It wasn't perfect, though. I wish there were more frequent confrontations in the film, because the story does slow down for large sections. I don't need it to be non-stop action, but sometimes the movie was so caught up in building towards something that it felt like it was never going to get there. My only other struggle with this film would be all the names. They did a good job of casting distinct faces for the characters to make them easy to differentiate, but all their names got really muddled in my head. Aside from that I think Yojimbo was a better presentation of the story that I saw first in A Fistful of Dollars. If for nothing else, I just loved the contrast that comes when a gun is brought into the world of only swords. I definitely enjoyed watching this movie, but for my first Kurosawa film I feel like I was expecting something more.
Kurosawa's most stylish film and the BGM is a killer, but somehow, it's scenes are not as effective or memorable as it's plagiarized American version, A fistful of dollars. Mifune acts well, but his character does not have the screen presence that Eastwood so easily had. The film is also less violent compared to Sergio Leone's picture.