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Jan 7, 2014
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Fans of Japanese culture, particularly that of the way of the samurai, have another reason to get excited. 47 Ronin, the Keanu Reeves-starring 3D spectacle, opens in cinemas on Wednesday (January 8), promising high-octane action and adventure.

...and a Keanu Reeves that hates haircuts

When rogue Kai (Reeves), the orphaned son of a British sailor and Japanese peasant woman integrates himself into a band of ronin led by the vengeful Kuranosuke Oishi, he puts himself in dangers way as he searches for revenge and redemption. A fictional depiction of an actual group of master-less samurais, the movie is a fantastical escape from reality. Expect sword slashing, katana wielding, malevolent sorceress, and of course, some kick-ass killer samurais.

The sorceress is malevolent...and tempting!

To celebrate the release of 47 Ronin, we’ve come up with a list of our favorite blade-brandishing idols in pop culture. Whether from movies, cartoons, and even videogames, samurai or samurai-like, these swift warriors redefine what it means to handle a sword.


1) CAPT. NATHAN ALGREN FROM THE LAST SAMURAI

He's not the prototypical disciplined Japanese warrior: He’s rude, rowdy, and a raving alcoholic. Plus, he is Caucasian. But with the help of Lord Moritsugu Katsumoto and his army training, the jaded captive US Captain soon proves to be a key element in helping a samurai rebellion suppress the Westernization of Japan.


2) KENSHIN FROM SAMURAI X

The mysterious and noble fighter of everyone’s favorite anime and manga wears the famous X scar on his face like a badge of ferociousness. Once known as Hitokiri Battosai, the legendary assassin atones for his past misdeeds by doling out help and protection to those in need as he wanders through Japan’s countryside. It’s his potent mix of killer instincts and will for deliverance that truly makes him dangerous.

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