WE FINALLY GOT NETFLIX! (After bugging my mom for-EVER.)
And so for the maiden voyage we picked Sword of the Stranger! An amazing story of a boy and his dog...and his unbeatable samurai bodyguard.
Sword of the Stranger begins with a boy named Kotaro who is on the run from the Royal Army of China's Ming Dynasty. His faithful dog Tobimaru is by his side.
Early in their journey they meet a nameless samurai with whom Kotaro is less than warm but No-Name, as Kotaro calls him, is deemed a worthy companion by Tobimaru (dogs always know best!)
When Tobimaru is poisoned protecting No-Name, Kotaro is forced to hire him as his bodyguard to save his beloved dog and best friend.
Sword of the Stranger is now one of my favorite movies. Perhaps it slows a bit in the middle but that is easily overlooked because of the fabulous voice acting, the awesome animation, and the compelling storyline.
You care deeply about the characters and what happens to them, and it will have you naming your next pet Tobimaru. The fight sequences are realistic with a sliver of the ridiculous that makes everything feel less serious and more exciting.
BE WARNED SQUEAMISH MOVIE GOERS! (Written in red to accentuate some of the over-the-top bloodiness in some of the fight scenes.) While not oozing buckets of gore it does have a few parts that had Alyssa going "Ewww!" She's such a wuss.
If you have the means to see Sword of the Stranger I highly recommend you do so. Great characters, great plot, great fights... An overall winner!