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Sword of the Stranger Blu-ray

United States
Sutorejia: Muk˘ hadan Bandai Visual | 2007 | 103 min | Rated PG-13 | Jun 16, 2009

Sword of the Stranger (Blu-ray)
Large:


Video
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Audio
Japanese: Dolby TrueHD 5.1
English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1

Subtitles
English

Discs
50GB Blu-ray Disc
Single disc (1 BD)

Playback
Region free

Price
List price: $39.98  
Amazon: $59.99
Best Buy: $34.99 (Save 12%)  
New from: $46.50
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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
8.1
32
ratings.


Blu-ray rating
Video 4.6 of 54.6
Audio 4.2 of 54.2
Extras 2.9 of 52.9
Based on 4 user reviews

Movie appeal

 
Anime100%
Action61%
Foreign48%
48%
popularity
394
collections
21
fans




Sword of the Stranger

 (2007)

Sword of the Stranger Blu-ray delivers stunning video and great audio in this excellent Blu-ray release

A swordsman with no name and a golden-haired assassin are drawn by circumstance towards a mysterious young boy..

For more about Sword of the Stranger and the Sword of the Stranger Blu-ray release, see Sword of the Stranger Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.



Sword of the Stranger Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.5 of 5

Presented in 1080p utilizing the AVC codec (at an average bitrate that hovers around 30Mbps), Sword of the Stranger looks absolutely amazing on Blu-ray. Some anime productions only demonstrate a marginal improvement in making the move to 1080p, but I'd consider it a huge disservice to the animation if your watching the film on any other format besides Blu-ray. Detail is immaculate throughout 99% of the film, with only a small number of scenes exhibiting slight softness (which likely has more to do with an intended look than a deficiency in the transfer). Watching the extended fight sequence on the tower at the end of the film had me in awe as the finest of details became apparent. Whether it was the splintering of wood, or a glimmer on the mirror surface of a swordblade, everything dreamed up in the original animation is readily apparent here.

Considering the historical setting of feudal Japan, the art director went an interesting route in choosing a timeline that begins with late autumn and ends with early winter. As a result, the color scheme throughout the first two-thirds of the film is rich with reds, browns and yellows as the leaves on the trees follow their natural process of decay. Once the snow begins falling toward the end of the film, we're given a beautiful backdrop for the bloodsoaked finale, which contrasts nicely with the overall mood of the closing scene. Continuing the trend of strengths, black levels are appropriately deep, and contrast is handled with precision. I never noticed any instances of artifacting, edge-enhancement, or banding, and can safely say any fan of animation will be pleased with the work done on this transfer.


Sword of the Stranger Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  4.0 of 5

There are two audio tracks presented on the disc. One is a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix in the native language of Japanese and the other is a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 English dubbed mix. Whenever possible, I prefer the native language, so I chose the Japanese track for my primary listening experience. Similar to the quality of the video transfer, the audio experience presents difficulty in finding anything to complain about. Surround use is wonderfully dynamic with excellent spatial separation during the fight sequences. In one scene early in the film, an assassin fights with a whip that whooshes and cracks across the screen. The effects in that scene exhibit excellent clarity as they fly from speaker to speaker, giving the listener an immersive experience. Another fantastic sequence occurs in the closing minutes of the film, as a sword showdown occurs amidst the backdrop of a burning stronghold. During that scene, buildings fall with a boom that reminds us why we have a subwoofer, and the fine crackling of the burning cedar can be heard between the clanking of steel on steel. If I had one minor complaint about the mix, it would be several instances where the dialogue seemed a little too quiet. It's not a big concern (especially if you're listening to the native language track and watching subtitles), but it's worth pointing out. Overall, this is a superb audio mix that elevates the intensity of the on-screen action and matches the proficiency of the entire production.



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