Promoting Good Animation- Sword of the Stranger

In this final fight scene in the 2007 movie Sword of the Stranger I believe it a good example in regards to design, movement, and sound. In terms of the story, it is a basic but nice story of honor, atonement, and self-sacrifice. I apologize for the video being in Japanese sadly those were the only good quality videos I could find.

Kotaru and Tobimaru

The movie’s story revolves around a lone temple boy Kotaro and his faithful dog Tobimaru who are being hunted across Japan by Ming warriors. During his journey Kotaru runs across a lone warrior, Nanashi*, who for payment agrees to escort the boy and in the end rescues him from the ming warriors to atone for his past crimes.

*Nanashi means No-name in Japanese

Lou-Lang the strongest of the Ming warriors

The designs of the locations and people in this movie are based of that era in Japan and the warrior’s design is starkly different from our protagonist, not only to show that he is a warrior from China, but also to have contrast from Nanashi. I believe this because of how they are similar warriors and that Lou-Lang is very similar to who Nanashi was before he swore of fighting.

With the movement in this scene I think it speaks for itself with its constant action of two fighters constantly fighting to gain the upper hand on each other by changing locations and forcing each other of the platforms. The camera angles and the animation of the fighters are very fluid but also change to very quick and jarring when it becomes more intense or more desperate for the fighters.

I believe that the sound of this scene is what makes it complete. The sounds you hear during this fight aren’t an internal monologue of each character or a narration from the outside, but merely the sound of the music, the noises from the area, and any natural sounds of excursion from the characters as they fight. One point to notice with the sound is the details of each action for example when Nanashi swings his sword downward at 3:57 you can hear the whistle of the sword as it cuts through the air.