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Sword of the Stranger

Alt titles: Blade of the Stranger, Stranger -Mukou Hadan-

Sword of the Stranger main image
4.443 out of 5 from 7,191 votes
Rank #92


Kotarou is a brash young orphan in war-torn Japan, on the run from mysterious pursuers with Tobimaru, his faithful canine companion. Clueless as to why anyone would want him, much less imperial warriors from mainland China, a chance encounter with a strange wandering swordsman could not be more unwelcome in Kotarou's skeptical eyes – especially when the stranger has a secret past that has caused him to seal his blade. Forced by circumstance to work together for survival, the unlikely duo forge a tenuous friendship that is threatened all too soon when Kotarou's pursuers thrust the two into a dizzying whorl of clashing ambitions between men both big and small. Will the stranger manage to overcome his past and save them both from peril with his blade?

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Name Role
Tsunenori SAITO Character Design
Masahiro ANDO Director
Naoki SATO Music
Masahiko MINAMI Producer

Official Editorial Reviews

Title Author Score Date
Sword of the Stranger VivisQueen 6.5/10 Aug 28, 2008
Blade of the Stranger VivisQueen 6.5/10 Aug 28, 2008
Stranger -Mukou Hadan- VivisQueen 6.5/10 Aug 28, 2008

Community Reviews

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Title Author Score Date
Sword of the Stranger Linksbrawler 10/10 Apr 17, 2014
Stranger -Mukou Hadan- Linksbrawler 10/10 Apr 17, 2014
Blade of the Stranger Linksbrawler 10/10 Apr 17, 2014
List Title Username Entries Date
Anime to watch in 2014 Blimi 57 May 25, 2014
Good Dubs Kruszer 203 Apr 9, 2014
Must watch 1st Kamo777 1 Mar 27, 2014
Post Name Username Comments Date
February 11 Watchlist FrootyTooty 1 Feb 4, 11
In love with samurai? tsurugiayame 1 Apr 29, 10
Two more down chaoserver 0 Feb 28, 10
royal02 rated the Sword of the Stranger anime 4/5 stars
royal02 watched Sword of the Stranger at 1 of 1 episodes
FreeUnity wants to watch Sword of the Stranger
Zarratul watched Sword of the Stranger at 1 of 1 episodes
Whohoot wants to watch Sword of the Stranger

Recommendations if you like Sword of the Stranger

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Seirei no Moribito

Seirei no Moribito

In the feudal kingdom of Yogo, a dark secret is threatening its proud imperial family, and the Emperor intends to destroy it before it leaks out. Unfortunately this dark secret resides within his son, the young and innocent Second Prince Chagum. Enter Balsa, a wandering warrior who has sworn to save eight lives in penance for those she has taken during her violent career. Upon accepting her role as protector to Chagum, her eighth and final job, the two begin a perilous journey that tests not only their physical endurance and mental resolve, but also the tentative relationship they build along the way. Will Balsa fulfill her penance and protect Chagum as he seeks to understand the nature of his secret? Or will the Emperor's relentless assassins and other powerful enemies get them first?

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10 people agree

Both Mukou Hadan and Seirei no Moribito makes accent on relationship between an ex-samutai and a kid. Both have very beautiful nature landscapes (especially of autumn) and excellent fights choreography. But Stranger have more fights, blood and violence since it's a samurai action movie and Seirei no Moribito is just a fantasy tale.


Seirei no Moribito and Stranger both follow the softening of rogue bodyguards as they travel and protect a helpless child. Visually, the trademark of both is the frenetic and beautiful action scenes. On the drama side of things, both are tales of selfless heroism fit for bedtime stories. These two titles possess everything one would look for in a martial arts epic.


Both Seirei no Moribito and Stranger -Mukou Hadan- start with elite warriors taking up the task of protecting a young child. At first the children and their bodyguards regard eachother apathetically but they gradually begin to warm to one another. Both Seirei no Moribto and Stranger -Mukou Hadan- also feature intense and fast-paced fights and good animation. If you liked Seirei no Moribito or Stranger -Mukou Hadan- your sure to like the other.


While Serei no Moribito is about a woman who protects a young prince from his family, Sword of the Stranger is a story of a man protecting a young boy from their own government. Each story is about a hardened warrior learning to care and protect someone for more than just money. Watch as both young boys learn to trust their protectors, and their protectors in tern learn to live a more filling life. The anime are so similar it is impossible to like one and not the other.


Seirei no Moribito has all the elements of Stranger - Mukou Hada- (a touching relationship between child and warrior, fantasy political intrigue, superb action), but basically is ten times better. While the action in Stranger is superior for being a newer movie, the stunning action sequences in Seirei no Moribito are nothing to shrug at. Balsa and Chagum are infinitely more endearing than in the two in Stranger, and the setting in Seirei no Moribito is more fully-realised and intricate. If you basically want more of the same as Stranger has to offer, but just better, then you want to pick up Seirei no Moribito... like now.


