Well as always spoilers are here so if you plan on watching this movie I would skip down to the second paragraph. This is by far the best samurai/martial arts movies I've seen in the last 5 years. It takes an interesting view on Japanese samurai during what I would guess is the Edo period, showing that Japanese samurais still looked at being a samurai as a monotonous task comparable to an office job of the 21st century. It also is a pretty in depth view on the main character who is an awkward, tired man who wants nothing more than to perform these daily routines in peace and wait for death. He does not want to advance in his life nor does he want to change anything. He is used to the things that he has come to tolerate and is seemingly afraid of change (shown by him denying his life-long love for the reason that he is afraid of things changing). Overall he ends up maturing and becoming a little more happy towards the end when he is forced to fight which I thought was pretty awesome because it made him finally break out a little bit. That brought him to accept his love's hand in marriage. Such an awesome ending. those last 15 minutes blew my mind.
If you haven't seen it, I highly suggest it. Such an awesome story. The pace is slower, but it just shows how life was back then (well how I imagine it would be). The characters are all insanely developed and it is good basic storytelling at it's best. 8.5/10