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"Even with my eyes wide open, I can't see a thing."


The Zatoichi series is one of Japan's longest running media franchises, with a total of 27 films and a 100 episode television series. The series centers around Ichi, a blind masseur and itinerant warrior who happens to be one of the most fearsome and dangerous swordsmen around, amassing a mind bogglingly high body count mostly consisting of yakuza, corrupt government flunkies and mountains of Mooks. In between bouts of derring-do, the blind anma can be found gambling, meeting quirky sidekicks, or unearthing vast tracts of mysterious past.

The first 26 films (and the television series) all starred the same actor, Shintaro Katsu, whose portrayal endeared the character to many fans until the actor's death in 1997. Thus, the 2003 film instead stars Takeshi Kitano as the eponymous character. Kitano also directs.

The influence of this series is hard to overestimate, at least, in terms of blind badassery, which, while certainly not the first example of a Handicapped Badass, is certainly one of the Trope Codifiers.

The following tropes are common to many or all entries in the Zatoichi franchise.
For tropes specific to individual installments, visit their respective work pages.