Forum - View topic
REVIEW: Sword of the Stranger


Goto page 1, 2  Next

Note: this is the discussion thread for this article

Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
animepuppy



Joined: 23 Dec 2006
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 12:59 pm Reply with quote
This looks really good...i should rent it (or buy it) sometime Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger
Jedi General



Joined: 27 Nov 2006
Posts: 2485
Location: Tucson, AZ

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 1:05 pm Reply with quote
Great review Justin. SotS certainly doesn't have the most original story in the world, but, damn, is it incredibly fun to watch. I can't wait for this film to be released on Blu-ray.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website My Anime My Manga
groente12



Joined: 13 Jul 2008
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 1:41 pm Reply with quote
the story is a little too easy , the action scenes are decent but i have still issues, sometimes in the movie the animation is a little bit ugly during the fightscenes, but i enjoyed it aswell Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
Posts: 1948

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 4:00 pm Reply with quote
When I watched this, I got the impression that it wasn't so much about creating unique characterizations or plot as it was about BONES exhibiting once again why they are the very best in the business at choreographing and animating fight sequences. And by God, were they gorgeous. This movie didn't let up for a bit from beginning to end; it's an intensely fun ride.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Zin5ki



Joined: 06 Jan 2008
Posts: 3490
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 5:26 pm Reply with quote
B+ for the storyline is quite an achievement for a first-time director, even if this allegedly has "an emphasis on style over substance". Do many samurai anime feature a strong Chinese influence like this one? I've always avoided period shows so I wouldn't know.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website My Anime My Manga
ikillchicken
Space CowboySpace Cowboy


Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 7140
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 9:44 pm Reply with quote
Wow, thats pretty impressive. I expected it to be a solid B action movie. This is definitely one to see.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime
hissatsu01



Joined: 08 May 2006
Posts: 809
Location: NYC

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:25 pm Reply with quote
I assume this review is based on an US screening of the film, because the Japanese credits do credit Chinese VAs for all characters that speak in Mandarin except for Nanashi, Koutarou, and Rarou. Unfortunately I have next to no ability to read Chinese names, so I'll have to leave that for someone else. Since they went to the effort of getting Chinese VAs for the lines in Mandarin, I think was a mistake to have Japanese VAs read the Mandarin lines for just those three characters; they may be the main characters, but Japanese VAs are just as hopeless as English speakers would be at reading lines in Chinese. Written Japanese may be derived from written Chinese, but the two languages are completely unrelated; more importantly they have very little in common in terms of pronunciation. I may not understand Mandarin, but I can understand it being mangled.

Anyhow, the film is gorgeous; I have the Japanese Blu-ray and it really looks amazing. I think it's planned for Blu-ray release in the US; it really does take advantage of the format.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nightmaregenie



Joined: 13 Aug 2007
Posts: 158
Location: Palmy, NZ - student central

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 4:08 am Reply with quote
Rarou is meant to be a Westerner and Kotarou is meant to have lived in Japan for quite a while so from my point of view Bones' choice to have them speak VERY bad Madarin (I couldn't make out what they were saying at all the first time I watched the film) is actually quite ingenious. As for Nanashi, I don't recall him having any Madarin lines. Anyway, I appreciate the fact that Bones actually got Chinese people to voice-act for them although they didn't make the characters' lip-flaps match the language. There were a few lip-synching problems.

If the English dub (which I haven't seen) actually replaces both the Japanese and Mandarin lines I guess it makes little difference not acknowledging the Chinese actors...but then again the DVD would include the original Japanese track wouldn't it?

Can't say anything about this film that's not been mentioned before (apart from yeah, according to Chinese legends/history some emporer did send out elixier seekers at some stage and they supposedly went to Japan). Regardless of how simple and cliche the story seems, the film itself is a beautifully animated and exciting piece of entertainment. I hope it will help bring more non-fans into anime and dispel the notion that anime's only for kids, or for people who like animated porn etc etc etc.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
reanimator



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 975

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 5:44 am Reply with quote
groente12 wrote:
the story is a little too easy , the action scenes are decent but i have still issues, sometimes in the movie the animation is a little bit ugly during the fightscenes, but i enjoyed it aswell Smile


I think that action sequences are good. They're in process of making animation improvements. Animation-wise, it's an improvement over Bones previous feature; Full Metal Alchemist the movie.

