Animation Production – Bones
Director – Masahiro Ando
Another fantastic samurai era movie.
Basic plot summary – The Chinese Ming emperor has sent a convoy to Japan to recover a child (Kotaro) who is essential to a sacrificial ritual. A samurai with no name (Nanashi) takes it upon himself to protect Kotaro and escort him to his destination.
This is a well done movie that sticks to the genre which is typically full of blood and violence. The battles and encounters are mostly one-sided till the end but it is always a thrill to see people fight each other in interesting ways. The plot is another classic tale of one party being hunted with a satisfying conclusion.
The characters elevate this movie above standard action fare. The kid is a Chinese orphan from a high-class family who has fled to Japan and taken care of by Japanese priests. After being pursued Kotaro had to become self-sufficient and his dog Tobimaru has helped him cope with this. The dog is especially a great companion as he is capable of fighting to protect Kotaro. There are other characters such as the western Samurai part of Chinese convoy who serves as the main adversary for Nanashi. His motivation is purely to find a worthy opponent and doesn’t really have any connection with his Chinese employers.
Why watch it? Great Samurai action and Drama
Rating – A
Length – 102 Minutes Year – 2007
Sword of the Stranger was directed by Masahiro Ando in his first overall directorial role. He has recently directed the 2009 high budget action TV show Canaan.