this was a great intro to watching the series.. if you dig the story and want it in depth then yeah, go back and watch all the films and read the manga. but as a standalone piece it's awesome from start to finish, never lets up and has a great soundtrack to accompany it. so fun to root for wolf & daigoro, the ultimate underdogs up against insurmountable odds.
I have yet to see Lone Wolf and Cub to compare, but just based on Shogun Assassin alone I think it might hit the top of my priorities. So many memorable images, combined with a killer synthesised score and highly stylisted and inventive violence make this a truly exciting experience. Watching the dubbed version just amps up the frenetic energy which pervades the film from reel to reel. So good.
In a restored version, this goes from being a re-cut of the Lone Wolf films into its own wonderfully strange world - I over use the words 'dream' and 'dream logic', but with its dubbed voices, comic book violence and brilliant cinematography, I could have dreamt the film up rather than have seen it. The music is incredible, its dated synths the reason why it is ominous and adds an cathartic power to the work.