Strong support characters, lush photography and a genuinely climactic final act (despite not being terribly surprising), make "Zatoichi The Fugitive" one of my absolute favorites of the serial up to this point. The mother who begrudgingly comes to admire Ichi was a fantastic character, who I've thought of often when thinking about the "Zatoichi" series' best moments.
Everything is solid in this 4th entry of the series. That is until the climatic fight which is intense and brutal with Zatoichi lets blood spill in anger. Admired the reoccurring theme of Zatoichi becoming mythologized and seen as a performer.