10 Best Anime Movies About Samurai

In every action anime movie, you will have different terms for the fighter. In the old Western stories, we have knights and Vikings. In Isekai, we have adventurers. In old Japan, we have samurai. Usually, a samurai fights without armor and wields a curved sword called Katana in fast-paced action. With that kind of unique trait, Japan highly rates samurai movies. So, what are the best anime movies about samurai?

For decades, we already have had numerous anime series and anime movies about samurai. Be it good or bad. Below, I have already gathered the best samurai anime movies for anime fans. Just for the record, the score ranking is based on my opinion. Enough chitchat and let’s move on to the list!

10 Must-See Samurai Movies At Least Once In Your Life


  • Two Ghibli studio movies won an Oscar award; Spirited Away and The Boy and The Heron.
  • Your Name by Makoto Shinkai became the highest-grossing anime film of all time worldwide, overtaking Miyazaki’s Spirited Away.
  • Grave of the Fireflies is dubbed as one of the greatest war films of all time.

10. Miyamoto Musashi: Souken ni Haseru Yume (The Dream of the Last Samurai)

Miyamoto Musashi: Souken ni Haseru Yume (The Dream of the Last Samurai) best anime movies about Samurai
Miyamoto Musashi: The Dream of the Last Samurai

Instead of calling this a movie, it is closer to a historical documentary telling the life of Miyamoto Musashi. Unlike any other conventional anime out there, this movie is presented as a lecture. Just imagine having a seat in morning lessons and listening to your professor talking about the life of a famous figure. Well, you get the same feeling.

So, what is this anime about? This samurai anime movie tells about the life of Miyamoto Musashi, one of Japan’s greatest warriors and the writer of the famous The Book of Five Rings. It is clear that I.G Production didn’t intend to make this movie for common folks. Rather, this movie is the best samurai anime movie for someone who likes or studies Japanese history, war, or samurai culture.

9. Haguregumo


As expected from the 1982 movie, it’s pretty old. Everything you find in this movie will have an outdated value. For example, casually abusing your child in the name of education or just being overly sexist (not to mention cheating on your wife whenever he gets a chance). However, you will practically find this movie enjoyably bad. By watching this, you may find what is considered the best samurai movies at that time.

The story is set in 1866 in the Tokugawa era. When the whole country moves into a big change, one man couldn’t be careless about that. Kumosuke Haguregumo is a retired samurai who becomes a town fool 

Though he still brings his twin katana, he already lives his own life doing as he pleases; smoking, drinking, and womanizing. To the point that he rarely comes home before the sun sets. At home, his wife and two children also suffer from Kumosuke’s behavior.

8. Hakuouki Movies

Hakuouki Movies: best anime movies about Samurai
Hakuouki Movies

When we’re talking about Samurai anime movies, the setting usually happens in either two periods; the Sengoku period or the Bakumatsu period. If the setting falls in Bakumatsu, they usually adopt the famous Shinsengumi, a small elite swordsman group. This movie also includes Shinsengumi in the story.

However, the Shinsengumi isn’t the center character for the story. Rather, it follows the story of a young girl, Chizuru Yukimura, who is set on a journey to Kyoto in search of her missing father, Koudou. Soon, she learns that Kyoto isn’t as peaceful as everyone thought it to be. Moreover, a certain mysterious creature is lurking around in the midst of the night preying on people.

After a fateful encounter with the Shinsengumi band, they take her into custody because she looks suspicious. Unknown to her, her ties with Shinsengumi aren’t some kind of coincidence. What awaits her in Kyoto?

7. Ninja Scroll (Juubee Ninpuuchou)

Ninja Scroll
Ninja Scroll

Looking back, Ninja Scroll was one of the anime gates for Westerners’ “old”taku after Akira and Ghost in the Shell. However, they don’t have anything aside from a nostalgic feeling they sold after more than three decades of release. Sure, at that time, Ninja Scroll was one of the leading samurai anime movies, but the anime after them could easily eclipse them.

The story follows Jubei Kagami, a mercenary samurai, wandering across Japan in search of a master. In his journey, he clashes with the Eight Devils of Kimon, a team of ninjas whose goal is to overthrow the Tokugawa Shogunate. In his newfound quest, he is supported by Dakuan, an elderly government spy, and Kagero, a ninja from Koga who has a lethal toxin in her body.

6. Sword of the Stranger

Sword of the Stranger: best anime movie about Samurai
Sword of the Stranger

The next best samurai movie is Sword of the Stranger. This original movie is like something out of the blue. In 2007, Sword of the Stranger came out in theaters with godly animation.

However, though the animation is amazing, the plot isn’t good enough. In simple terms, there is no character development at all. The whole story just revolves around a boy, Kotarou, who loves his dog very much, and Nanashi who doesn’t change at all from the start until the the credit rolls.

