Critical Appraisal (From Wiki)
Midnight Eye’s review of A Woman Called Sada Abe compares it to In the Realm of the Senses, notes, “Aside from being less sexually explicit, it is also smaller scale, more intimate, more cinematically stylised and arguably more erotic.”
A Woman Called Sada Abe is generally considered one of Nikkatsu’s five best Roman porno films. Many Japanese critics consider it to be superior to Oshima’s internationally better-known In the Realm of the Senses, and Junko Miyashita is called a more realistic Sada Abe than Eiko Matsuda. Miyashita’s performance in the film has been judged one of the best of her career, and the film has been called director Tanaka’s masterpiece.
A Woman Called Sada Abe was a major box-office success in Japan, and it has been suggested that the success of Tanaka’s film caused Oshima to distribute his film internationally before releasing it in Japan. Along with the earlier Roman Porno film, Wife to be Sacrificed (1974), A Woman Called Sada Abe was released to an enthusiastic reception in San Francisco in 1998.