English: Sword of the Stranger
Synonyms: Stranger: Mukoh Hadan, Stranja
Japanese: ストレンヂア -無皇刃譚
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Sep 29, 2007
1 hr. 43 min.
R - 17+ (violence & profanity)
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.461 (scored by 41992 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
action historical samurai
SynopsisThe story is set in the Sengoku period. A rounin called Nanashi (meaning "nameless") saves a young boy named Kotarou at an abandoned temple. Kotarou has no family, is pursued by a mysterious militia organization from China, and hires Nanashi as his bodyguard. Amongst the men who pursue Kotarou is a man called Rarou, a skilled warrior with blond hair and blue eyes. He obeys an old man called Byakuran and is a member of the Chinese militia. Unlike his companions in the militia, he isn't serving any Emperor and just wants to fight with the strong.
(Source: Iwa ni Hana)
Related AnimeAdaptation: Stranger: Mukou Hadan
Other: Stranger: Mukou Hadan Pilot
Characters & Voice Actors
Thunder Kings review nr.3: Sword of the Stranger
When I decided to watch Sword of the Stranger my expectations were set pretty high and after watching it I can gladly say that they were completely fulfilled. I expected good story set in interesting period of Japanese history and great productions values that studio Bones are known for, all of this were there and even more. Ladies and gentlemen welcome to the review of a fine piece of art that Sword of the Stranger is.
The Story 8/10
I was always interested in asian culture and history, it fascinated me as a huge history nerd. It was something different from the European culture that I grew to know and I became interested in Japans history and culture particularly when I started watching anime. Sword of the Stranger is set in Sengoku Shogunate period when Japan was greatly divided in lesser clans who constantly declared wars on each other to gain more power. The stories setting is wonderfully presented and characters who various from Japanese Samurai Warriors to foreigners from China suit it very well. Despite some light mystery plot devices conflicts in the movie feel realistic and in place in this period of cruel politics and war makin.
Sword of the Stranger is a story of a boy, a hound and a former Samurai getting to know each other as they are chased by mysterious warriors from china and japanese government. The story is mostly about bright themes such as trust and friendship but it have some dark undertones such as greed for power and egoistic desires. When the story itself isn't especially original it is definitely very well presented. There is always something interesting going on and amazingly EPIC fight scenes thrown in to keep viewers entertain. Only sometimes it may feel that the movie is constantly slowing down to get from the one great part to another. The final climax definitely deserves mentioning, it is everything that any shows final climax should be, want to know why? Watch it.
Sword of the Stranger is a type of movie that rewards you if you pay attention to the details, there are many things that are easily missed but matters to the plot. If your eyes did not caught everything, you can just rewatch the movie, it is really worth it.
The Animation 10/10
Let us start with one of things that make Sword of the Stranger one of my favorite anime. Fights. Such words as EPIC are heavily overused on the internet but there is no better way of describing fight scenes in this movie. You can't call them very realistic but they still manage to suit medieval Japans setting very well. Animations are extremely fluid and movements mostly realistic. For a 2007 the facial expressions are also amazingly well done. The movie is set in the early winter, that makes Sword of the Stranger feel different from the other anime that are set mostly in summer. Backgrounds are well done, in fact I would give 9 or 10 to this movie for animation if it would be aired this year and not almost seven years ago.
The Sound 10/10
I found movies 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.
I did not found anything wrong with the voice acting. The only "problem" that I had was the chinese voice acting. Honestly I can't tell if it's bad voice acting or just chinese doesn't sound that good for me(no offense for chinese people out there).
The Characters 8/10
For a two hours long movie Sword of the Strangers characters are good developed. There are few characters that goals are explained, there are some greedy characters, good guys or just common folk that just care for 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 Enjoyment 9/10
I really liked excellent sword play that anime have to offer and realistic medieval Japans setting. Story wasn't very original but definitely enjoyable one. I have a weakness for samurai movies. Final climax was also excellent and show rewarded my attention to details. Overall extremely enjoyable movie, and one of my personal favorites.
