In "Irezumi," Otsuya (Wakao), the daughter of a rich merchant, is tempted by her lover, Shinsuke (Hasegawa), a lowly employee of her father's, to elope. During their flight, Otsuya's beauty attracts the gaze of Seikichi (Yamamoto), a mysterious master tattooist who sees her pristine white skin as the perfect canvas for his art. The image of the large demonic spider that he emblazons across Otsuya's back marks her as the property of another man, radically altering her relationships with all around her as her personality transforms under its influence. (Gary Reber)
Special feature include commentary by Japanese cinema scholar David Desser, a newly filmed introduction by Japanese cinema expert Tony Rayns (HD 09:50), the featurette "Out Of The Darkness" (HD 13:04), the original trailer, an image gallery, a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Tony Stella and a 36-page booklet about the film.
The 2.35:1 1080p AVC picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, upconverted to 2160p with greater resolution and luminance, was photographed on 35 mm Fuji and Eastman film stock in anamorphic Daieiscope and sourced from a 2K master Digital Intermediate format restored from a new 4K scan. This is a gorgeous film with a stunning color palette that exhibits vividly warm and rich hues. Reds and purples are intense. Fleshtones are natural. Contrast is excellent with deep, solid black levels, revealing shadows, and natural white levels. Resolution is excellent with fine detail exhibited throughout. Fine detail on the many intricately patterned fabrics is especially notable. This is a gorgeous film that attests to the filmmaker's art. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 1.0-channel monaural soundtrack in the original Japanese is true to the original. There are occasional ambient environmental effects. The score by Hikaru Hayashi is effective in setting the mood. Dialogue is rendered with good spatial integration. Overall, the soundtrack is still monaural and extremely limited in projecting spatial dimensionality. Optional English subtitles are available.