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File:Sword of the Stranger 5435.jpg

A young boy named Kotaro and his dog Tobimaru are on the run from assassins from the Ming Dynasty, who follow a prophecy that calls for the child's blood as the main ingredient to the secret to immortality. Along the way they meet a skilled, nameless Ronin, who keeps his blade tightly bound to its sheath and unable to be drawn. Kotaro offers to hire the nameless man for protection on the way to the nearest temple, but the Ming aren't so easily deterred.

With beautiful, detailed animation and amazing action scenes, Sword Of The Stranger is a very highly recommended Samurai film. Jidai Geki specifically would be the classification, but with over the top anime fight scenes.

Stop surfing TV Tropes and go rent it. Go!

Tropes used in Sword of the Stranger include:
  • Annoying Arrows: Averted most of the time, but played straight with the Chinese soldiers. Justified as they were taking drugs that caused them to Feel No Pain.
  • Arrow Catch: Fuugo. Not so much a catch as letting it slam into his forearm.
  • Art Evolution: A minor case when comparing the pilot to the finished film.
  • Arrows on Fire
  • Audible Sharpness
  • Badass: Everyone
  • Badass and Child Duo: Badass Nanashi and child Kotaro.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: Used twice, both by Luo-Lang.
  • Big Heroic Run: Nanashi spends a good chunk of the third act doing one.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Not only do they not have to read the subtitles, native Mandarin Chinese speakers are left with the distinct impression that Luo-Lang sounds really distinctly offputting and alien due to the very non-Chinese accent. For the most part he's not saying very nice things when he does.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Depending on whom you ask, Nanashi's fate is left open, though the blood drops and Kotaro's face seem to be subtle hints of Nanashi's future; but, like most open-ended films, there's also enough supporting the fact that he lived.
  • Bishounen: Fuugo and Jyuurouta.
  • Black Speech: Actually just Mandarin with a heavy Japanese accent, but it has the same effect.
  • Blood Knight: Luo-Lang.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: Even nameless villagers can tell Luo-Lang is evil by the color of his hair and eyes.
    • Sounds more like just another example of xenophobic Japanese... which is perfectly accurate given the time period.
      • Subverted. Luo-Lang is actually more honorable than most of the rest of his group. And by honorable I mean full-on Blood Knight seeking Worthy Opponent.
  • Bound and Gagged: Kotaro.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Kotaro.
  • Breaking the Bonds: Involving the ropes binding Nanashi's sword together
    • It's called a Peace Knot. The cause is to let people know you're not planning to kill anyone today, as it renders you unable to draw your sword in a hurry.
  • Canine Companion: Tobimaru to Kotaro.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The jade trinket and Nanashi's dye nuts both find an application in the final battle.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Luo-Lang's Barehanded Blade Block.
  • Chinese People: Only distinguished by red cloaks and a different language.
    • And funny hats. And a slightly different skin tone. And mildly stereotypical fashion sense.
  • Clean Cut: Luo-Lang does this to Byakuran's arm when he aims his gun at Nanashi and Kotaro.
  • Combat Pragmatist: The entire cast when you get down to it; but Nanashi in particular.
    • Arguably the one who is the least Combat Pragmatist would have to be Luo-Lang. But when you're a foot taller than everyone else, and hopping around like Yoda on crack, you don't really HAVE to fight dirty. The dirtiest he gets is using a corpse as a shield to rush a bunch of archers.
  • Covered with Scars: Nanashi. Being a ronin is a tough life.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Nanashi has his sword bound for a reason.
  • Determined Expression: Nanashi. When he gets that I-will-kill-you expression on his face, you know you're fucked.
  • Dramatic Wind: Comes with the territory.
  • Driven to Suicide: Shouan.
  • Dual Wield: Fuugo.
  • Mr. Fanservice: The hero's introduction.
    • As the video linked above was taken down, I will summarize. Nanashi is sleeping in a rundown shrine, with his funny Japanese hat over his eyes. Reminiscent of a certain other shiftless ronin rogue... Seriously, ronin can apparently sleep anywhere.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Itadori, the backstabbing, power-hungry warlord, is shown to genuinely care for his family during their brief scenes together.
  • Every Japanese Sword Is a Katana: Averted; only one main character uses an actual katana.
    • He's also the only main character from Japan that uses a sword. Most of the main characters are from China. Or monks. Luo Lang's sword is a dao, as are Fuugo's twin swords. Extra points to the China-man using a tri-section staff with scythe blades on it though.
  • Feel No Pain: Caused by a drug taken by the Chinese People, allowing them to fight through normally debilitating wounds.
    • Debilitating = Fatal. Example: Fuu gets up and wanders around looking for his sword with a broken arm. And said sword blade STICKING CLEAN THROUGH HIS NECK. One of the rare examples where coughing blood is actually justified. He gets about 5 steps before he collapses.
  • Flashback Nightmare: Nanashi gets several of these.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Two to four times in the finale alone, usually played for shock value.
  • Heroic Dog: Tobimaru.
  • Hero of Another Story: Itadori and Jyuurouta seem to have their own plot in the background, which we only see a few scenes of.
    • If you watch closely, it appears that Itadori and Nanashi were a part of the plot that raised up the lord that Itadori eventually betrays with Jyuurouta's help. Itadori does say that he's only met one person who was at a level of skill on par with Luo Lang...
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Fuugo seems to be attracted to Luo-Lang; this is lampshaded by another character at one point while the latter is on a mission.

