ORBzine - Water Margin TV Review

[Season 1 !Season 2 ]

  • Atsuo Nakamura as Lin Chung
  • Sanae Tsuchida as Hu San-Niang
  • Kei Sato as Kao Chiu
  • Yoshiyo Matsuo as Hsiao Lan
  • Hajime Hana as Wu Sung
  • Takeshi Obayashi as Sung Chiang
  • Isamu Nagato as Lu Ta
  • Burt Kwouk as narrator

    Season 1

    Water Margin Water Margin [Season 1, Episode 1] Nine Dozen Heroes and One Wicked Man
    Reviewed 26th November 2005 - Saturday

    This is a big-budget Japanese epic set in medieval China. The narrator's voiceover is by Burt Kwouk (Pink Panther).

    The villain is Kow Chew, a corrupt Governor in a province of China, who opens an ancient tomb and accidentally releases the souls of nine dozen heroes. These souls possess heroes across China, and inspire them to oppose the corrupt government.

    One of the new breed of heroes is an army officer, framed for treason because he stood up to Kow Chew. He faces repeated challenges by a mustachioed bounty-hunter.

    Kow Chew is sent a mail-order bride as a bribe. However, she can handle a weapon all right!

  • Water Margin Water Margin [Season 1, Episode 2] None Ever Escape Alive
    Reviewed 12th June 2006 [Sunday]

    Lin Chun, heroic officer, arrives in the prison which contains inmates for whom the death penalty is too merciful. The toughest guard is actually a nice guy, but he severely punishes escape attempts. Lin Chun is the only one who can withstand his superhuman strength, so they bond ...

    The guard accidentally kills a gangster, so he goes on the run. He becomes the Flower Priest, and hides out with a young dandy who is covered in tatoos.

    Turban girl runs into some real bandits, who trap her. Luckily, everyone sees to know each other, so they can team up against oppression.

    A couple of Kow Chew's underlings visit the prison, looking for the hero. Bad mistake!

    Water Margin Water Margin [Season 1, Episode 3] Both at Last Will Reach the Sea
    Reviewed 17th June 2006 [Friday]

    The ex-army hero meets a fast-running fellow, who persuades him to go to the Water Margin.

    Kow Chew demotes the head of the Metropolitan Police to lead a small garrison on the border of the Water Margin. The warrior, blue-face, is a great swordsman. He is capable of taking the heroes on, one by one.

    Blue-face's soldiers capture Turban-girl and the hero's ex-wife. The two women, both in love with the same man, are put in a cell together.

    Water Margin Water Margin [Season 1, Episode 4] Ever Busy are the Gods of Love
    Reviewed 24th June 2006 [Friday]

    Turban-girl's sister comes for a visit.

    The tattoo'd Dandy swears vengeance on an evil overlord type.

    Water Margin Water Margin [Season 1, Episode 5] A Treasure of Gold And Jade
    Reviewed 3rd December 2005 [Saturday]

    The eeevil Governor taxes the population into submission. This treasure is dispatched, guarded by Blue-Skin (the eyepatch-wearing warrior) and a small army, to bribe someone so the Governor can become Prime Minister of all China.

    The bandits of the Water Margin team up with a Squire to steal the treasure.

    Water Margin Water Margin [Season 1, Episode 6] Bandits Who Steal Are Executed
    Reviewed 10th December 2005 [Saturday]

    The bandits gave the stolen treasure to the Squire, to redistribute to the poor. However, the eeevil Governor finds out about it.

    The Squire and his buddies take the treasure to the Water Margin bandits. The bandit leader knows the treasure will ensure the gang's survival for years, so they can liberate the region from the Governor.

    The Governor has plans of his own. He discovers the bandit leader had an affair with a woman of ill repute.

    Water Margin Water Margin [Season 1, Episode 7] How Easy to Die, How Hard to Live
    Reviewed 17th December 2005 [Saturday]

    Someone becomes an outlaw.

    Water Margin Water Margin [Season 1, Episode 8] A Man's Only Happiness
    Reviewed th June 2006 [Sunday]

    Water Margin Water Margin [Season 1, Episode 9] A Dutiful Son and the Love of a Brother
    Reviewed 31st December 2005 [Saturday]

    The Good Judge is captured by the villains and used as bait.

    The heroes send one of their tough guys, undercover. He encounters a greedy landlord and his wicked wife. The Communist overtones are obvious - Capitalists like the landlord are evil, but Government servants like the Judge are good!

    Water Margin Water Margin [Season 1, Episode 10] Escape Is Not Freedom
    Reviewed 7th January 2006 [Saturday]

    The Good Judge is still in prison.

    The heroes try rescue attempts, but are repeatedly outsmarted by the villain's new henchman.

    Water Margin Water Margin [Season 1, Episode 11] The Girl Who Loved the Flower Priest
    Reviewed 14th January 2006 [Saturday]

    The eye-patch-wearing warrior is an outcast. He teams up with the Flower Priest.

    The two outcasts face off against a gang of violent bandits.