Sword of the Stranger is definitely fine piece of art and I can easily recommend it to anyone. Even if your not a fan of japanese culture you probably find this movie enjoyable anyway, thanks to its extremely high production values and simple story that everybody can enjoy, more or less. read more
Sword of the Stranger is both unusual and refreshing in the way that it seemed to come out of nowhere and prove to be a remarkable anime. It seems, lately, that anything warranting a large budget and a lot of effort from a studio is either a sequel, an adaptation based on a successful manga or novel, or the next dull addition to a creatively stagnant franchise. None of these things, Sword of the Stranger is an unexpected big-budget film, which leapt instantly to the forefront of my favoured anime movies with exhilarating action sequences, captivating visuals, raw, evocative music and simple but affective characterisation. The look and sound of the show will instantly grab you, and perhaps even carries the film over the insubstantial plot backbone.
Some people have already ordained this film as a classic of sorts, but I’d have to disagree with that, simply because, although it hits hard and fast with splendour, and resonates beyond mere eye-candy, it doesn’t have a crucial element to elevate it into that tier. The characters do have sufficient weight for the audience to empathise with them, and they are also very likeable, but I felt that my appreciation of the characterisation is due largely to the voice talent behind them. So, credit goes to the cast and not necessarily to the way the film was written, which perhaps had more featured characters than it should have. If the film had focused more on the central to characters, I feel it could have been a classic, or at the very least, deliver an even more powerful finale. Perhaps replacing some of the action scenes with more intimate, personal character moments could have helped. But that minor gripe aside, the big problem with the film was the gaping hole where the plot should be.
A plot should always be more than just a vague framework to drive a movie from one scene another all the way to the climax. It should give credence to the movie, so that the film has a certain importance or reason. As it was, the plot, both simple and relatively silly, told me that the film existed for the sake of great action scenes. It’s a valid premise for entertainment, but it means there’s no lasting impact on the audience because it doesn’t really have anything much to convey. There’s no story here I haven’t seen before in this genre, and for much of the time the plot is a little too confusing.
It seems I’d almost forgotten the potential for animation to be so visually compelling. On a technical level, the anime medium has frequent success, but transcending animation quality, it’s a very rare experience for an anime to be truly visually compelling, creating not just mood and detail, but also scenes of beauty. This film achieves that in a way that totally blew me away, and I don’t say that very often (I’m not one of those apt to calling every Kyoto Animation production flawlessly animated). The climax of the film, a roaring skirmish amidst snow and fire, is breathtaking and elegiac. More than just an impressive, visceral action sequence, it is tinged with emotion and dramatic tension, which drives the film up to its climactic pinnacle.
As I say time and time again, the concept of a conclusion is highly important to me. When anything ends I expect more than a bit of excitement, or an explanatory wrap-up, I want the climax to resonate and to pay-off the themes of the series/movie. This film does achieve that, and even though it is devoid of really challenging and engaging themes, it still manages to be moving with likeable characters and endearing score music. In my mind, an anime that can end on a powerful high note, with stunning production and consistent pacing, is a winner. Even though the film falls prey to a number of action film clichés, and at times feels like a rehash of bits of the samurai film genre, and even though its plot is undemanding and almost silly, it is irresistibly engaging. Beyond anything else, this should definitely be approached as an action film, and with that approach, I can safely say it is a great accomplishment in its genre. It is fast-paced and features fierce, clever battle sequences, but more importantly, overshadowing the violence (which any action film can claim on), it is rendered with artistry and beauty, and effortlessly tugs at your heart. Frankly put, the only flaw in this film is the slight lack of depth to the characters, and the completely unremarkable plot. But if, like me, you’ve grown tired of the relative mediocrity of most anime television and want something to renew your love for the anime medium as an art form, this would be a good bet.
both samurai and have awesome art and fighting scenes
Easily two of the best swordfighting series out there. Both are set in a fictional historical setting of Japan, where the samurai way of life is strong. When it comes to fight scenes, we see amazing choreography that does't require supernatural abilities. Fight scenes are realistic, fluid, without having to resort to superpower moves, repetitive movements, long in-between conversations, and so forth. Samurai Champloo is episodic in nature and more light-hearted, but Sword of the Stranger is a film with a straightforward and serious plot.
