

The DVD is actually matted at both 1.85:1 (for the title cards) and 2.35:1 (for the Lone Wolf and Cub footage), which is another slight annoyance.


The audio sounds perfectly fine. It's nothing too spectacular, but there are no major gripes either, though a 5.1 remix would have been nice. Yes, it is dubbed only, but this is Shogun Assassin, if you want the subtitled version, get the Sword of Vengeance and Baby Cart at the River Styx DVDs and skip this.

 Extras: Star Rating

The extras are perfectly adequate, if nothing too special. First, we get the (also reconstructed) US trailer for Shogun Assassin, accompanied by the Japanese trailers for Sword of Vengeance, Lady Snowblood and Demon Spies (all three based on manga by Kazuo Koike). The DVD also includes some program notes that give you some background information on the film, a "Daigoro's history lesson" feature that gives you some background on the historical period in which the film is set in and finally a restoration gallery with images from what is apparently one of the bootleg DVDs most geeks (like myself) watched Shogun Assassin for years on the top and images of the restored AnimEigo version on the bottom. As I said, it's all fine, but this DVD could have been better if, say, it were to contain a commentary track by either filmmaker Robert Houston talking about the editing and dubbing process or some Asian cult cinema historian talking about the differences between Shogun Assassin and the Lone Wolf and Cub films and it's use in Kill Bill Vol. 2, but it's nice to dream, isn't it?


A solid release from AnimEigo, sure, it could have used a few more bells and whistles, but it's still nice enough to have Shogun Assassin on high quality R1 DVD and I must commend them for painstakingly restoring the cult classic pretty much from scratch. Definitely a blind buy for Shogun Assassin fans.

- J.L. Carrozza  
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