Anime Vice News

SAMURAI 7 #18 - - Watch & Learn

Look at this diabolical mastermind. Aren't you afraid?

Hm. Interesting. SEVEN SAMURAI’s ended with the rather pointed note of the peasants casting the samurai out as soon as the bandits had been defeated. I don’t recall there being even much of a celebration following the victory. The moment these men of violence finished serving this village’s needs was the moment they needed to get the hell out.

SAMURAI 7, in contrast, only lightly broached this theme a few episodes back, and has only really addressed it here with the dialog here about whether our cute young priestess should renounce her vocation to be with our cute young rookie samurai. There’s no discussion of such a relationship being abhorrent to the social structure. It seems more of a “career vs. romance” question that her friends and mentors are merely suggesting she re-consider.

Of course, we’ve still got plenty of time left in this series. The seeming peace between these people may simply come down to the fact that these samurai can still help rebuild the town and these peasants’ wives still need to be rescued. Once either of those tasks are fulfilled, we may yet see a repeat of the ending we’re so familiar with.

While we’re talking about unexpected - - or semi-unexpected - - developments, I’ve got to say I’m a bit surprised that the merchant prince is sizing up to be the “big bad” of this story. Sure, I figured he’d be a recurring antagonist, but more likely in the service (and to the annoyance) of a villain who was higher up on the totem pole. Well, we’ve just met this world’s very Spacing Guild-like emperor and, since it’s hard to get any higher than him, it looks like this pampered prince is going to keep usurping power in his mad quest to possess the one girl who’s ever said no to him.

And I suppose that’s actually the best sort of villain for this sort of story. Not some powerful and honorable warlord, but some spoiled rich boy who’s getting all this authority handed to him that he doesn’t deserve. And all because he can't get over somebody finally telling him that, no, he can’t have what he wants this time.

Watch this episode, "The Emperor” here and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

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

ohgodwhyon Oct. 23, 2012 at 3:35 p.m.

I loved both Seven Samurai and Samurai 7 but I never really much understood the point of the giants enemy mechs. IMO it would've been better if they'd just used real samurai or if needed robot samurai like Kikuchiyo. Still it was a great anime nonetheless and I really liked steampunk Kikuchiyo and Kyuzo.

Kuro_Sanon Oct. 24, 2012 at 7:37 a.m.

@ohgodwhy said:

I loved both Seven Samurai and Samurai 7 but I never really much understood the point of the giants enemy mechs. IMO it would've been better if they'd just used real samurai or if needed robot samurai like Kikuchiyo. Still it was a great anime nonetheless and I really liked steampunk Kikuchiyo and Kyuzo.

There is a point for the Giant Mecha. Is more awesome to fight them, Kanbei is badass, but god he looks badass cutting down a Mecha, much cooler than cutting down a human enemy. And in a really deep analysis you can say they added the theme of Old vs New, Technology vs Tradition. The Old Samurai vs the Changing world....

ohgodwhyon Oct. 24, 2012 at 11 a.m.

@Kuro_San: Oh I get the whole new vs old thing but I just though the mechs were a little TOO big if you know what I mean. Still an amazing anime though, the last few episodes get me every time.

Kuro_Sanon Oct. 24, 2012 at 11:15 a.m.

@ohgodwhy: I think the the size of the mecha and their sluggish fighting style in comparison to the Samurai is another visual display of a theme, maybe Hand-craft vs Industry. While the Samurais are mostly pure swiftness and precision, the Mecha are, even if fast, sluggish and repetitive.

ohgodwhyon Oct. 24, 2012 at 11:38 a.m.

@Kuro_San: Yeah I know what you mean. It's like they traded it all in for just pure power and the ability to terrorise the farmers.

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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