I daresay I enjoyed this one more.
Not that there is anything bad about Yojimbo, but I feel it set the stage for another film despite that not being the case. Kurosawa had to rewrite this movie in order for it to work as a sequel to Yojimbo, and honestly you can't tell. Our protagonist from the first film literally is awoken by the plot, a group of nine samurai discuss the corruption in their clan and want to put an end to it, our ronin tells them to cut it out with the racket but eventually helps them in trying to take out the source of corruption. It does help I haven't seen this story before, but the movie is fine on it's own regardless. Toshiro Mifune though seeing him in several roles and always saying this is his best performance, I feel this will be hard to top cause he finally had two movies to build on the same character, that is really awesome to see and his character fits several characters I have seen before. His introduction feels almost Spike from Cowboy Bebop and he has little character touches that are interesting. I have no issue saying the best part in the movie is the barn scene with the two geishas. I can't explain why though, it's a quiet, pleasant, and slow scene with really good dialogue but the performances is what sells it especially with Mifune. I mean come on, you don't get hired by the same acclaimed director over and over because you're good friends with him. The look he gives when the two geishas are looking at him in intrigue and possible affection, he doesn't really know how to react and goes off to do something. That can say a lot about a character who we know nothing about. It's just little touches like that which really elevates the movie from the last. Again, the action is peppered throughout but the ending climax is so good I honestly don't mind. It's not crucial to see Yojimbo before Sanjuro but it adds more to Mifune's ronin character. Whether you watch one or both, there's something to admire and appreciate in both.
And we sadly could not find Red Beard, Toshiro Mifune's last colaboration with Kurosawa, I checked everywhere and no one had it to stream or rent or anything. So we skip to Ran, what many regard as Kurosawa's most epic film, retelling another Shakespeare classic.