Sword of the Stranger main character the protagonist of the anime film Sword of the Stranger is Nanashi, who is nameless in Japanese. He has wrapped his katana to keep it sheathed and is a travelling ronin. He encounters Kotaro, an orphan boy, and Tobimaru, his dog, and ends up rescuing them from a Ming squad member who is pursuing them. Then, in return for a jade ornament, he is recruited to deliver them to a temple where they can find safety.
In reality, Nanashi says, he goes by several different names and has used them all. He also has red hair and only knows that he was the only survivor of a ship that was sinking as to his origins. He was ridiculed for having red hair until he started colouring it black to blend in. He formerly fought alongside Shogen Itadori under Lord Akaike until the latter gave him the order to kill two rival lord’s children. After that, he left the military, haunted by the deaths of the kids and sworn to always keep his katana sheathed.
Kotaro wins Nanashi’s affection, and Nanashi sees Kotaro’s protection as an act of atonement for the children he killed. After giving the youngster to the Ming squad and taking Kotaro to the temple, the man races for miles to reach their citadel before drawing his sword to free Kotaro.