I honestly don’t know about the economics that go into producing all this wonderful animated entertainment but, as it happens, the Wiki for SAMURAI 7 makes a point of stating that each episode of this series cost about $300,000 to make. With no point of reference, I’ll just go ahead and assume that’s a fairly high budget for an anime - - and then I’ll say that coin definitely shows here. Now that the money’s on my mind, I can’t not notice the higher level of detail in every frame, and the lack of rendering shortcuts that other productions would’ve taken.
Some of you lunatics probably know all about this matter of budgeting. Care to give a more cumulative breakdown to put this all in perspective for me?
Enough talk about boring financials, now. Let’s discuss the story. If the series adhered very closely to the beats of SEVEN SAMURAI in its first episode, it’s definitely gone down its own path with Episode #2. Even though it’s been a few years since I’ve seen that flick, I can state with confidence that there was no sub-plot about a spoiled aristocrat trying to trick one of the peasant girls into his harem (and you see that, kids? That’s what a harem actually looks like).
I also don’t remember one of the peasants ever jumping off a building in order to trap the veteran samurai into listening to his altruistic side. Actually, as I recall, the good guys just signed up for action right away in the original - - so kudos to the crew for addng some more complication and moral dilemma into this otherwise straightforward plot.
Watch this episode, "The Pupil” below and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.