In search for Araki Genzo, George Kodama finds himself in the small town of Kimujuku. George quickly realizes that he is unwelcome and is warned to leave as soon as possible. With two rival syndicates roaming the streets and a dark violent past, the town of Kimujuku isn't what it appears to be. George challenges the town of Kimujuku in order to reveal the towns dark hidden past and discover the truth.
Hannah's comments: An animé based on Akira Kurosawa´s live-action film from 1961. What I can´t believe, why they have done an animé with 26 episodes ( approx 650 minutes) based on a film which is 110 minutes long. The animé Yojimbo suites better to be shortened to half. Now the story and all moves go so slowly up to 15-16 episodes, no rush at all. But, you have to stay alert from the beginning anyway, since the story picks up small incidents here and there later in the animé, which happend in the beginning. It is a bit confusing that they sometimes mention Gensame for the family name Shirogane. It is still only two ganges involved, Shirogane and Tanokura. It is also a little confusing that the gangmember "Raccoon" mentions George as "Anaki" or similar. The gangmember Raccoon, who idolizing Kodoma after he had been beaten up by Kodoma several times in fights. Raccoon seems to be a nice person, who helps Kodoma.
It is a complex story, which in the end handles a crime taken place in Hebinuma and Kimjuku 15 years earlier involving the Secret Division 9 and the two syndicates. Many things are cleared up (of course) and so many persons have relations to each other, which you might not believed in the beginning. Suddenly a third brother of Shirogane shows up; Rin. He makes the story even more exciting and more bloodscenes and killing. The last episodes bring up what happened to Araki Genzo, why a map over the Kimjuku and Hebinuma and gold are involved. Who is Kinbara? And I must say, of course there aren´t only one person who is the murderer or the guilty one and there is political issues involved as well.
The animation is mostly good, but sometimes the scenes are like "take a paperdoll and let it move over the screen". I don´t know why and I haven´t even seen the film, but George Kodoma´s hairstyle looks like it is taken from the film "Planet of the Apes". The animé really rushes in the end and I think it involves too many persons. Other than that, I recommend the animé, even if you haven´t seen the live-action film and can stand the slow progress and the violance.