Kind of a "hidden gem" that is perfectly watchable, although it does fall a bit short at the beginning, only later finding a comfortable pace. It is a nice start to a trilogy, and I look forward to watching the next chapters. Be warned: it is very convenient to know at least a bit about japanese culture, as this film was made mainly for a japanese audience.
I really don't know what to make of this movie. Really it's more like a long introduction than anything else. Since it's the first movie of a trilogy I guess it kinda makes sense, but in that particular case the first part doesn't work as a standalone film. If for some reason you were to watch only this one, you'd get almost nothing out of it.
This is a good start to the trilogy. If you're new to the Musashi samurai trilogy let this film base your overall appeal of the films. In it you'll see the life of the Japanese legend, Miyamoto Musashi unfold in a dramatic and action based depiction. Well worth seeing!