Ben Reiss’s review published on Letterboxd:
I hate those classroom-type ethical dilemmas. Three people strapped to one train track, one strapped to the other, yadda yadda. My issue with them is that when you strip a situation of context, you strip them of what makes your decision in the situation matter. Harakiri feels like it was made for people like me. It was made for those who refuse to look at an ethical dilemma that is devoid of context, and as a warning for those who think you can turn any dilemma into a mathematical formula.
Without going too into detail, Harakiri is about an ethical decision that is made without an examination of the context and the consequences that follow. First we see the decision made and the reasons why, and then we learn the full story. Watching the plot unfold is a pleasure (well, it is pretty depressing so maybe pleasure isn't the right word) so I won't say more.
After a lot of talking, learning and reflecting, the film ends with a few scenes of very good samurai action that are made better by their lead-up and contextualization. They are exciting because of the weight placed on them by the story.
Harakiri is a masterpiece. An excellent deconstruction of the samurai mythos and a great story.