Stranger: Mukou Hadan

Sword of the Stranger

What would you like to edit?

Alternative Titles

English: Sword of the Stranger
Japanese: ストレンヂア -無皇刃譚-


Type: Movie
Episodes: 1
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Sep 29, 2007
Studios: Bones
Source: Original
Genres: ActionAction, AdventureAdventure, HistoricalHistorical, SamuraiSamurai
Duration: 1 hr. 43 min.
Rating: R - 17+ (violence & profanity)


Score: 8.321 (scored by 124588124,588 users)
1 indicates a weighted score.
Ranked: #2042
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
Popularity: #527
Members: 243,731
Favorites: 2,609
  • Most Helpful (Weighted)
  • Most Helpful (All Time)
  • Most Recent
  • Friends Only (Weighted)
May 5, 2008
Washi (All reviews)
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. read more
Apr 17, 2008
aranelcharis (All reviews)
Wow. This movie has left me nearly speechless. There are scenes in it that are shocking, jaw-dropping, amazing...if you haven't seen this movie yet, and you like action movies, with a good plot, solid characters, and the best action sequences I've ever seen in an anime, then beg, borrow, stea---er, do whatever you can to get your hands on it. You won't regret it. Take my word for it.

I guess I could just say that and be done, but if you're not convinced yet, I'll pimp it some more.

Story - typical action stuff, set in historical Japan, but has twists enough in the plot to read more
Sep 5, 2009
ace52387 (All reviews)
Stranger is first and foremost an action movie. Because the meat and potatoes don’t lie primarily with the plot, its straightforward and very typical “unlikely hero” premise is forgivable. A wandering swordsman reluctantly agrees to protect a child from an elite Chinese expedition. The local feudal lord joins the pursuit, stacking the odds further against the protagonists.

By no means am I implying that the story is bland. The web of tangled motives creates conflicts between the feudal government and the Chinese, and also internal conflicts within each group. There’s plenty of plot movement here to justify a feature length film read more
Apr 18, 2018
Krunchyman (All reviews)
Are you searching for a bland movie with a paucity in character development, predictable plot points, and subpar-to-average animation, then you’re in luck — because Sword of the Stranger (Stranger: Mukou Hadan) exists for your substandard anime expectations. For anyone who does have a shred of self-respect, however, should eschew themselves from this tedious movie watching experience for something with, I don’t know, some modicum of originality. But I digress, on to the review.

Commencing on a positive note, or a non-negative one, is an ideal place to start, primarily because it’s going to be all downhill from here. But let’s not deliver read more
Mar 25, 2009
Munsuta (All reviews)
An epic tale of a young boy on the run for his life and a mysterious wandering samurai who coincidentially run into eachother at a abadoned temple. The rest of the story falls into place after thier meeting. Within the first 10 minutes of this anime you are engulfed in a small battle of thieves trying to rob a caravan whose guards are these mysterious samurai with red capes, giving you a taste of what kind of action and gore that is to come. Heads and limbs get cut off and arrows pierce necks and heads in a wonderful display of swordsmanship and archery. If read more
Nov 4, 2014
walrusking14 (All reviews)
I happened to stumble upon a little hidden gem, a couple days back by the name "Sword of the Stranger". I was surprised by how few people were talking about the film. The only threads I found about the anime were very specific and spoiler heavy; no general discussions, no recommendation topics. Naturally this lead me to suspect the worst, but I figured I'd give SOTS a shot anyway. Besides, at only an hour and a half in length I wouldn't be wasting that much time. I'm quite glad I did, because this movie is the very definition of a read more
Feb 5, 2009
pastafiend (All reviews)
Andy, from AnimeNfo, wrote: "Stranger is a martial arts tale of self sacrificing heroism. This premise is far from original, as are the characters. It is nonetheless solid, and combined with all the dramatic brutality one could ask for from Samurai action, the complete package is a joy to watch."

This is about what you can say in the positive review of SotS, if you go much farther you'd be hard pressed to not mention that the plot is dull or talk about the shallow characters. SotS does its job when it needs to; providing us with pitch-perfect samurai action. Plenty of decapitations you barely read more
Apr 27, 2008
renegade (All reviews)
I initially saw previews of this movie while I was in Japan last October. It was being released pretty much right after I left, and I was there for a full month. But there was an awesome display at the Manga museum in Kyoto with an original script, and other memorabilia. When I saw the previews, I knew this movie was going to rock. But I never imagined BONES would deliver such a timeless tale. This movie will become one of the classics as time progresses.

Anyways, lets get to the basis for my extreme rating.

Story: 9
Such a classic formulated tale of a boy, Kotarou, his read more
Jan 27, 2009
miscanime (All reviews)
This movie did, as someone mentioned in their review, come out of nowhere. I actually learned of it because there was a poster for the dubbed version showing in the US theatres coming in Feb.

Anyhow, the animation is seriously like 10. It's got scenes that make me wish I were there--and not the lame super shiny Miyazaki way that everyone spazzes about. I'm talking things that seem to reach back into the Japanese past and bring scrolls to life sorta animation. It was excellent and I hope to one day own a DVD of this movie so as to see it in its true read more
Nov 12, 2008
Stormy_77 (All reviews)
When I decided to watch this movie it was without any expectations but I was more than pleasantly surprised! Sword of the Stranger has to be one of the best lesser-known anime out there and for how good it is, it deserves to be much, much more popular.


