Sword of the Stranger is Pretty Darn Enjoyable. Anime Blog Thing.

Avatar image for viciousbearmauling
ViciousBearMauling

2094

Forum Posts

11

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 3

Sword of the Stranger is an undoubtedly top notch execution of animated combat. If that tickles your fancy, then maybe stick around for a while?

Howdy! I might not have an anime avatar anymore, but that does not disqualify me from rambling about the medium on this here website. I'd like to think that I sample media from a broad spectrum of genres and styles, especially in anime, but I'll honestly admit that a simplistic action flick is something I'll never get tired of, granted that it's well executed. I love to drink in the hand crafted choreography of a fight scene, and I bet I'll surprise you when I say, Sword of the Stranger is pretty fucking "Sugoi" in this aspect.

No Caption Provided

Stranger is a film from 2007, directed by Ando Masahiro. That name might sound familiar, as it should, being involved in other critically acclaimed pieces like the Cowboy Bebop film, Ghost in the Shell, Fullmetal Alchemist and The End of Evangelion. There are more, but hey, you get it. This guy has experience. Stranger is also animated by Studio Bones.

This movie is gorgeous. Not much else to say other than that. Care was obviously put into each gorgeous set piece, containing very little CGI that only lasts a few seconds each time. These fine gentlemen, along with Ando, are fucking masters of choreography. So you can probably guess that Stranger is no slouch. Any film can sprinkle in a fight scene between plot points to keep it interesting, but the artful fights throughout Stranger practically reach out of the screen and slap you with their awesome. Below is a scene for a little bit of proof. If you trust me, I would suggest not watching it, the video below isn't a spoiler in terms of story, just in action.

Tobimaru.
Tobimaru.

There is also a story, if you are into that kind of thing... I guess... Nerd. A young boy and his dog escape some evil Chinese dudes trying to conduct some evil mysterious ritual thing, only to run into a roaming samurai named Nanashi (Or No Name) who has vowed to never unsheathe his blade again... So you're kinda just waiting for him to unsheathe his blade for the entire film... BUT I DIGRESS! The boy hires Nanashi to protect him as they go on a journey as the Chinese bad dudes are on their tails. This story will not win any awards, that's a fact, but the likable characters and exceptional pacing make for an experience that doesn't feel like a slog to finish.

Sato Naoki is also here composing the films music. He's worked on some stuff before as well. The music is very subtle throughout the film, you never get a "DON'T LOSE YOUR WAY!!!" al la Kill la Kill, but that's totally fine. It's better that way. The music never gets center stage, but it sure does help create the atmosphere and emphasize the emotional moments in the film. This isn't the best dancing music, but it's a perfect score for this film.

My wife would like to add that the Chinese VA is apparently "Atrocious and bad" as she is fluent in both Mandarin and Cantonese. It's few and far between but apparently it's bad.

There is never a boring moment in this movie, unless you're incapable of enjoying some kick-ass hand animated samurai sword ballet, in which GET OUT OF MY BLOG POST. Just kidding... Maybe.

Go watch it.
Go watch it.
Avatar image for mauveforest
MauveForest

605

Forum Posts

17

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 3

I second this recommendation. The sword action is top notch, and the final action sequence is pretty great. The story is perfect for setting up the amazing action to take place while not distracting from what the movie is good at. Which is bad-ass sword combat.

Avatar image for themanwithnoplan
TheManWithNoPlan

7843

Forum Posts

103

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 14

#2  Edited By TheManWithNoPlan

Everything about this looks amazing. I think I'll check it out at some point in the near future. Thanks!

Avatar image for viciousbearmauling
ViciousBearMauling

2094

Forum Posts

11

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 3

@themanwithnoplan: My pleasure! Knowing I'm getting eyes on something that deserves it, even if it's one pair of eyes (I apologize if you have one eye or more than two) makes writing these kinds of things rewarding.

Avatar image for hamst3r
Hamst3r

5495

Forum Posts

7833

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 11

User Lists: 2

I watched Sword of the Stranger in September and it was indeed quite good. Beautiful artwork and animation.

Avatar image for gaminghooligan
gaminghooligan

1831

Forum Posts

30

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 4

User Lists: 1

Yep this movie is fantastic, there's a fight towards the end involving a guy wielding a spear that I absolutely adored. The fight ends with the old man shooting the spear guy through the chest with a gun and the music just cuts completely, sort of recognizing the difference between the the old and new ways of combat. Brilliant stuff.

Avatar image for baka_shinji17
baka_shinji17

1509

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 14

#6 baka_shinji17  Online

I didn't even read this. Just looked at the dog with a spear and was sold on everything about this movie.

Avatar image for yi_orange
YI_Orange

1354

Forum Posts

8359

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 5

User Lists: 0

Thirded. What a coolass movie.

Avatar image for zomgfruitbunnies
Zomgfruitbunnies

1296

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

Really great. It even has valid and well executed symbolism! If this movie came out like five years earlier it probably would have gotten a lot more traction.

