Now I generally don’t go for the whole anime “thing,” but I couldn’t resist this one.
Based off the Kirosawa film “the seven samurai” the show is called “Samurai 7”… pretty straightforward. However, it takes the principle of the story and puts it in a crazy universe of giant mechanical bandits, flying warships, and traditional ideas of honor and duty.
The samurai themselves seem to possess superhuman strength and agility. They can jump hundreds of feet into the air and slice through giant airships. The universe itself is populated with many odd creatures and has a strange and intricate history.
Among some of the other characters are a family of water priestesses, who have a magic crystal that they use for divining. The crystal can be used most basically for finding water, but the water also helps them do other things. The crystal can tell the priestess if someone is a good or bad person, or if she is in love. In the later episodes, the crystal seems to take on its own role and plays a bigger part in the story. The only drawback to the priestess family is the younger sister Komachi. Her English voice is the most irritating voice I’ve ever heard, and the character itself is just a plain annoying little girl who never shuts up. I’ve managed to get past this though, except that she has her own summary section at the end of every episode where she sums up whatever happened through her own childish idiotic point of view.
If you can get past this issue though, the show is straight pimpin, HELLA nasty. The samurai own up on all manner of things, and all prove their mettle.
Another thing I find interesting about the show, was what we were discussing in relation to Carnivale about the heroes journey. Each samurai has their own version of a journey that they go through. Katsushiro has arguably the most interesting arc, because he starts out as the naïve young samurai and matures when he comes in contact with battle. But Kambei Shimada has a great heroes journey as well, since even though he’s an all around badass, he is at first reluctant to join the crew. Kikuchiyo on the other hand, is overeager to joint the group, and Kambei allows him to follow them, but doesn’t accept him as part of the crew until he discovers Kikuchiyo’s hidden motives. Even the farmer Rikichi has somewhat of a hero’s journey as he proves himself more and more useful.
It’s a great show, and even if you don’t like anime, it’s just a good story. It’s also only about 25 episodes long, so it’s a very self-contained series, something that I find distinctly Japanese. Whereas in