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.