    Water Margin Water Margin [Season 1, Episode 12] Kao Chiu Loses His Heart
    Reviewed 21st January 2006 [Saturday]

    The circus is in town. One beautiful woman is out for revenge against the evil Governor.

    Meanwhile, the villain aims his cruelty at one of his own officers. The officer's brother-in-law is outlawed, and he must choose between his duty and his wife.

    Water Margin Water Margin [Season 1, Episode 13] When Liang Shan Po Robbed the Poor
    Reviewed 28th January 2006 [Saturday]

    The evil Governor has allies, an aristocratic family. They disguise their soldiers and conduct bandit raids, to make the Water Margin bandits look like murderers.

    The Water Margin team investigate, but a trap is set for them..

    Water Margin Water Margin [Season , Episode ]
    Reviewed th June 2006 [Sunday]

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  • Water Margin Water Margin [Season 2, Episode 1] A Death for Love, More Deaths from Greed
    Reviewed 4th February 2006 [Saturday]

    The Water Margin Bandits face the aristocrats' trap.

    Water Margin Water Margin [Season 2, Episode 2] The Bravest Tiger Is First Killed
    Reviewed 11th February 2006 [Saturday]

    The Water Margin has a plague. They suspect that evil spirits are responsible.

    A friendly travelling priest offers to exorcise the spirits. Is he too helpful to be true? Does he have his own agenda?

    Water Margin Water Margin [Season 2, Episode 3] Heaven Aims the Master's Arrow
    Reviewed th June 2006 [Sunday]

    Water Margin Water Margin [Season 2, Episode 4] The Traps of Love and Hate
    Reviewed 25th February 2006 [Saturday]

    The Hero has left the Water Margin, and wanders China. The Governor, now China's PM, sends his Mongolian thug to hunt him down.

    Meanwhile, at court, the PM has a political rival. A man sympathetic to the rebels has won the Emperor's favour. The PM realises he can turn his enemies against each other.

    The Mongol is skilled at more than martial arts. He is a shaman of the Black Arts!

    Water Margin Water Margin [Season 2, Episode 5] A Foolish Sage Who Got Involved
    Reviewed 4th March 2006 [Saturday]

    The hero takes a bunch of villagers to live in the Water Margin.

    The Mongol leads the Imperial army in pursuit. Luckily, the heroes get a magic-user of their own.

    Water Margin Water Margin [Season 2, Episode 6] Mourn the Slaughter of So Many
    Reviewed 11th March 2006 [Saturday]

    A great General defends China's borders from a Mongol invasion.

    The eeevil overlord provokes the General's son into a futile attack on the Water Margin.

    Water Margin Water Margin [Season 2, Episode 7] The War to End All Wars
    Reviewed 18th March 2006 [Saturday]

    The General still refuses to join the Water Margin.

    Bandits are on the prowl.

    Water Margin Water Margin [Season 2, Episode 8] Death of a Great Man
    Reviewed 25th March 2006 [Saturday]

    Tsung, a bandit king, and his five sons seize a village. Just like in Seven Samurai.

    This is a deliberate provocation, to lure the Water Margin bandits into battle.

    Water Margin Water Margin [Season 2, Episode 9] Lin Chung Is Beaten
    Reviewed 1st April 2006 [Saturday]

    The hero, Lin Chung, is captured by the Tsungs.

    The villainous governor and his troops attack the Water Margin.

    The turban girl poses as a singer, and seduces two of the Tsung brothers. She wants to turn them against each other ...

    Water Margin Water Margin [Season 2, Episode 10] A Concubine's Dowry
    Reviewed 22nd April 2006 [Saturday]

    The eeevil overlord plots to undermine the boy Emperor, by supplying him with a beautiful concubine.

    The Water Margin rebels send a couple of their best men to the capital, incognito. En route they encounter a beautiful young woman with her hair in bagel-braids (like in SW IV: A New Hope )!

    Water Margin Water Margin [Season 2, Episode 11] Liang Shan Po and the Millionaire
    Reviewed th June 2006 [Sunday]

    Water Margin Water Margin [Season 2, Episode 12] Knight of the Long Sword
    Reviewed 6th May 2006 [Saturday]

    Perhaps a reference to the night of the Long knives, this ep deals with evil Governor Kow Chew's political backstabbing and treachery.

    Kow Chew sends a message to the army's best General, who is fighting the Han nomads. The General is an old friend of the Water Margin Leader, but they fell out over a girl.

    The General must choose between duty to Kow Chew, who he despises, and killing an old friend. He knows that as a soldier he must never leave an enemy leader alive - we are shown the results when the Han leader is defeated.

    In the end, the nine dozen heroes are all in the Water Margin. Everything is ready for the final battle against Kow Chew.

    Water Margin Water Margin [Season 2, Episode 13] The Dynasty of Kao
    Reviewed 27th May 2006 [Saturday]

    The Water Margin army is poised to march on Peking. This is what Kow Chew wants - he can solidify his support in the capital. His plot ... to kill the Emperor, and start his own Dynasty!

    The hero and four sidekicks infiltrate Peking in disguise. Their plan is to contact the Emperor ...