It's been ages since I last watched this film. It's easy to see why I liked it so much the first time around, but revisiting it now reveals it has lost quite a bit of its initial shine. Not that Samurai Fiction is a bad film, it's just that a lot of its standout elements don't feel quite as fresh anymore.
The film offers a modern take on the chambara genre (samurai/sword fighting). Three men are sent to trail Kazamatsuri, a ruthless samurai who stole an important sword from their clan. When they confront the thief, he kills one of them and holds off the other two. Heishiro is the only one willing to persevere and resumes his quest to get the sword back.
What makes Samurai Fiction fun are its anachronistic elements. Pops op color in the black and white cinematography, a more contemporary score and self-conscious performances make this a pretty amusing film. Nakano doesn't quite push it enough though, which is probably why it feels somewhat less distinctive now. A fun film, just a little less great the second time around.