Both are recommended to to anyone looking for some impressive sword fights and strong characters.
If you loved the action in one of the two, you should definitely check the other out. Champloo's action focuses more on the details and fluidity while sword of the stranger's has a more emotion driven and cinematic 'feel' to it.
Both facing a similar plot: traveling samurai.
Both anime placed in similar ages, and both having pretty good strong samurai as main characters.
Sword of the Stranger is a pearl (sadly a single movie) of animation and i can say that both anime are masterpieces in their own way.
Both have beautiful art and thoughtful stories. Also both have action that is executed well and without being gratuitous or over done.
It has the same type of fighting style, in my opinion - it's wild, anything goes!
They're both samurai themed with verry stylized fighting sequences, and both Mugen and Nanashi have a thing for saving the helpless (then of course getting so attached to the ones they saved that they risk their lives for them em' everytime they get in trouble... -.-)
Both series has great and crazy fights, a lot of humour and also main characters are similar.
I think when you liked Sword of the stranger, you will definitely like also this one.
samurai era setting, and exciting swordfight with good animation to boot!
Both Sword of the Stranger and Samurai Champloo were well done, and had intense sword fighting scenes.
However Sword of the Stranger was more serious that Samurai Champloo. That being said, Sword of the Stranger had more realistic fighting scenes. You could actually see the swords being swung instead of white lines where they were swung.
If you can, get Sword of the Stranger in 1080p because the animation was really well done, and you don't want to loose any quality.
Awesome fight in both anime. They both take place in a feudal Japan. They both don't lack of blood.
One of the few shows that can truly rival the animation and pure intensity of the sword fights in Samurai Champloo.
Both have similar stories and great action, although Stranger has more action.
And both have gorgeous art as a bonus.
Both animes have a very similar story (a guardian figure, in the form of a very skillful warrior, protecting the weaker innocent.) Seirei no moribito, being a tv series based on an epic fantasy novel series, obviously contains much more details in terms of story, characters and the setting. Sword of the stranger lacks that detail since its only a movie targeted at a smaller audience.
If you want a more fast paced, adrenaline-driven version of moribito with better action, then you dont need to look further than stranger - Mukoh Hadan. Though moribito has much more depth in terms of story and is much more heavy on the characters. 26 episodes also make sure that there is enough 'lore' to give the series (moribito) a stronger 'soul'
both are great animes!
Serei no moribito has a similair plot with Sword of the stranger.
Both anime have a amazing production quality.
Sword of the stranger concentrate on the action scenes, while Moribito focust on a epic story with a lot of drama, a slice of life and fantasy scenes with also(less) amazing action sequence.
Titanic effort of animators that brought hightdetailed backgrounds close to real paintings among with great dynamic fight scenes that surpass your typical shounen battle with more blabbering about being mighty than actually kickass action.Also starting point for theplot is nearly the same.
Both with amazing animation, similar situations, background and some similarities in the characters.
Both involve the main character protecting and guarding their child with initial apethetic reasons, that quickly become more personal and emotional ones.
Both feature intense fighting sequences, brilliant music, takes place during ancient Japan, and have a great endings = Chanbara genre.
About a lone warrior with a secret past. They become the protector for a young boy who is being pursued. Historical settings, with a little bit of the supernatural. Politics, drama, and action. And fine animation. 'Stranger' is a LOT more violent.
About a warrior with a secret past. They become the protector for a young boy who is being hunted. Historical settings, with a little bit of the supernatural. Both are similarly animated.
Very similar style
Except one has a male samurai and the other has a female who uses a spear.
However, Moribito is tamer than sword.
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