I’m starting to think to Heihachi’s a “party dude” in the way that the term can sometimes be used euphemistically in family-friendly toons. No, he doesn’t necessarily have to be as mellow as he is because he’s constantly getting baked; but it is still pretty amusing to infer that he’s periodically toking in some dark and quiet corners of the village while the samurai and the peasants aren’t looking.
I mean, seriously - - who gets excited about eating rice? It’s maybe the blandest thing you could consume next to a cup of water. If Heihachi’s got a case of the munchies, though? Then yeah, that explains things. Hell, you can even ascribe his periodically-drastic mood swings to this (notice how he’s gone from being happy-go-lucky to this hardass who’s real eager to deal out lethal punishments on the peasants?)
Looking at this episode with that specific lens adds some real black humor under his whole heart-to-heart with “Timberlake” (or whatever the rookie’s name is). Obviously, the pretty boy’s freaking out after his first kill (or twelve) because he’s dwelling too much on the subject. Heihachi’s calm, on the other hand, could easily stem from him just not thinking about it. If that’s through… chemical means, than I suppose that’s both a funnier and fairly realistic explanation.
Obviously, there wasn’t any of this in the original flick. I do remember the scene where they stage all those extra swords in the field on the anticipation that they’re going to be killing so many bandits that they’ll wind up breaking their tools through exertion. I always appreciated that scene for its unusually methodical angle on all this thrilling adventure.
Seeing another scene recreated from SEVEN SAMURAI actually amps up some more suspense about this show for me - - though that suspense centers more on the plotting than the plot. If I had to call it at this point, I really couldn’t guess as to whether the show’s going to tie up the plot with the Nobuseri soon and then have some “bonus round” against the merchants, or if we’re really going to stretch the last third of the movie over the three hours that’re left in this series.
Watch this episode, "The Gun and the Calm” here and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.