Both anime are very similar - it's a sensitive story about warrior and a brave child and special relationship they develop by traveling together. If you liked one, you'd surely like the other.


For those that enjoyed the action-adventure of Stranger, you will find an almost a similar feel in Seirei no Moribito. Seirei no Moribito offered more in terms of a more solid and elaborated explanation as to why the main child protagonist is being pursued. The animation in this show is just as formidable as in Stranger when it comes to the fighting scenes, which I really appreciated, and a similar (but again, more elaborated) backstory to the main "hero" or "heroine" in this case.


The relationship between the main characters are indeed very similar in Seirei no Moribito and Mukou Hadan, Nanashi and Balsa are both loners with amazing martial artist skills, that will encounter a helpless child in desperate need of help.

The landscape on both of these shows are also equally beautiful, some of the best I've seen in Anime, truly a must-see!


Both these titles have common elements of a young child being protected by a rough around the edges reluctant hero with less than blatantly obvious motivations.

In both cases the hero is a highly trained loner who exhibits incredible competence at fending off , equally capable and relentless persuers intent of the capture of the hero's charge.


Both Seirei no Moribito and Blade of a Stranger have a bodyguard protecting a child in their plot. Blade of a Stranger has a lot of action sequences, Moribito on the other hand relies more on dialogs and character development. However both shows have similar setting and both don't contain any anime cliches. Thats why fans of one of those anime might find the other interesting.

watch it online now!

Samurai Champloo

Samurai Champloo

Samurai Champloo is all about style, from the dj-style scratching scene changes to the hip-hop-inspired soundtrack to the eclectic character design. Mugen's fighting style is a funky meld of capoeira and limb-cutting, and Jin is the dramatic foil; he is all steel and old-school samurai style. What binds them together is the desire to test each other's abilities, and a promise to a girl named Fuu: to find the samurai that smells of sunflowers, who plays a pivotal role in her past. Together they travel through edo-era Japan, finding battle and comedy wherever they stop.

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9 people agree

Jin, Mugen and Fuu have nothing in common, except for a destination - the location of a mysterious "sunflower" samurai.

In fact, not only do they not fit each other's company, they usually end up arguing and ready to do blodshed. But as they travel through Japan looking for the man Fuu's remembering vaguely, they find things to tie them and slowly start working together. Which doesn't mean they get too friendly. The three of them are cynical people after all.

One of the best anime I've seen recently, and the music, art and story are great!


When you were hooked on Samurai Champloo you will just love Blade of the Stranger. Both titles have some incredible sword action. Another thing they have in common is the slowly built relationships between strangers. Everyone in both titles have their on goals but what unites them is the path they take. On this path they fight togehter and strengthen their bondes until the end.


If you like samurai shows with lots of top quality action scenes, then Samurai Champloo and Stranger are anime for you. Additionaly,both feature a character seeking strong opponents and it makes those two anime them feel alike.


Samurai, ninjas, great action... the stories are different, but many of the episodes in Samurai Champloo give that same 'Wow awesome!' feeling as in Stranger - Mukou Hadan-. What's more, it also portrays a growing relationship between people who have just met as they go on their quest for something important. Samurai Champloo is more creative in terms of setting/stories/action and also has far more comedy, but it has its many dark and touching moments like Stranger-Mukou Hadan.


Samurai Champloo and Stranger (aka Sword of the Stranger) share similair major themes. Both titles depict the way of the samurai, and travelling is a key element in the plot of these anime. Friendships are made, as well as hardships are encountered and usually defeated. Samurai Champloo might be a little more laid-back series, but for fans of swordfight these two are both worth checking out.


Brought together by chance, the characters in Samurai Champloo and Sword of the Stranger embark on a difficult and action-packed journey despite their differences. Both feature some pretty swanky fight scenes and endearing characters.


Although Samurai Champloo is much lighter in tone and has a water thin plot, the two have amazing battle sequences with real time backgrounds. Stranger is a must see for anyone who is a fan of samurai action with a classic tale, Champloo will give you a fun ride with plenty of shounen eye candy.


Same fast fighting and character introduction. Samura Champloo is funny and fit for 16+ watchers, while Sword of the Stranger is family friendly (Its gorey, but I am talking about the story)


Both are about wandering Samurai who protect another leading character and help recover what they are searching for. They are visually beautiful with great fast paced sword fighting scenes which often leaves you speechless and make to beg for more. The soundtrack in both animes are very different yet still great.

If you liked either make sure to check out the other one.

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Ninja Scroll

Ninja Scroll
  • Movie (1 ep x 92 min)
  • 1993

Jubei Kibagami is just a wandering swordsman minding his own business... until fate lands him in the middle of a battle with the terrifying Devils of Kimon! Now the fate of all of Japan lies in the hands of a vagabond samurai, a deadly female ninja and a perverted old monk as they take on an enemy who is, literally, immortal.

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not rated
I agree...
6 people agree

Ninja Scroll and Stranger contain a lot of gory action sequences, good animation (with very good frame rate) and a ronin. If you enjoyed one of those two the you'll enjoy the other as well. Though unlike Stranger, Ninja Scroll does contain some erotic content and it has much more fantasy elements in the story.