What issues do you have with fight scenes? Is it the frame rate? Is it the timing? Or continuity? Sure, I myself noticed mistakes here and there on the movie. Those mistakes are negligible, and they are not something I would knit-pick about.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
BleuVII



Joined: 19 Sep 2006
Posts: 672
Location: Tokorozawa, Japan

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 8:38 pm Reply with quote
This review was much more forgiving than I would have been. It was pretty, but it seemed to be trying a bit too hard to BE an anime movie that would have been an instant hit 10 years ago. The vacuous story made it so that I will probably never watch this one again.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
joshuafer



Joined: 03 Jan 2006
Posts: 262

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:45 am Reply with quote
I searched for this on rightstuf, and nothing. Any idea when it will be released ?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Jacut



Joined: 15 Oct 2004
Posts: 120
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:19 am Reply with quote
BleuVII wrote:
This review was much more forgiving than I would have been. It was pretty, but it seemed to be trying a bit too hard to BE an anime movie that would have been an instant hit 10 years ago. The vacuous story made it so that I will probably never watch this one again.


Exactly right ! This movie felt a bit random, sure the fight scenes are great, but then again not very impressive for a movie (I mean it would have been great for a TV series, but honestly it's closer to an OVA than a movie as far as animation is concerned), characterization is quite good, nothing more, and it's surely fun and entertaining to watch but still it's not a revolution either in plot or in animation/art. Compared to other anime movies, it's a bit average in my opinion, there are easily 2 to 5 anime movies each year of this level, so I feel it doesn't deserve such a high mark. Oh and Stranger is VERY close story-wise to Bakumatsu Irohanihoheto Kikansetsu, which doesn't help to see any originality in it (and Bakumatsu may even be better than Stranger).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger My Anime My Manga
Westlo



Joined: 03 Oct 2002
Posts: 1682

PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 4:00 am Reply with quote
Jacut wrote:
Exactly right ! This movie felt a bit random, sure the fight scenes are great, but then again not very impressive for a movie (I mean it would have been great for a TV series, but honestly it's closer to an OVA than a movie as far as animation is concerned),


You're clueless. Point out any fight that's better animated than the last fight in the movie in the last 5 years. The action scenes in Seirei no Moribito episode 3 and 19 is the best quality you can hope for in a tv series and are borderline OVA quality and the fights in Stranger exceed them with ease.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
GrinfilledCelt



Joined: 17 Jan 2009
Posts: 75
Location: I wish I were in Ocqueoc.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:55 pm Reply with quote
In view of last night's event, I thought that I'd dig up this old thread* instead of starting a new one. The old comments are still as valid as they were six months ago.

I saw the fansub of this at the time and liked it. I saw the English dubs last night at the theater and liked it a whole lot. This is one of those that is best seen at the theater. So if you didn't go, too bad! =0p I saw it at one with nice, big, cushy seats; an excellent sound system that was a bit out of balance; a huge screen and a large audience capacity which was depressingly no where near half full. The most unpleasant thing about the whole evening was the $12.50 admission price. I almost walked out, but then I figured that I owe the industry a lot more than that so, armed with this excuse, I paid up.

I agree with most of the statements above except to say that the criticisms are just nit picking. Some people just have to find fault with everything, I guess. Sure the plot wasn't fresh and new but then I haven't seen anything I'd call a 'new plot' in a very long time.

The comments above were not about the English dubs I saw last night. I thought that they did an excellent job mostly. They weren't perfect but I wasn't expecting perfection. The thought of coming up with a translation that follows the original dialogue and then speaking them in a believable way so that they come even close to matching the already animated flapping lips is quite enough to make me admire anyone who even makes the attempt. Kudos to all involved!

No one has even mentioned the musical score which I thought was excellent. The use of uilleann pipes and penny whistles was a bit surprising though. It fit but they are hardly anything you would have heard in Japan at the time. Then again, you wouldn't have heard a symphony orchestra either.

----
*Look! I was right! I did gig it up! =0D
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
RedSwirl



Joined: 08 Feb 2006
Posts: 256

PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 3:27 pm Reply with quote
Gonna bump this one up too. Just saw the fansub and I thought it was fantastic.

I wouldn't call the story cliche, just uninteresting with too many sub-plots. If they'd have dialed it down to just a regular old spaghetti samurai/western flick I think the movie would have benefited. What they attempted doesn't drag the movie down in any way, it's just there. That's actually generous coming from a guy who's tired of seeing anime movies with beautiful animation but bad plots.

The review is pretty much spot-on about the animation though. Some of the best (and goriest) anime combat I have ever seen.

To anyone who's seen the dub, did they leave in the Mandarin? That's what I'd imagine they'd do.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group