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Edition 15: Samurai 7

» Articles, Features, The Watcher (Previews) | posted by Piro^kun on 02/28/2006 [Discuss] - U.S. Official Site - Japanese Official Site

Licensed by Funimation
Animated by Gonzo

DVD release date 08-23-2005

Romi Paku as Katsushiro Okamoto (Dragon Drive as Oozora Reiji, Fullmetal Alchemist as Edward Elric)
Shinichiro Miki as Kyuzo (hack//SIGN as Crim, Bleach as Urahara Kisuke, Initial D as Takumi Fujiwara)
Fumiko Orikasa as Kirara Mikumari (Bleach as Kuchiki Rukia, Saikano as Chise)
Takehito Koyasu as Ukyo (Initial D as Takahashi Ryousuke, Excel Saga as Ilpalazzo-sama, Mahoromatic as Ryuga-sensei)

Credit to ANN for the staff list.


Stikz: You know I’m a sucker for Gonzo releases and I’m also a sucker for samurai titles. Samurai 7 has both of those in check, so off we go with my initial impressions. So I go to the site and check out the trailer. What’s this I see? an onslaught of mechs and explosions? Exactly…not what I was expecting. None the less it was beautiful and after seeing countless samurai shows focusing on the Edo period and those fundamentals I guess the surprise of this vision was perplexing but also interesting.

One of the areas I focus on is the character design. Every character is drawn with just that, character. Before they even speak they have tons of personality. As the trailer seems to focus on more traditional settings, I start to get a feel for it. The action looks great and wonderfully animated. The music heard so far is pretty run of the mill. It’s not bad, just something you’ve heard countless times in the genre. So even with the questionable choice to merge mechs and samurai together, I am very interested in seeing this. Just for the simple fact that the characters look interesting. FUNimation picked up the license for an U.S. release. They really are shaping up to be a company to reckon with with their recent releases.

In honor of the 50th anniversary (last year, 2004) of Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece Shichinin no Samurai (Seven Samurai, 1954), Gonzo has produced the 26 episode anime series Samurai 7. The original film, starring Toshiro Mifune, is among the top ten best Japanese films of all time. It was a breakthrough in Japanese cinematography with its magnificent large-scale battle scenes. Samurai 7 recreates Kurosawa’s jidaigeki epic (dating to Edo period: 1600-1868) of an embattled farm village that hires a disparate group of seven unemployed samurai to protect it from bandits, who have taken both their rice and their wives. The anime sets in a future feudal period where the armaments of warfare are giant mechanical machines, laser cannons and rifles, machine guns, and of course the weapon of choice - swords. Scenery varies from floating battleships, elaborate palaces and daimyos (castles), and the rural fields of the countryside, to the scorching desert, underwater caves and pathways, and the mercantile slums of the city. Knowing Gonzo (the makers of Last Exile), expect to see spectacular 3D animation. Like the original movie, I forewarn you that main characters die. The opening theme by Nanase Aikawa is called Unlimited; a fitting title for the anime has limitless possibilities. The ending theme entitled Fuhen is oriental.


Now that Chrno Crusade has ended, here comes another sweet looking anime from Gonzo. Samurai 7 is based on Akira Kurosawa’s most fantastic movie, The Seven Samurai.

Far distant future, on a planet that might have been called ‘earth’, there was a war between samurai who mechanized their bodies. After the long war, people have returned a modest peace.

Now people in Kanna Village are suffering from the Nobuseri, who are the ruined samurai. After the war ended, they lost their purpose for fighting, and they’ve been robbing the village of their crops and women. Because they don’t have any way to fight against them, the villagers have to obey Nobureri’s order.

One year, before harvest season, Gisaku, the head of the village, proposes that they will hire samurai to protect them from Nobuseri.
Riki, who is a young boy full of energy, along with Kirara and Komachi, twin priestesses, go to a town to look for samurai to help them.

For me, just for being made by Gonzo I expect it be at least good and the story sounds like an interesting interpretation of the original story. I for one am going to check it out as soon as possible.

Dark Wind:
To be honest, I don’t know much about Samurai 7. From what I’ve read and from trailers I’ve seen, it looks awesome. It is animated by GONZO, so that’s to be expected. Apparently, they dropped an enormous amount of money into the project, and it certainly shows. The music also sounds pretty good, and if it stays consistent in the actual show than I think I will be buying the soundtrack. I’m really just hoping to be pleasantly surprised by this one as it’s released. It’s loosely based on Akira Kurosawa’s classic film, Seven Samurai. I say “loosely” because there are mechs and flying ships and guns in Samurai 7, which were not there in Seven Samurai. It sounds like an intriguing twist to me, and so long as the story is well-developed and the characters interesting, then I think this is one to watch out for.

Samurai 7 Screen Caps:

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