Wow. This movie has left me nearly speechless. There are scenes in it that are shocking, jaw-dropping, amazing…if you haven’t seen this movie yet, and you like action movies, with a good plot, solid characters, and the best action sequences I’ve ever seen in an anime, then beg, borrow, steal…er, do whatever you can to get your hands on it. You won’t regret it. Take my word for it. I was really lucky to have seen this at my anime society.
In a two hours long movie, Sword of the Strangers’ characters is well developed. The characters’ goals are explained; there are some greedy characters, good guys or just common folk that just care about the weather and market prices. With good diversity and development of the main cast, we already have a group of maybe not completely original but interesting characters. The way different characters behave is fairly realistic and suit Japans Sengoku period and historical accuracy is always a nice touch to any series.
The art is nice and clean with beautiful environments, though not as dark as the likes of other ronin films.
We start with a small boy and his master on the run from a Chinese delegation. Boy and master are eventually separated and while taking refuge in an abandoned temple, the boy and his dog – a badass, even if small – meet a vagabond swordsman squatting there as well. He’s the Kenshin type with a shameful past he wishes to forget (his past should have played a bigger role, in my opinion). He joins them as a bodyguard of sorts.
I found movie’s soundtrack very emotional actually, I think that music contributes a lot to the feel of a whole movie. Both the amazingly animated fights scenes and what comes between would not have the same impact without this wonderful soundtrack.
Those who haven’t seen something similar before will find the most enjoyment. Sword of the Stranger will be rather predictable to those familiar with the genre, yet great to those new to it.