This joint project with Hokuto no Gun finally inches past the halfway mark, with a rather unique episode. A decade before his groundbreaking work on the Captain Harlock TV series, Rintaro co-directed several early episodes of Sabu & Ichi, helping to establish the show’s visual style for other directors. This is the first and only Sabu & Ichi episode in which Rintaro receives a solo director’s credit, and the master’s work in some of the action scenes really shines. Particularly notable is Ichi’s climactic beach-side duel with the ronin bodyguard, complete with a few strategically intercut live-action bits. Even in a low budget weekly TV series, Rintaro’s cinematic ambitions were foreshadowed.