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Anime Movie Review: 'Sword of the Stranger' (2007)

Updated on May 4, 2021
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Natalie is a writer who works at her local library. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing video games.

Sword of the Stranger blu-ray cover.
Sword of the Stranger blu-ray cover. | Source

Quick Info:

Director: Masahiro Ando
Distributor: Funimation Entertainment, formerly Bandai Entertainment
Runtime: 103 minutes
Released: November 8, 2016
Availability: On DVD and blu-ray, streaming English dubbed on FunimationNow and English subbed on Crunchyroll

Story Summary:

In Feudal Japan a young boy flees from a temple and tries to avoid the Chinese assassins chasing him. He meets a mysterious stranger with no name and offers to pay him with a jewel to get him to another temple where his friend is.

The Story Is Fun and Interesting

I enjoyed this anime movie a lot. It’s fun and a nice film to watch if I want something quick and exciting to watch. The story is interesting and I like the characters and the plot is intriguing.

The plot isn’t deep or thought-provoking; it’s very simple and straightforward. I like that the story isn’t overly complicated and keeps it easy-to-follow.

The characters of Kataro and No Name likable and have great chemistry together.

While the story is not complicated, the story the film tells is an interesting one that is an exciting adventure that will keep you entertained.

Sword Of The Stranger – Available Now on Blu-ray/DVD

The Animation Is Amazing!

Studio Bones has always had impressive animation in both their television anime and feature films. Their animation has always been impressive with both the art style and the animation itself and how fluid it is.

The art style is nice and the fight scenes are very fluid. The animation is very fluid, especially in the fight scenes. The backgrounds are beautiful and everything has a very nice aesthetic.

Overall, it’s very high quality in terms of animation, even though Studio Bones has continued to improve their animation over time, this film still looks amazing.

No Name fights Loa-Long.
No Name fights Loa-Long.

Audio and Subtitles

English (Reviewed) (Available on FunimationNow)
English (Available on Crunchyroll)

The English Dub Is Fantastic!

I really love the English dub for this anime. They picked really great voice cast for this anime movie.

Aidan Drummond did a fantastic job as Kotaro. He was an excellent choice for this role and I really like his performance in this film. He was emotional and enthusiastic and was a very entertaining voice actor for this role.

Michael Adamthwaite does a great job voice acting as No Name. He did a fantastic job; I really enjoyed his voice acting performance in this film. He did a great job voicing the hero of this story.

Scott McNeil was also great as Loa-Long. He was creepy and sinister and he was fantastic. I don’t normally hear a lot of his voice work, but he’s always been memorable to me because of his role as Hoenheim in Fullmetal Alchemist (2003). He was an excellent villain in this film.

The rest of the cast is also fantastic as well; I loved the voice acting for the English dub. The entire cast was excellent and I love this English dub. I’m sure the Japanese dub was fantastic too, so either way you’ll enjoy the Japanese or English dub.

Sword Of The Stranger - Ihojin No Yaiba [Battle Theme]:

The Music Is Amazing!

Naoki Satō’s music for this film is amazing. The soundtrack is heartfelt, emotional and beautiful. It is a very well done soundtrack with an excellent score that made the film a memorable one. I really enjoyed the music and it’s a highlight of the movie.

It isn’t the best anime movie soundtrack, but it’s definitely a great one. The soundtrack is available on CD in Japan and you can import it if you want.

Kotaro and Tobimaru.
Kotaro and Tobimaru. | Source

The Film Lacks Depth

If you’re looking for a deep, thought-provoking story, Sword of the Stranger (2007) isn’t the story for you. It’s a very simple story and it’s very straightforward. It doesn’t try to be philosophical or make you think, it’s just a fun and entertaining adventure story.

Some anime fans expect every story to be deep, thought-provoking and sophisticated, but this isn’t one of those stories. Some people may dislike that the story isn’t very complex or complicated, but I’m not one of them.

The Pacing Can Feel Slow

The pacing of the film can feel very slow and it’s not always fast-paced and exciting, but I enjoyed the film nonetheless. If you’re looking for a fast-paced film with constant excitement you might want to watch a different movie.

No Name fighting.
No Name fighting.

This is An Adult Film

This movie is rated TV-MA for violence and gore, it is not meant for children. If you’re mature, you could probably handle it, but it is not meant for anyone younger than at least 15-16.

Sword of the Stranger Is an Interesting Adventure Story With Decent Characters

I really enjoyed Sword of the Stranger (2007); it is a fun and enjoyable movie. It is a film that I really enjoyed despite its lack of deep characters or any profound message. It’s just a fun adventure anime film and that’s what it gave me.

The visuals are stunning, the voice acting and soundtrack are excellent. It’s just a fun adventure movie that you can sit down and enjoy, you don’t have a long time investment and you don’t have to dedicate a lot of time to it.

Quick Summary

What Works:
What Doesn't Work:
Interesting story and characters
Characters lack depth
Amazing animation
The film has slow pacing between action scenes
Excellent English dub
A wonderful soundtrack

My Rating: A-

Sword of the Stranger (2007) is a cult classic that went out of print when Bandai Entertainment closed down in the U.S. Fortunately, it has been license rescued and you can now purchase it or stream it at your convenience. The English dub is available but it is behind the subscriber paywall, however, the English subtitled version with the original Japanese is available for free with ads on Crunchyroll.

I highly recommend watching it at least once, I can’t quite recommend a blind buy because if you pay for this film and you don’t like it, then you wasted your money, and that’s why I recommend streaming it free on Crunchyroll if you’re curious about it, that way if you didn’t like it you didn’t buy it.

It is a very well done film; it keeps the story and characters simple and is a nice adventure film set in feudal Japan. It’s something that I enjoyed a lot and I’m very happy that it’s back in print to be appreciated by anime fans everywhere. When it was out of print it was either very expensive or there were bootlegs of the movie being sold on eBay and other websites.

This film is a cult classic that deserved the praise it has received; it’s a very well made movie that is exciting and enjoyable. It’s not the best anime film every, but it is one that I enjoyed a lot.

The pacing does drag during the film but it’s not that bad, but there isn’t constant action during the movie, but it could bore people who only want constant action scenes in their movies.

It’s definitely worth your time, but maybe not your money, depending on how much you enjoyed it. I feel it was worth it for me, because I enjoyed it so much, and I like having permanent access to my favorite anime so I don’t have to worry about expiring licenses for anime on streaming services.

I would recommend buying it if it’s on sale on Amazon, Funimation or RightStuufAnime, it is worth having in your collection, but movies can be expensive and anime movies tend to be more expensive because they’re an import from another country. You can also rent it on Amazon for $3.99.

My Rating:

5 stars for Anime Movie Review: Sword of the Stranger (2007)

© 2018 ReViewMeMedia


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