The film tells the story of two Shinsengumi samurai. Saitō Hajime (played by Kōichi Satō) is a heartless killer. Yoshimura Kanichiro (played by Kiichi Nakai) appears to be a money-grabbing and emotional swordsman from the northern area known as Nambu Morioka.
The main storyline is set during the fall of the Tokugawa shogunate, but it is told in a series of flashbacks as Saitō and another man reminisce. The themes include conflicting loyalty to the clan, lord, and family.
More than just swordplay, it is the story of a man willing to do anything for the good of his family, even if it means never being able to see them.