Both movies have a very similar idea to them, that the best sword fighter survives and through a long journey, the protagonist in both series (for different reasons) helps out someone who needs it... in order to .... well you'll just have to watch


These movies have VERY LITTLE in common, do not be fooled by other comparisons. Jubie and the "Stranger" share only their talent with a blade, and the stories only intertwine at the "Despondent Anti-Hero, becomes Respondent Hero" by the end. "Ninja Scroll" is a story of Japanese horror, action, and true fiction, seemlessly interwoven to make a blood soaked braid of awesomeness... A non stop thrill ride.

While "Sword of the Stranger" is really just a fresher take on the classic "Ronin who finds a purpose in a new person to protect" story. It is ultimately a story of "honor, wisdom, skill, and loyalty". Hell, you even start to like the "Strangers" mirror antagonist by the end.

Similar, in that if you like one, you will like the other... Dissimilar in that, they appeal to two very different mood sets. 


Both very "lone ninja" type movies with the main character as a solemn, tortured individuals with a shady past. But with a bright ending.


These are both epic war stories set in the samurai period. These splendidly animated masterpieces are sure to delight fans of the genre.


Bones' Sword of the Stranger and MADHOUSE's Ninja Scroll are both classics.  Fans of one should find a lot to like about the other.  Both movies center around a lone swordman in feudal Japan and feature a number of memorable action sequences. The tone of the films differs primarily because of the companions the lone swordsmen encounter in their respective travels.

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Rurouni Kenshin: Tsuiokuhen

Rurouni Kenshin: Tsuiokuhen

Himura Kenshin was a boy orphaned by the murder of his parents. Now he is the Hitokiri Battousai, the most feared and skilled killer in 19th century Japan. In the midst of a blood bath, he meets the love of his life, Tomoe. Will he continue to fight his enemies in a killing rage or will she sheath his bloodstained sword?

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not rated
I agree...
5 people agree

Both of these series share the common theme of characters that are trying live in a difficult era. Both stand by the way of the sword and while Trust and Betrayl the character is starting his journey, Sword of the Stranger, we see the main character ending theirs. Either way, the style of artwork and storytelling are both similar and you should be able to enjoy both of them.


The main characters of these shows both have a desire to express to people that war is not great and glorious, but is bloody and filled with regret later. In both OVA's the main character is very sullen, and ends up traveling with a companion that they must protect. Although the storyline is very different in each, both are animated very well and contain a rich, well developed story.


These two anime are basically two interpretations of the same character, at different times in life.  Although  they are unrelated anime with very different storylines and animation, they are equally action packed, dramatic, and amazingly similar. (In my opinion they are based on the same person.)  Both are a story of a red haired samurai with great skill and power.   


These are both epic war stories set in the samurai period. These splendidly animated masterpieces are sure to delight fans of the genre.



They are both at about at the same awesmeness level

But i think its Sword of the Stranger > Rurouni Kenshin:Tsuiokuen

Rurouni Kenshin

Rurouni Kenshin

In the revolutionary Meiji period, Japan is undergoing enormous political change. It is a time when vagabonds and terrorists will use any method to prevent the modernization of their country, even if it means trampling on the innocent in the process. In such a time, Himura Kenshin, a wandering samurai, has dedicated his life to protecting the weak and desperate peasants from those who would oppress them. However, Kenshin has a dark past which threatens to destroy the values he is fighting for. When he meets his new friends Kaoru, Sanosuke, and Yahiko, and tries to build a peaceful life with them, events conspire against him. Can Kenshin overcome the demons within and without, and finally ensure the peaceful future that Japan deserves?

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not rated
I agree...
4 people agree

These are both about wandering ex-samurai who are struggling to cope with their murderous past. There is a large conspiracy in both of these anime that the samurai and their respective companions get caught up in and then they have to reconcile with their past and protect what is precious to them.


These two series both share a stranger who has a secretive past that entail much battle experience in their past lives.  These skills are put to the test to help a complete stranger and creates a story that is intriguing and geniunely memorable.  I loved Kenshin and I loved Stranger -Mukou Hadan-.


The main hero of these two medias have a very similar feel. The two seem to have a similar history, but it is revealed quite differently in the two medias. In Kenshin's case, his history and background are quickly revealed (and completely covered in the Trust & Betrayal OVA) while the nameless swordsman in Sword of the Stranger's history is slowly revealed in blurry flashbacks and overall feels more mysterious. They both have a sense of humour, although Kenshin's is much more outright. If you like one of these, there is a pretty good chance you will like the other. 


Main characters of both anime are former legendary elite samurai. Both of them were ruthless assassins in their past and now they both atone for that. Kenshin uses his reverse blade sword sakaba so that he can't kill his oponent but can protect his beloved. Nanashi fights with his katana in sheath so he won't kill his oponent. They both try to keep themselves from battle but in the end find something worth fighting for.

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