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Sword of the Stranger [Blu-ray]

Alistair Abell , Michael Adamthwaite , Masahiro And˘    Unrated   Blu-ray
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 69.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Description

What qualifies a man as good or evil? Is it the amount of political power one attains, the quality of his swordsmanship or how well he serves his lord? With the fall of the second shogunate Japan has sunk into a state of disarray historians now call the Sengoku period, or the era of Warring States. Civil wars rage on throughout the many feudal holdings, where a man may raise his station in life simply by killing his superior.

Whilst wandering this war torn country side a nameless ronin stumbles upon a young boy by the name of Kotaro, his dog and the many Chinese assassins dispatched to claim the boy in some strange ritual for immortality. Seeing something of his own past within the child, the nameless swordsman chooses to act as his bodyguard but can he truly keep Kotaro from the clutches of the Ming and their bloodthirsty blonde mercenary, Luo-Lang?

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Sword of the Stranger is a greatly entertaining action anime. It features some great one-on-one fight scenes and has a decent albeit cliched story (skilled ronin tries to protect the little boy from all the bad guys who want to kidnap him). The action scenes are done in a shaky 'hand held' style and are swift and brutal. There are some slow points as with most anime, but over all I really liked Sword of the Stranger.

All the characters seem to be very developed and unique in this violent world so when some of them are killed off, it feels very abrupt.

Backgrounds are beautifully painted in what seems to be watercolour, and there is some CG used, but it isn't overdone.

Sword of the Stranger has no nudity or sex scenes, but does feature violence, some blood & gore, dismemberment (but not too graphic), cruelty to animals, etc. so it isn't suitable for the younger set. For me, the climatic final battle followed by the final duel was alone worth the price of owning this fine piece of entertainment.

Btw: The movie is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, and not 1.33:1 (full screen) as described above.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great animation and great story... July 9 2009
This is one of those anime movies that a fan or a newcomer can both watch and enjoy. Without giving away the details, the story revolves around a boy on the run from a group of men who want to capture him for an unknown reason -- he runs into a ronin (a wandering samurai) with no name, who decides to help him for his own reasons. The premise sounds quite generic, but the execution by Studio BONES makes it into a great watch. Every character, minor or major, seems to have a back-story that lets the viewer understand why they do the things they do. It also wraps up nicely, not ending like so many series do with unfinished business.

Both the English and Japanese sound tracks are great, but I do lean towards the Japanese track as there is both a mix of Japanese and Chinese/Mandarin with subtitles, giving a little more of a multicultural feel to the different character's nationalities. I'd recommend watching both. There are also some good extras.

Overall, a great anime - but also a good story worth watching. Support the anime industry and buy a movie once in a while!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bloody without mindlessness... Feb. 14 2010
While many praise the gory, fast-paced fight scenes(which are very well executed and not entirely unnecessary) I'd like instead to reach out to the many people who are missing out due to such reviews.

The plot descriptions you're bound to find around the internet do this movie no justice, either. While the plot itself is not totally original, Sword of the Stranger is far more skillfully made than similar movies. As the movie progresses, there are deep levels of character development and creative revelations of character backgrounds.

You can look forward to seeing; beautiful art, meaningful(but never romantic) relationships, comic relief, suspense, heroism, and of course incredible fights.

Of course, if you really want, you can look past the wonder of this work and just enjoy the gore- but those parts are quick and not all that important.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Polishes an old blade to a shine. June 8 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Sword of the Stranger is clearly a work of love. This is not a film that seeks to challenge the conventions of Ronin tales but rather an homage to the genre. It uses the fundamental features and polishes them to a shine leaving behind a fantastic work of Samurai fiction.

The art style is conventional but with a stylized flair that adds to the visual aura in a manner very complimentary to the setting. The action scenes are excellent with very fluid design and good quality animation. The story is simplistic but focused, it tells its story well.

For lovers of the old Samurai or Gunslinger films this movie is a real treat and highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great anime Aug. 1 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Second best samourai movie after NINJA SCROLL. It has a lot of action, the sword fights are epic and well think.
It's a must have for every anime fan.
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