Sword of the Stranger [Blu-ray]
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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?
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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!
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.
Most recent customer reviews
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.