Picture this show reaching the same level in the popular American imagination that, say, THE SIMPSONS or LOST stand on, and it’s easy to picture there being some “SAMURAI 7 & Philosophy” book sitting on the shelf at Barnes & Noble. If ever such a tome were to exist, I imagine there’d be at least one essay drawing a tenuous connection between Mifune’s odd mechanical condition and Descartes’ assorted treatises on mind/body dualism.
I mean, the show’s really left many of aspects of this guy’s existence unsaid (much like they have the definition of the samurai). Is he a robot? A cyborg? An Alphonse Elric-like haunted armor?
I was asking myself such questions while the dude’s head was ordering his body around in this episode; beckoning it like it was some separate entity. No, it’s not really that important to the overall story. Nobody really needs to hear this guy’s tragic secret origin. But nevertheless, the dialog has been drawing some attention to this big orange question mark. Like there was that one interesting conversation last episode, where he pointedly assured the one peasant that he wouldn’t actually want a machine body like his to rescue his wife - - because he wouldn’t be able to... appreciate her return.
So, to put it bluntly, this big galoot might be shaped like a man, but he’s missing plenty of a man’s essential equipment. If we’re supposed to - - * AHEM * - - fill in the blanks on our own, I figure there’s supposed to be some implicit backstory here wherein this peasant was so desperate to become a powerful samurai that he actually sacrificed his humanity to get this body. That alone gives him a lot more pathos than Mifune’s bratty poseur in the original.