Going into "Sword of Vengeance" I had high hopes! I had read several of the original comics before and really enjoyed them. However, when all was said and done I couldn't help but feel underwhelmed. This is a fun, but mostly forgettable samurai flick. In the end this is actually a really poorly made film... The only thing it has going for it is a couple of fun, over the top action scenes!
If you haven't watched any film from the series, read the review by Pierluigi here; his comparison will let you know more or less what to expect. The film is enjoyable not only because of the beautiful swordplay (and violent, although it IS a samurai movie) but also for the resulting approach to life after antihero Ogami Itto leaves the path of bushido with his baby son in order to seek revenge. Influential, classic.