Yeah. I don’t buy it. And it’s a real, real dirty play.
I’m, of course, referring to the cliffhanger of this episode where the peasants seemingly surrender to the bandits and hand the samurai over - - all while our favorite wimp gives the most tearful monologue you’ll find outside of an Oscar acceptance speech. Obviously, everybody’s putting on a big act to lull the bad guys into lowering their guard so the good guys can wreck them at a close range. That’s some ruthlessly effective battlefield tactics, to be sure; although I’d think they’d be at odds with the rigid honor code of Bushido which all these samurai are ostensibly supposed to follow.
All right, all right… I’m not going to get into some too-serious discussion about the moral implications of SAMURAI 7. After all, this is a series where these superhumanly-skilled warriors are slicing mech suits up like they were made out of cardboard. Still, I think it’s worth pointing out that the series does seem to be changing its fantastical “Rules of Engagement” (as it were) rather often throughout. Not only is the definition of “samurai” here rather amorphous, there’s also some puzzling dream logic in how, say, the aforementioned mech suits get taken down by volley of wooden arrows.
But who cares, right? Wasn’t it cool when they launched that absurdly large tree trunk into the moth-like carrier ship?
For as often as we prop up manga for focusing on key moments of storytelling, I can’t immediately recall any other scenes in an anime series that have had the same sort breathtaking blockbuster showpiece quality as that. Certainly, I can think of plenty in anime features but, for a format that’s ostensibly supposed to allow more room to linger on moments, I really haven’t run into as much of this as I’d expect to.
I guess that’s another talking point for how this series feels more like an old time adventure. It’s going to wow you, it’s going to push your buttons… just don’t think too hard about certain details of its worlds.