Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Samurai 7 Impression

Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai. A classic, multiple award winner and now re-imagined as an anime. When I first read that Studio Gonzo was releasing an anime based on Akira’s film I was skeptical. Why a new samurai anime? We already have a very good (and long) samurai series in Kenshin, a funky one in Samurai Champloo, and one of the ultimate (ok ninja) anime in Ninja Scroll so what can be done to make Seven Samurai attractive to sword-clashing Otaku? Tweak the story, re-design the characters and do what any good anime does, add mecha. This is not your fathers Seven Samurai. Welcome to Samurai 7.

The scale of the story, the size of the world and the scope of what the samurai are looking to protect (a rice producing village) is all set in the opening battle sequence. What is a small village being harassed and harvested by bandits to an empire falling and a corrupt government ruling with an unjust hand? Not much, that’s what’s so engaging about this anime. Seven men with nothing but rice as a reward set out to protect a village they’ve never seen, with their lives on the line, and why? For the honor, the thrill, because it’s right or just to have something to do. How they get there, why they go there does not matter, it’s all about the story. This is where the show really shines because it manages to take a classic and really do it justice.<o:p></o:p>

I have watched anime where a peasant rises to become king, where a boy finds himself in a mecha only to become the greatest pilot ever. This story is not that, and this is the exact reason it’s so refreshing, sometimes the best stories have already been told, you just need to open them up again. Kambei, Katsushiro, Kikuchiyo, Shichiroji, Heihachi, Gorobei and Kyuzo are the seven men you will watch episode by episode, as they journey and fight. Check out the official website for more character details and some background on the story, but know this, you must treat yourself to this series. No collection would be complete without these seven samurai. Watch the story unfold, enjoy the wonderful music (opening theme is sweet) and relive a classic remade. Bravo and props to Studio Gonzo for doing great honor to Akira Kurosawa classic with Samurai 7.

Pick up volume 1 and 2, or even check out the original Seven Samurai at AOL's InStore.

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