Avatar image for splodge
splodge

2886

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Really solid movie. Enjoyed it thoroughly.

Avatar image for gunstarred
GunstarRed

6068

Forum Posts

1893

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 10

The end fight is sublime. One of the greatest action sequences in anything.

Avatar image for hunter5024
Hunter5024

6706

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 9

This movie's rad. I would recommend it to anybody who likes Samurai movies, regardless of their feelings about anime.

Avatar image for stete
Stete

782

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#12  Edited By Stete

I saw this a long time ago, highly recommend it, I wish there were more self contained anime movies like this one.

Avatar image for mwng
mwng

1041

Forum Posts

8001

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#13  Edited By mwng

In case anyone is interested, the guy who directed Sword of the Stranger (Masahiro Ando) is also working on a new kickstarter project called Under the Dog.

Hopefully the action sequences transition over, as I'd love to see some more Sword of the Stranger style action scenes in other works...

Avatar image for saik0u
Saik0u

215

Forum Posts

4

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

I watched this promtly last night, after reading this thread, and was mesmerized !
Towards the end i realised i had seen it before. I do not regret watching it again.

Thank you for recommending it !

Avatar image for zomgfruitbunnies
Zomgfruitbunnies

1296

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

#15  Edited By Zomgfruitbunnies  Online

@saik0u: Giantbomb is secretly an anime website. All the video game stuff is just a front.

Avatar image for fallen189
Fallen189

5453

Forum Posts

10463

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 4

The end fight is dope

Avatar image for jonny_anonymous
Jonny_Anonymous

3692

Forum Posts

6

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#17  Edited By Jonny_Anonymous

Hell yeah, it's a fucking great film.

Avatar image for caska
caska

263

Forum Posts

30

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

I just rewatched the Cowboy Bebop movie the other day! I'll definately look into this!

PS It's not like Kill la Kill is it? Because man I only just managed to finish the first episode of that show and reeeaalllyyy didn't want to continue.

Avatar image for saik0u
Saik0u

215

Forum Posts

4

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#19  Edited By Saik0u

@caska:

What struck me about SOTS is that it feels grounded in some kind of reality. The characters are not immortal and they look like they have to abide by rules like gravity, inertia and momentum etc. I also really like how the characters act. They seem kind of pragmatic and to the point, and not like most over the top melodramatic characters anime tend to make use of. There is no magic per se. Only people who are extremely good at what they do. Which in this case is swinging bladed weapons around at an alarming pace, removing bodyparts in the process.

Really enjoyable combat scenes and charming slower parts.

Avatar image for viciousbearmauling
ViciousBearMauling

2094

Forum Posts

11

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 3

@caska: It's not like Kill la Kill at all. It's fairly grounded in reality and I only used the comparison to Kill la Kill because of how different the music is.

Avatar image for the_ruiner
The_Ruiner

1792

Forum Posts

28

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

Yeah it's fuckin' great.

Avatar image for tobbrobb
TobbRobb

6614

Forum Posts

49

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 13

GOOD MOVIE IS VERY GOOD

Avatar image for dimi3je
Dimi3je

488

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Watched it for the second time a couple of weeks ago. I strongly recommend this movie to anyone. The story and setting are great and so are the characters. I would also agree that it has outstandingly choreographed fighting scenes.

Avatar image for caska
caska

263

Forum Posts

30

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@viciousbearmauling: Haha awesome. Kill La kill just rubs me the wrong way with its scantily everyone. That said I've heard it gets better and I'll try it again soon enough just not in the mood right now. This however sounds like just what I'm in the mood for right now!

@saik0u: ok cool, I'm definately going to give it a look! I only just got around to watching gurren lagann and I'm a huge fan of that show but I think I'm in the mood for something a little more grounded :P

Avatar image for theht
TheHT

15910

Forum Posts

1562

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 9

Yup! It's a great movie. Great build up and really satisfying delivery.

Avatar image for gokaired
gokaired

581

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

agreed. I feel it has a bunch of influences from Kenshin and another that escapes me, begins with an M

Anyway, that final fight was the bomb, there's always a white dude as a final boss :P

The musical score though understated at times has some fantastic tracks during climaxes.

Avatar image for ezekiel
Ezekiel

2257

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

I think it's a boring story with good but sometimes overdone fight scenes. I remember laughing at the some of the violence near the end the last time I watched it, because of how flat the drama was. That was years ago.

Avatar image for shadowswordmaster
ShadowSwordmaster

1119

Forum Posts

714

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

I need to check this out soon.

Avatar image for obcdexter
obcdexter

991

Forum Posts

3

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 13

#29  Edited By obcdexter

@ezekiel said:

I think it's a boring story with good but sometimes overdone fight scenes. I remember laughing at the some of the violence near the end the last time I watched it, because of how flat the drama was. That was years ago.

I kinda agree. Thought overall that this movie was pretty but certainly nothing special story- or character-wise. Can't share the hype.