Anime Vice News

SAMURAI 7 #1 - - Special Review

Completing the new Toonami set.

With DEADMAN WONDERLAND wrapped, what reason could there be to not complete the new Toonami set? I’ve already covered EUREKA SEVEN and FMA: B - - thoroughly - - so all that's left is SAMURAI 7. And with this long-due watch and learn session comes the somewhat sobering realization of how long it’s been since I first heard of the series. Even though I never wound up watching the show, I distinctly remember it getting a write-up on Joblo back in ’04 or ’05 because it had a little more crossover appeal to “general” cinephiles on account of its explicit link to the Kurosawa classic.

Times flies, of course, and its flight in this instance is a little revealing, because we’ve been talking a lot about how anime viewership's changed on the Vice Pit lately. See, the fact that I didn’t wind up watching SAMURAI 7 was really more of case of inconvenience than disinterest. When I got done reading that Joblo article, I remember throwing my arms and saying, “Well, that sounds interesting, but where can I watch this, now?” Back then, the recommendation-to-viewing process wasn’t as simple as, say, embedding a link from Hulu.

That’s a pretty longwinded preamble, I know. What did I think of the show? Well, I’m kind of curious as to whether SEVEN SAMURAI really was the first story to ever play out this whole notion of beleaguered peasants hiring warriors to fight their battles for them. I’ve seen this reinterpreted enough times in the likes of A BUG’S LIFE and THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN that I’m pretty well familiar with all the plot beats. The first episode even corresponds closely enough to the first 20 or so minutes of SEVEN SAMURAI that it’s almost like they’ve just drawn new pictures to accompany the same audio.

Look, I’ll comment more about the actual plot, next time. For now, I just want to say it’s highly amusing to see that Kurosawa’s estate is actually behind this. The only time I’ve ever heard anime linked to Kurosawa before this was in a backhanded compliment he famously gave to GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES. It was along the lines of “Oh, it was good… for an anime.”

Watch this episode, “The Master" below and decide for yourself.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

Nightwolfon Sept. 5, 2012 at 11:33 a.m.

Part of the lucky number 7.

Kuro_Sanon Sept. 5, 2012 at 6:10 p.m.

I love this fricking show. The steampunk setting, the robot slicing this is a manly show! (Except for Katsuhiro, he is not manly)

AgentJon Sept. 5, 2012 at 11:59 p.m.

I hope that the new anime industry has been good for the anime companies in general, because it was hugely beneficial to my fandom of the genre. Before, I could either only buy what I had seen, or take a chance on something I had heard good things about (or was just on sale). That's how I got Samurai 7 years ago (as well as BECK, Le Chevalier D'eon, Gankutsuou, GTO, Cromartie, and some others) and it worked out. But there were also a half-dozen duds I bought on a hope and a prayer that helped take me out of Anime entirely (not coincidentally much of the same time frame Toonami was off the air) until I got drawn back in by the streaming scene, specifically Gurren Lagann and Code Geass. Since then, I have bought probably 80% of the stuff I've streamed, liked, and of which has been released in the states. I hope that the majority of those who use the streaming services put their money where their eyeballs are, and support the industry.

takashichea moderator on Sept. 9, 2012 at 10:54 p.m.

First episode is pretty slow because it was just Kirara and her gang looking for the right samurai who appeared at the very end, and I was unsure whether to continue it. The latter episodes got me hooked.

Dig Deeper into Samurai 7

Samurai 7 is an anime series based off Akira Kurosawa's 1954 film Seven Samurai (七人の侍 Shichinin no samurai). It centers around a town who hires a group of wayward warriors to defend their home from bandits.

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