I found sword of the stranger to be an enjoyable samurai movie. No masterpiece, but certainly a fun samurai movie if you're in the mood for that.
The animation was nice, and the action scenes were well done. Music was good. The characters... well, they were fairly generic. Not poorly done, but certainly cliche. Classic "western babarian warrior looking only for a worthy opponant". The "super-skilled wandering swordsman who has sworn not to draw his sword." And your classic lesser-underlings, chiefs, etc. And the ending can been seen coming from a mile away.
The main story-line itself seemed little more than a convenient backdrop for their characters and action.
There is plenty of blood, which is to be expected, but it's also not the over-the-top-gore-fest that many of the more old-school samurai movies were (which I consider a good thing, since I was never a big fan of said old-school ones).
Overall, if what you're looking for is a bit of light samurai action, this is a good choice.
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