In my opinion, the first film played much more into Western genre than the second. For example, the acting is extremely dramatized in Django, whereas it is much more subdued in the Sukiyaki version. Also, the character of Django is must more aloof and disconnected than the Gunman of the second film, which is exactly how the anti-hero of a Western is usually portrayed. The Japanese film was very stylized and seemed much more modern than the 1966 film.
Even though I think that Django was more faithful to the Western genre, the Japanese version obviously stayed true in some ways as well. In both movies, the plot was set in a desolate town where its residents are warring against one another. Also, many, many guns are used in both films, as per usual with a Western, though the Japanese film also incorporates swords which give a more elegant feel than the wilder, chaotic original. Color plays such a vital role and communicates messages in both films as well, with red representing one side of the battle, white representing the other and black showing that Django/the Gunman are not necessarily the knights in shining armor that we as an audience might expect in a protagonist.
The thing that stuck with me the most was how the second film so obviously presented a critique of the first film in the way that women are treated. In the first movie, women are objectified, smacked around, and referred to as “anyone’s”. They are damsels in distress who only “feel like a real woman” when the anti-hero rescues them. In the second movie however, women are portrayed with an absolute strength as opposed to helpless or even as quiet bystanders. One of the female leads saw her husband shot multiple times and killed and yet was depicted as strong and capable at the time of the film’s events. The older woman was even bolder, shooting and killing many of the bad guys with the same skill level as men in either film. I think this really reflects a world more accepting of women being as powerful, strong and skilled as men.