Really, if you’re a fan of smooth jam-packed action anime movies with a little gore here and there, this samurai movie is worth your time. Otherwise, just move on and find other samurai movies instead.

5. Peace Maker Kurogane Movies

Peace Maker Kurogane Movies
Peace Maker Kurogane Movies

Another best samurai anime movie features Shinsengumi, the small elite group of swordsmen in the Bakumatsu period. The movie is a sequel to a TV anime series from 2003. White Fox splits the movie into two parts. The first one titled “Omou no Michi (Way of Feelings) premiered in June 2018, while the second part, “Yuumei” (Fate of Comrades) premiered in November 2018.

It tells about Ichimura Tetsunosuke whose parents were murdered in front of his eyes. Lead by revenge, he seeks strength from Shinsengumi trying to become one of its members. However, he still lacks the skill to cut down the enemy. Through the support of his brother Tatsunosuke and his friends in Shinsengumi, his path of revenge is intertwined with the most famous historical group in Japan.

4. Ninja Batman

Ninja Batman: best anime movies about Samurai
Ninja Batman

If you’re an avid fan of DC, Batman in particular, you should definitely watch this samurai movie. It seems like DC tried to make a visionary breakthrough by introducing the Japanese animator to make the best samurai movies. At the end of the day, the movie is jam-packed with action and a great story.

The premise is quite simple. Just like always, Batman clashes with one of the villains, Gorilla Grodd in Arkham Asylum. He tries to stop Grodd’s newest invention, The Quake Engine. Unfortunately, the engine accidentally activates and sends the entire Arkham Asylum into Feudal Japan. Now, it is up to Batman to gather the scattered villains and send them back to Gotham.

3. Rurouni: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan – The Motion Picture

Rurouni: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan - The Motion Picture
Rurouni: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan – The Motion Picture

When we’re talking about samurai anime, the name Rurouni Kenshin will come out whether you like it or not. The existence of Kenshin, also known as Samurai X, is etched in the heart of every anime fan. Because of its sheer popularity, various media were created such as anime, movies, and live action. This samurai anime movie was released in 1997 while the original series was being aired.

The movie takes place somewhere after the Kyoto arc. During the Bakumatsu period, two hitokiri warriors from the Ishin Shishi; Himura Kenshin and Gentatsu Takatsuki, face each other which ends in Kenshin’s victory.

Years after the war ended, Kenshin who now becomes a pacifist faces another rebel, Shigure Takimi. He leads a group of desperate rebels who want to settle the score once and for all. But, when he knows Kenshin is the murderer of his best friend, Gentatsu, his fight becomes a personal vendetta.

2. Gintama: The Final

Gintama: The Final Samurai Movie
Gintama: The Final

The last movie from the best comedy anime really brings everything to a conclusion. Some may find it difficult to follow because the movie was the cultivation of more than 300 episodes, but Gintama fans will find it very enjoyable.

Sure, the movie still contains comedy gags that you can find in the original series. However, the depth of the story in the final moments really moved the heart. With every foreshadowing has been revealed, we already know Gintoki isn’t only a comedy relief character. He also holds a dark past that still haunts him.

In this samurai anime movie, we will watch Gintoki make the hardest choice in his life whether he wants to save his indebted teacher, Shoyo, or kill him to save the planet. Both choices will have emotional consequences. Fortunately, he is no longer alone. Every relationship he makes will help him pick the right choice.

1. Afro Samurai Movies

Afro Samurai Movies
Afro Samurai Movies

Even though Samurai X is the epitome of samurai anime, it can be said that it earns its spot through long chapters and arcs. However, if you’re looking for something short, simple, and leave with a “bang”! You should consider watching this samurai movie.

In summary, it has a solid and simple story, the animation is as smooth as it gets with a good atmosphere, and finally, we have a real Hollywood star as the cast. Yeah, you heard me, we have Samuel L. Jackson and Mark Hamill voicing those characters.

In this movie, we will follow the journey of Afro to seek revenge against his father’s murder. In doing so, he must get the Number Two headband to have the right to challenge him. However, there is just one thing that can stand in his way, everyone else in the whole world!

Though Number One can be challenged only by Number Two, Number Two can be challenged by everyone. This way, Afro should walk through many attackers along the way before he can claim vengeance once and for all.

Final Notes

Finally, those are the best samurai anime movies. So, how was it? Which one do you think is the best samurai movie in those lists? Unfortunately, you can’t watch them in the cinema anymore unless there are events or something. But, hey, most of them are available on several streaming platforms.

Do you want more of an anime list like this? Just stay tuned to Anime Fleek for more future anime updates!

What is a samurai?

Samurai means a member of the Japanese warrior caste.

How many Rurouni Kenshin’s movies?

It only has one anime movie. On the brighter side, it has 5 live actions and a remake.

Where can I watch a samurai movie?

Most of the movies are already available on several streaming platforms such as Crunchyroll and Netflix.

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