Takashi Miike's 13 Assassins is an action/adventure/drama by critically acclaimed director Takashi Miike (Sukiyaki Western Django, Ichi the Killer) and based on the screenplay written by Kaneo Ikegami, and Daisuke Tengan. Starring Kôji Yakusho (Shall We Dance,1996; Tokyo Sonata), Gorô Inagaki (Saimin, One Piece: Karakuri Castle's Mecha Giant Soilder TV Series), Mikijiro Hira, Yûsuke Iseya (Sukiyaki Western Django), and Masachika Ichimura (Final Fantasy: Advent Children, Kingdom Hearts video game), 13 Assassins follows an elite group of samurai secretly enlisted to bring down a sadistic lord to prevent him from ascending the throne.
"As feudal Japan enjoys peace, the Samurai era is waning. But this fragile calm is threatened by the growing power of Lord Naritsugu (Inagaki), the Shogun's sadistic younger brother. Sir Doi (Hira) realizes Naritsugu will ruin the Shogunate if he gains higher political standing. As Naritsugu's evil deeds are quickly hushed up, Sir Doi must act." Shinzaemon, 13 Assassins.
In 1844 Japan, an era of peace prevails. The warring past of the Samurai has long past its peak. However, a rival rests within their own ranks. Where an extreme and malicious abuse of power threatens the Shogunate's normalcy—where it is a tradition for the Samurai to forsake their own lives for the survival of their serving Lord. However, when Lord Naritsugu becomes an overlord and abuses his power to become a threat to his own society, then comes time for retribution. Where the slave must overcome his master for the sake of order and humanity.
In the film's opening scene, a Samurai, provoked by the murdering and relentless brutality of Lord Naritsugu, commits Harakiri (or Seppuku) in protest. Naritsugu's cruelty is depicted in detail: he rapes Chise, the wife of Shinzaemon's (Yakusho) son, then brutally murders him in front of her by driving his sword through to his chest, then beheading his corpse in front of her. In another display of Naritsugu's mercilessness, he murders an entire family of servants, simply because he believed they felt they were lazy and abusing the leniency of their master. Armed with bow and arrow, Naritsugu murders the family of servants, one by one, in execution style, leaving only the last victim, a small child, to watch as his family is murdered in front of him—later pierced by an arrow.