  "You almost look like a wife who has lost their husband."

  • Human Shield: Luo-Lang uses an unfortunate soldier's corpse to block arrows.
  • Instant Death Bullet: To be fair, it left a grapefruit-sized hole in the guy's chest. That's a BIG bullet.
    • Not necessarily that big - note that the shooter is quite old and not exactly athletic. Lead bullets fired from smooth-bored muskets just tend to do that kind of injuries.
  • Invulnerable Horses: Completely averted. Plenty of fighters are willing to kill and maim horses to bring down their riders, including stabbing their throats with throwing weapons and slicing off their legs mid-run during a battle.
  • Just Following Orders: Shouan claims this after he helps hand Kotaro over to the Chinese soldiers, and insists Nanashi would have done the same in his position, which he has.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Averted; only one main character uses an actual katana, and the weapon itself isn't that much better.
  • Kill'Em All: Arguably, the only survivors are Kotaru and the dog. Nanashi survives the final battle but is heavily wounded, barely conscious by the end and blood can be seen in the snow behind him as he and Kotaru ride into the sunrise
  • Licked by the Dog: Tobimaru is instantly fond of the shady vagrant who's shown up in his young master's shack.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Luo-Lang, a towering, powerfully-built Westerner who also happens to be a snake-fast Master Swordsman.
  • Only in It For the Money: Nanashi claims that this is the reason why he becomes Kotaro's unofficial bodyguard.
    • Though it's apparent that Nanashi starts to develop feelings for Kotaro and a sense of responsibility.
  • Made of Iron: Nanashi should have died at least twice times during his fight with Luo-Lang.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Standard for the Chinese due to their drugs, but the elderly, frail Lord Byakuran probably sets the record. Cutting off his arm only makes him annoyed at you.
  • Master Swordsman: Practically everyone, but most notably Luo-Lang and Nanashi.
    • Also a couple Master Archers, a Spear Master a Master of the Three Sectional Staff With Scythe Blades, A Whip Master, and a Master of Two Axes Tied Together With Rope.
  • Meaningful Echo: "I wasn't talking to you, I was talking to the dog."
  • Mighty Whitey: Luo-Lang, a blonde-haired, blue-eyed European; Bai-Luan calls him a "Western barbarian" at one point. Possibly Nanashi, who may be part white, given the fact he's got red hair in an anime without Anime Hair, though through the use of dye he does perfectly pass for Japanese.
    • Although red hair is possible for a completely Japanese person, just incredibly rare.
  • Names to Know In Anime:
  • No Arc in Archery: Averted.
  • Not So Different: Luo-Lang and Nanashi, both of whom have physical traits that would make them strangers to their own cultures, and are looking for a higher reason for fighting.
  • Pocket Protector: The jade trinket.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Ming warriors.
  • Rain of Arrows
  • Redheaded Hero: Nanashi, technically. He dyes his hair black to avoid unwanted attention, but he's still a red head.
  • Ronin: Nanashi.
  • Slippery Skid: With walnuts, though it is snowing at the time, and the slip is comparatively small to what is normally seen in this trope.
  • Snow Means Death: The ending fight scene takes place during the (presumably) first snowfall of the year.
  • Storming the Castle: What initially starts out as a plot to save the emperor turns into an all-out war between the races.
  • Super Soldier: Only because the Chinese People Feel No Pain.
    • Until they run out of drugs and end up in withdrawal, though whether or not that was withdrawal or just him finally reacting to the massive amount of torture he's experienced but couldn't feel earlier is up debate.
  • Sword Fight: Oh, yeah.
  • Sword Sparks
  • The Ghost: The Chinese Emperor's desire for immortality is what sets the entire plot of the film in motion; but he never makes an on-screen appearance, he's only mentioned in passing by the Chinese warriors.
  • The Nameless: Nanashi, which literally means "Nameless".
    • He stresses that he has received a different name from each lord he served. One called him "Red Hair".
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Luo Lang MURDERS HIS BOSS so he can fight Nanashi man-to-man.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Played straight, then subverted once Itadori is shot to death.
    • Who's still cheering for Itadori at that point? Luo Lang got the power up.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Used early on by Luo-Lang, and later half subverted when Nanashi does this then realizes he's weaponless afterward, and has to fight off several opponents without it.
    • Subverted?! The second one defies the laws of PHYSICS with its effectiveness! At least Luo-Lang put some arc on his.
    • Luo-Lang throws his broken sword at Nanashi, knocking him off the platform they were fighting on. It's fair to say that the the film loves this trope.
  • Translation Convention: There are several scenes in which the Chinese characters find themselves alone and they seem to speak Japanese instead of Chinese (or, in the case of the dub, English).
  • Two Girls to a Team: For the Ming warriors.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Kotaro is not immune to being attacked or slapped across the face by the Chinese.
    • Or to being a Human Sacrifice. Which was the point of most of the plot anyway.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Nanashi was forced to kill two to serve his lord...which is actually the reason why Nanashi would not unsheathe his sword.
  • Worthy Opponent: Luo-Lang views Nanashi as one, killing his superior for the chance to fight him.