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SAMURAI 7 #8 - - Watch & Learn

This episode guest-plotted by Jack Kirby?!

A clan of vampire bat-like ninjas in bright orange hazmat suits, hanging from the roof of a massive cave and issuing either malevolent punishment or benevolent generosity upon the subject dutifully collecting precious goo beneath them, huh? Well, if that doesn’t seem like the single most Kirby-esque scenario in an anime - - more so than Marvel Anime, in an odd way - - than you can go ahead and blip me out of existence with the Ultimate Nullifier. Seriously, SAMURAI 7 might not be that far at this point from being like NEW GODS in steampunk feudal Japan (Mifune’s outfit even looks like it could’ve been designed by Jack the King).

Although, on the flip side, some of these parties could’ve benefited from some more Kirby’s penchant for hyperbolic wordplay. It’s unintentionally amusing that they couldn’t have come up with a better name for these colossal (biomechanical?) mechs than just “Bandits.” We can’t have some creative, exotic-sounding handle for their clan? Calling them “Bandits” like it’s a proper noun would sound oddly-unspecific in feudal Japan, already, and it honestly makes the one peasants’ emotional breakdown a little snicker-inducing.

“Who stole your wife away from you?”

“The bandits!”

“Yes, but which bandits? What are they called?”

“They’re… they’re… the BANDITS!”

* AHEM * That aside, bringing up Kirby is still pretty relevant, because it helps articulate what I’ve been enjoying so much about this. That is, this is really one of the more straightforward adventure serials I’ve seen in anime in a while. Good guys journeying, marshaling more good guys to their team, evading the bad guys… it’s so straightforward, but it actually seems novel in this sphere.

Even seemingly straightforward shows like YU YU HAKUSHO and FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST: BROTHERHOOD don't quite fit this mold. YYH was more identifiable shonen - - a pro wrestling arc - - while FMA: B had tons of twists and complications thrown on this spine of plot. Obviously, too much of the basics will get boring pretty fast, but I'll get pretty jacked-up over its clarity when it seems rare (which it does, here, if you've been keeping track).

Watch this episode, "The Guardians” 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

Nightwolfon Sept. 21, 2012 at 12:06 p.m.

I feel like i'm the only one who reads theses things.

takashichea moderator on Sept. 28, 2012 at 5:30 p.m.

@Nightwolf:

It's tough to keep with Tom, and plus, a lot of people are watching on Toonami. I think episode shows this Saturday.

takashichea moderator on Oct. 10, 2012 at 2:18 a.m.

I hated Rikichi a bit since humans survive by doing anything. You can't blame them, and the Guardians are not bad folks. Living under bandits (parasitic) is much worse than living with the guardians (mutual).

After seeing the Nobuseri, I was wondering how the hell they're going to beat mini gundams with samurai and steel swords.

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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