Ian O’s review published on Letterboxd:
Let's talk about Kikuchio for a moment. Here is a character who very much does not fit the mold of what you expect a samurai to be. He doesn't fit with the others. He is bold, rude, and obnoxious, which makes his character instantly enjoyable to watch, but there is a lot more going on with him as well.
Kikuchio turns out to be a very layered character. You can tell he has had a tramuatic past, though you are never quite sure what life events have led him to this past. He is a mystery. Its only until later that some glimpse of his background is hinted at, but otherwise the mystery behind him makes him all the more compelling.
He is very complex. He loves to goof around and makes jokes, he angers easily, but he is also a fierce warrior and he grieves deeply when those on his side are killed. He is instantly admired by the village children and he creates a bond with the villagers even while openly despising them.
You can tell Kikuchio is compelled by some sort of internal fire, again motivated by his mysterious past. You don't know exactly what is driving him, but you know he is driven which is why he is so fascinating. What a great character.