Samurai 7 (Season One)

A village threatened by bandits searches for a samurai to protect them, but just one will not do. They will need seven samurai.

What did you watch and why? I actually watched this in 2018 but never got around to writing up a review until now. Therefore there will be no Animercise update with this review. Anyone that knows me will know of my love of samurai and swords in general. So, an anime about seven samurai was bound to catch my attention.

What’s it about? There was a great war where one side was so determined to win that they integrated their bodies into giant machines. Unable to stand against the numbers and firepower, the samurai were forced to surrender and wander the world as ronin.

Now that the war is over, the Nobuseri bandits, who were part of the winning side terrorize the farmers, stealing their crops and women. But Kanna Village has had enough. The village priestess heads to the city to find help. She eventually manages to enlist a great samurai, but he informs her that if they are to succeed, they will need seven samurai.

The samurai stop a local noble from kidnapping the priestess. Infuriated that they would interfere in his business, he devises a plan to eradicate the samurai. Eventually, they manage to enlist the seven and fight back against the Nobuseri, but it looks like they will be the least of their problems.

What hooked you? This was a bit of an odd one. The first episode was dull. I mean really dull, which is absurd for a series about giant mecha and samurai. After the first one, I stopped and watched something else. It was only once I’d finished the other series that I came back, and boy was I glad I did. The second episode is insanely good. It should have been the first episode. Ironically, this is why I now give all series I watch four episodes to grab me.

What was your favourite scene? Less of a scene, but the final showdown was incredible. The samurai are leaping through the air, slicing through mecha, blowing floating cities up, sacrificing themselves, and generally being utterly awesome.

The budget for these episodes was massive and it really tells. The scale of the fight is just insane. One samurai attempts to stop the floating city from crashing into the village with a sword that is ten times the size of him. If you imagine every good samurai fight in the old movies and blow it up. You’ll be somewhere close to how incredible this was.

What was your least favourite scene? In episode seven, for no reason whatsoever, the art style changed. The animation was poor and rough. It only lasted for one episode, but it pulled me out of the series hard. I had to jump online and make sure it didn’t continue it was that jarring. I don’t know what they were thinking. Maybe it was a budget thing!

Who was your favourite character? All of the samurai are interesting, but Kyuzo was my favourite. He started out on the wrong side, but switched when he was betrayed, although his main focus in life was fighting Kambei who he sees as his ultimate rival. He is determined to make sure Kambei survives so that they may finish their duel.

Who was your least favourite character? At first, I thought this would be Kikuchiyo, but it was actually Katsushiro, which was odd because he was the younger samurai who was the focus of a lot of the story. It was fairly obvious that he was out of his depth and suffered mentally for it. He was an interesting character, but my least favourite of the seven.

Which character needs more screen time? I really enjoyed Gorobei every time he was on the screen and it would have been great to see a lot more of him instead of Katsushiro. He was an awesome samurai but was also incredibly laid back and easy going.

Is it similar to any other anime you’ve seen? This series had an incredible mix of old style Japan and futuristic mecha. It really is something special, which makes that first episode even more annoying. To think I almost gave up. Obviously, it is based on the 1954 Akira Kurosawa film Seven Samurai, but there were no mecha in that one, but it’s such a wild mashup that I don’t want to compare it to another anime.

Would you like another season? No. The story ended at the exact right moment and to try and tack on another season because this was so good would be an awful decision. It’s like when they decide a series is doing really well so they add a couple of extra seasons in the middle and it brings down the entire series (I’m not talking about How I met your Mother at all…)

What elements of the story inspire you? I’ve had an interest in samurai for a long time now and would love to write a futuristic science fiction novel with a version of samurai. I actually have one planned out from years ago that I will get to someday. Another thing that this reminds me of is an idea I had a while back to take historic battles and recreate a similar scenario in an other-worldly venue.

Animercise: I watched this series in 2018, so there is no animercise attached to this one. It’s a shame because there are twenty-six episodes!

 

8 Comments

  1. I really like this series a lot. 😁 Thank you for writing about it!

    • Lynn Sheridan

      No worries. Thanks for reading. It was an awesome series. Can’t believe I almost missed it.

  2. David Boone (moonhawk81)

    I’ve passed it by for ages, now. Time to correct that, apparently. . .

    • Lynn Sheridan

      I am so glad I came back to it after almost dropping after the first episode. The second episode was full of action and samurai leaping off bridges to save a girl. And it just got better from there too.

  3. […] you like lists too. Everyone seems to do lists that are five or ten items long. After talking about Samurai 7 on Friday, I realised that seven is the perfect number for my new weekly […]

  4. This was one of the shows that all of my buddies crowded around the computer desk at my house to watch, each of us calling out our favorite character and getting hype when they got screen time. Awesome read!

    • Lynn Sheridan

      Yeah, it really was an amazing show. Especially when the samurai are cutting down the giant robots.

  5. […] is this about? It’s Sunday, so that means it’s time for another list and with Samurai 7 still fresh in my mind I figured I would select my seven sword-wielders to protect my imaginary […]

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