A man called gosuke must now follow tradition and step into the role of the village murage expert blacksmith the steel tatara steel that is produced inlzumo japan is said to be the strongest steel in the world makes it the number one resource in making katanas and other elite bladed weaponry. Gosuke sho aoyagi comes from a family of men who make steel. Their village tatara is renowned for the quality of that steel whose strength is prized for swordmaking its resistance to rust will make the commedity even more valuable as guns become a central part of warfare.
With that transition beginning and clans battling each other nearby gosuke realizes that peasants are less bound than usual to their roles in feudal society. Now is a time when anyone can move up as one man puts it. And joining the ranks of lord odas army is one path to a samurais wealth and status. He says goodbye to his fiancee braks his father heart and leaves. Dazed by his first serious encounter with carnage gosuke is told that he should return home and embrance your destiny as a metalworker. The readiness with which he agrees is a little puzzling gives how eager he war to become a samurai but this is a movie that leaves characters motivations obscure at least to a western viewers eyes.
That can be frustrating on occasion but it works well in the case of yohei masahiko tsugawa an aging merchant who wants to convince tataras mayor to sell him steel for gunmaking. Soon after gosukes return yohei arrives with the news that lord oda intends to attack the town and take what he needs. He offers the town guns mercenaries and training to defend themselves though villagers argue about taking this sort of help the die is cast as soon as one of them has his first experience firing a musket.
If the movie first half did not hew to the hero journey template we expected neighter does this section turn out to be a seven samurai like tale of outsiders helping peasants defend themselves. Sinister things are a foot and one happy consequence is that the dramatic burden ceases to fall excluively on aoyagi whi performs creditably but has a hard time expressing the characters interior conflicts. One of gosuke friends shinpei naoki kobayashi has a spark he lacks but the movie doesnt make the best use of the actor when shinpei gets involved in third act intrigue.
THE SWORD IS MIGHTIER THAN THE GUN: TATARA SAMURAI FORGES A MAN OF HONOR,