It's not as perfect as Harakiri, but nearly. It's also written by the same writer so it's no surprise that there are some similarities between the two.
I almost want to take half a star off the rating, because I felt somehow deceived by the beginning. It seemed to set it up as a bit of a hangout movie, where we see the friendship between these two samurai, but then one of them ended up appearing only briefly every now and then, offering confusing advice. But those must have been confusing times as well.