Pretty good? Yes. Better than the first? Not quite.
Now you understand why I wish the last movie was called Sword Of Vengeance. But anyway, this was still a very good movie with that same visual flair of the first film and rightfully so since Toshiya Fujita directed both. I was genuinely curious to see where on earth this story could go after a pretty definitive ending to the first one, but it was alluded to even in that movie that though her life's quest is completed she cannot change her nature. This was a woman who almost from birth was trained to be a weapon, a highly skilled and fearless sword wielder with retribution coarsing through her veins. So it's interesting to see Yuki on the run, constantly being hounded by police officers before she is tasked with eliminating an anarchist in exchange for immunity. But things grow more complicated as the story unfolds and she takes a firm stand against an institution that would much rather see her dead. Yet again Meiko Kagi is on top form, personified so frick fraking perfect in a single scene, where her target announces he knows exactly who she is and the facade just drops quicker than a snap of my fingers. Holy hot damn, this woman can act. Shin Kishida is a really good villain, just as visually striking and cold blooded as Yuki is and if he looks familiar to any kaiju fans out there he was in Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla, he just has that instantly recognizable facial physique. The rest of the cast is also very good, and do give the story the proper weight it needs. And it's not a bad story, I had no issue with Lady Snowblood being in this plot and it actually makes me quite curious to see how the manga develops through it's entire run, but it's not as engaging and excellent as the first film. But the style and execution of the story is pretty much the only reason you want to see it which is totally fine by me, I still had a really good time with this movie and think of it still as a very good movie. It's not often either on this show or in the world of movies to have a duology, so it's if anything fascinating just to see what the filmmaker is trying to accomplish. Now if Lady Snowblood was a one and done, I wouldn't have much to complain about but I also won't lie and say it's not a story that deserves continuation. I just feel that it's a story really any other character from other samurai films could fit into. But what do I know, see the film and judge for yourself! 3 stars, 7.5/10, and we got a trilogy to get through tomorrow so stay tuned.