Anime Review – Sword of the Stranger | Blushing Geek

Anime Review – Sword of the Stranger

Sword of the Stranger | Blushing Geek

Japanese: Stranger: Mukou Hadan
Type: Movie
Aired: Sep 29, 2007
Studio: Bones
Genre: Action, Adventure
Theme: Historical, Samurai
Duration: 1 hr. 43 min.
Rating: R – 17+ (violence & profanity)
Add to list on MAL
MY RATING: 8 out of 10

In the Sengoku period of Japan, a young orphan named Kotarou and his dog Tobimaru steal from unsuspecting villagers in order to make ends meet. However, Kotarou is forced to remain on the run when he finds himself being hunted down by assassins sent by China’s Ming Dynasty for mysterious reasons not involving his petty crimes.

Fortunately, the duo run into Nanashi, a ronin who has taken refuge in a small temple, when Kotarou is attacked and Tobimaru poisoned. Although the samurai saves the helpless pair from their pursuers, he feels that there is no need to help them further; but when offered a gem in exchange for his services as a bodyguard, he reluctantly accepts Kotarou’s offer of employment—just until Tobimaru is healed and the two reach their destination. As the three set out on a perilous journey, it soon becomes evident that their path is riddled with danger, as the Ming Dynasty has now sent a terrifying swordsman after them to capture Kotarou and fulfill a certain prophecy.

This film, Sword of the Stranger was actually requested by Evan on Instagram. The instant I read the title, I knew instantly that I already watched it (forgot when, lol) and I am 100% sure that I enjoyed it. But seeing that I don’t have a review posted in the blog, (and checking on my account on MAL) I confirmed that I watched it while this blog was on hiatus last 2019.

I don’t always enjoy anime films like I do with anime series, so it’s a shame not to post a review for this movie. That’s why I am really grateful to Evan for reminding me of this film. Thank you!

Sword of the Stranger

Just as the name suggests, this film is a samurai story and is set in the Sengoku period of Japan. A rounin called Nanashi (meaning ‘nameless’) saves a young boy Kotarou and his dog Tobimaru at an abandoned temple. Kotarou has no family and is pursued by a mysterious militia organization from China so he hires Nanashi as his bodyguard. And that’s how the perilous journey of the three started.

I always love samurai stories (but mostly those that are set in the Feudal era) and I am lucky that I haven’t encountered one that I really hate. And as you can see on my rating above, I absolutely enjoyed this movie. I love that it has the right combination of action, adventure, emotion, and a whole lot of blood, wahahaha. Oops, I sounded like a madman there, lol.

I also love seeing Tobimaru. I love how tough this little guy is the whole time. And just like all dogs, he’s also very loyal, so charming and very brave. Now that I am seeing this movie the second time, I think instead of just enjoying the story and the action (the blood, mwahahaha lol), but I think I am most aware of Tobimaru which is really a good thing because I think he’s the MVP of this movie.

As for the main characters, both Kotarou and the rounin had a tough past. Kotarou was orphaned at a young age and was almost sold as a slave but was saved by a priest. After being forced to run because of the mysterious assassin after him, he and Tobimaru steal from the villagers to make the ends meet. The rounin on the other hand had a past that left him with awful nightmares, thus explains his status — a samurai without a master. Because of his bad experience, I guess that explains how patient he was to the kid. Kotarou can be a pain in the as* almost all the time (well, most kids are, wahahaha) so I really salute the guy for being extra patient.

The animation on the other hand was glorious! I definitely love the swordplay which I think fits perfectly with the story. Then I found out that it’s from the same creators of Fullmetal Alchemist – Brotherhood, Noragami, Bungou Stray Dogs, and more well-known anime! Now that explains it, *wink.

The ending on the other hand is not my kind of ending. These kinds of stories don’t usually have “my kind” of ending, but it wouldn’t have been bad to see maybe a short clip of their daily life after that super intense fight, don’t you think? But overall, it was still not that bad since it gave me that hopeful feeling, wishing for the three of them to finally live their happy lives.

Highly recommended!


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Sophia Rose
1 year ago

A Medieval samurai adventure sounds great.

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