The nameless samurai – Sword of the Stranger

After waiting 2 months (no joke, I ordered this in February) to receive this DVD from I was surprised that it actually arrived at all. I’d emailed Play and got some crap about suppliers not supplying and have been thoroughly unimpressed (I intend to kick up a fuss).
However I am digressing. I have now seen Sword of the Stranger 3 times. Twice in Japanese with English subs and once in English (still with subs to translate the Chinese).
The story follows Koturo and his dog Tobimaru as they are pursued by the Chinese for a ritual that will create a medicine for immortality. Whilst hiding out in an abandoned temple they meet No-name, a samurai haunted by his past, and pay him to be their bodyguard.
Every time I watch this film I still enjoy it even though the initial shock of certain actions has worn off. I think what I most enjoy is the music, oddly enough. There’s a scene at the end where No-name is fighting to rescue Koturo and the music playing over it fits the urgency and the determination perfectly. It is not for the faint hearted, however. There’s tons of blood and limbs flying everywhere as samurai battle the Chinese elites who feel no pain. One particular image of a man getting his arms chopped off and then getting a knife in the head springs to mind.
I will no doubt watch this film again and can do nothing more than give it the full 10/10 for amazing animation, storytelling and soundtrack.

~ by Jess Wiles on April 21, 2011.

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