Japan 1905: Despite the fact that Yuki (Meiko Kaji) died at the end of previous
Snowblood - Blizzard from the Netherworld, here she is back & on
the run from the police, who capture her eventually though, but only when
attacking her, a superior swordswoman, with a regular army. Yuki is then
tried & convicted to death by hanging, the coach that drives her to her
execution though is held up & Yuki suddenly finds herself at the mercy of
police chief Kikui (Shin Kishida), who offers her a job as a gouvernment agent
& assassin in exchange for her life ... to which she agrees.
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Her first assignment is to steal an incriminating letter that could topple
the gouvernment from renowned anarchist Ransui Tokunaga (Juzo Itama), & to
this end she takes up a job as maid to Ransui & his wife Aya (Kazuko
Yoshiyuki). Soon however, she becomes more & more infatuated by the man
& postpones the fulfillment of her task more & more. Ransui in the
meantime has found out Yuki's real identity & her assignment, however he
decides to trust her & even hands her over the letter on his own free will
... & not a moment too soon, as police chief Kikui has grown restless &
decided to have his men attack Ransui to get the letter by brute force - &
Ransai they do get, but Yuki can eswcape with the letter to Ransai's estranged
brother Shusuke (Yoshio Harada), who lives as a doctor in the slums.
Kikui has Ransai tortured in the meantime to learn Yuki's (& the
letter's) whereabouts, but Ransai refuses to tell, so he is infected with tzhe
plague & thrown into the river ... & sure enough, Yuki finds him
floating in the water & brings him to his brother - who can only attest
that Ransai is terminally ill & lock him away in hopes that the plague
won't spread ... but in the slums, diseases like this are quick to spread &
soon every other inhabitant is ill.
Yuki, horrified by all this, decides that she has to take measures & she
now offers the letter to Kikui in exchange for the money needed to treat (&
heal) all the infected. At first, Kikui pretends to accept the terms, but his
real plans are far more sinister as - to stop the disease from further
spreading - he decides to simply burn down the slums, & have some of his
henchmen assassinate Yuki, his erstwhile assassin. Of course though, Yuki can
escape, & comeing back to the burnt down slum she can even find Shusuke -
apparently the sole survivor of the fire - who has even saved the letter from
Together the 2 now go & take revenge on Kikui & his henchmen, &
so determined are they that not only the bullets from Kikui's gun can stop
them. It is nly after they have killed Kikui that Shusuke is bought down by his
many wounds & begs Yuki to kill him to end his pain ... which she does.
Why anyone would have thought it was a good idea to make a sequel to Shurayukihime/Lady
Snowblood - Blizzard from the Netherworld is at anybody's guess since
that movie told a whole story full circle - beginning with the heroine's birth,
following her through to the fulfillment of her life's task & consequently
ending with her death. So in that respect the film makes little sense, since
Yuki wouldn't have no reason to run from the police now her past is fulfilled
& this is also the point of critique when watching Lady Snowblood:
Love Song of Vengeance on its own, the central character seriously lacks
motivation, thus her changes of attitude - from the murderous criminal hunted
by the police to the gouvernment assassin to the suppotrter of anarchist ideas
to the sympathetic slum-inhabitant - come about a little too seamlessly to be
believable at all, & it is not helped by the fact that attention is
repeatedly shifted from her to utterly unimportant subplots (e.g. why the
brothers are estranged, Ransui's odd relationship to huis wife, ...) which only
lead the story astray & seriously undermine the effect of the climax.
Unfortunately too, despite a few inspired moments, the direction &
action of this movie cannot live up to its predecessor.