There isn't anything ground-breaking plot wise. True to the title it is the story of a young boy running from "something" and he ends up meeting a stranger who lends his sword to help the little boy. There is a high degree of predictability and the usual anime cliches abound. That being said the plot does nothing read more
Sep 11, 2009
knockngoc (All reviews)
Story: 9
Off the bat, after reading the synopsis, you come to the conclusion...Wow this sounds pretty darn interesting but a little sketchy as well. You may seem inclined to feel that this may be one of those animes where the artwork looks great, but the story isn't there at all. Please, I do recommend you watching this, the story is a little out there, but considering the times and how everyone wants the "miracle or everlasting..." it was good. The idea of how they get this miracle..was a little far-fetched. However that doesn't mean the story isn't good. From beginning to end there is a read more
Jun 27, 2015
gust0717 (All reviews)
This is my first review and I am doing it in order to improve how I judge the anime I watch. Thus, I am sticking to the story/art/sound/character/enjoyment rating, because I think it is a good way to categorize rating.

Story - 9/10
First thing, the story has a great apresentation because it is not presented to the viewers from the start. During the movie, you start to understand what is going on. This is so well done that the story progresses without become complicated, to the point that, by half of the movie, you can completely understant it. This presentation makes you curious about what the read more
Apr 24, 2010
ryuu_zer0 (All reviews)
Some men kill in order to live. Some don't need a reason...

When I first heard of Sword of the Stranger about a year ago I'll admit I was skeptical. It seemed like every samurai anime cliche rolled into one. But I watched it the first time in absolute awe, and after four times I am compelled to write a review on this revolutionary anime.

Yes, that word was "revolutionary", and by this I am referring to the spectacular animation used in the movie. As aptly put on Anime News Network, it has "some of the most intricately staged, gorgeously animated fight sequences read more
Aug 22, 2013
klasha (All reviews)
Let me start by saying this movie has great animation and great action BUT that's where the praise ends for this movie.

(I personally think this movie is hyped for those reasons only if you want a movie with any dept avoid this now)

Characters - only one word to describe the characters in this movie and its shallow! there is no character development at all I know its a movie and they don't have a major time span to work with but seriously you won't see characters as shallow and dull as this.

Story - Cliché, Dull and predictable a group of about 10 Ming read more
Jun 22, 2016
AltoRoark (All reviews)
Sword of the Stranger is not a groundbreaking or innovative dish you would find in a five-star restaurant, but rather an average dish with all your favorite ingredients which you love to savor day after day. This film doesn’t fall into the trap of constantly trying to be what it isn’t, that being a frequent issue with many shows and movies alike. It knows its limits, explores the possibilities within the boundaries, and milks every bit of essence out of it making a simple, yet delightful experience. It is neither groundbreaking nor the pinnacle of story telling, but it was a whole damn lot of read more
Jun 29, 2008
fr0z3nshad3 (All reviews)
Story (9.1) - Well, its true that it isnt anything new...stories like this one i have already seen nothing different its true. But even beeing similar to other stories, it is with no doubt still very good. Has suspense, action, misteries...its a solid story and deserves the 9.

Art (9.9) - Art is something amazing. Great design, great graphic aspects, great animations, great environment design, characters looking good, everything i could ask for. Surely 1 of the strongest points in this movie, if not the strongest.

Sound (8.9) - Fits very well with the movie, in my opinion. I liked it but definitively its not that read more
Mar 31, 2015
Otaku_Apologizt (All reviews)
Entertainment factors: Fight scenes, insane choreography, subtle social themes, Japanese culture, hand-drawn animation.

Genres: Action, historical, drama.


Studio Bones animated Sword Of The Stranger (2007) to feature the most spectacular hand-drawn sword fighting scenes ever. With a high budget and big studio talent behind it, this movie is violently wonderful.

The main and side characters depict the social hierarchy of medieval Japan: child, bandit, peddler, soldier, priest, lord, etc. Watching their interactions, you get a good sense of who stands below the other. Some try moving upwards in class, others simply die in the crossfire.

You can watch this movie as just another cool action flick. But, when a read more
Oct 31, 2008
-FlameHaze- (All reviews)
This is the third time I've given an anime a straight 10. I tried for about 5 minutes even flicking back through the film, and I honestly can't find anything wrong with it. So here it goes.

This to me was a pretty original story I can't think of anything that has this kind of story to it although I havn't seen every anime, this story line is far from common. At the beginning it starts like a normal adventure anime, a boy trying to find his way. Then he meets up with a Samurai (whose past I won't give away) They basically travel together read more
Sep 5, 2009
lolwutwhatever (All reviews)
I can’t let this movie go without a review. I’ve just finished watching it and actually I’m kind of speechless. There’s so many good things about it that I don’t know what to say. “Good” isn’t enough, that for sure. The movie is exceptional, impressive, stunning, and I could put here every positive adjective I can think of.

Here we have a beautiful story about survival, friendship, hardships and will to live and protect. It isn’t presented in a cheesy way present in most of the series. A boy and his dog, living on his own since he was six years old, due to parents’ deaths, read more
Sep 23, 2014
TokyoSanchez (All reviews)
Anime movies have always been a bit of a double-edged sword for me. On one hand, production quality tends to skyrocket, as the length is severly shortened. However, even if the story is interesting and the characters likeable, it is very hard to really develop the story and characters to the level that a regular series would. But even if that is the case, that's all you really need to have a positive experience with a movie since you're not putting hours upon hours to invest time into said story and characters. This is where Sword of the Stranger really shines for me.

Sword of the read more