Anime Review: “Samurai 7”: Filling Some Very Big Shoes

Written by Alex Bowman October 15, 2012

Ask any film buff you can find and they are more than likely to tell you that “Seven Samurai” is one of the most influential Japanese films of all time. It is both praised and adored by critics and usually holds a high ranking on need-to-watch lists. So, needless to say, when I heard that there was an anime that tried to adapt this highly influential movie into a 26 episode show I immediately prepared for a train wreck of epic proportions. However, after watching this anime in its entirety, I highly recommend checking it out “Samurai 7” for its style, design and its ability to tell an influential story based on an already influential story.

The Journey

If you have already seen “Seven Samurai” most of this plot synopsis will be completely useless to you so feel free to skip ahead in the review. For those who have not seen the movie, the story for “Samurai 7” follows much of the same plot as the movie with a few liberties taken here and there.  A farming village decides to stop being lapdogs to roving bandits and sends out some emissaries to find seven samurai who will protect their village from the bandits in exchange for rice. The samurai soon come together to help defend and train the villagers against their would-be attackers.

The Remembrance

This anime adaptation of its cinematic predecessor is handled with nigh flawlessness. The world of this anime does a really good job of ensnaring you with an environment that is able to blend both steam-punk and chanbara (samurai sword fighting) elements together nicely while still making it easily immersible. Every single samurai in the show has something you will like about him whether it’s Kanbei’s wisdom, Gorobei’s humour or Shichiroji’s loyalty. The villagers are very sympathetic characters and you feel very drawn towards their plight. Ukyo plays the perfect villain of the story; you will find yourself doubting the idea of this sissy being a worthy opponent against a group of ass kicking ronin; yet his flamboyant and self centered attitude turns out to be the perfect cover for a slimy, manipulative monster that will really make you wish for his immediate downfall.

The Mutiny

Now, don’t get me wrong, this anime is a constant joyride but it happens to have a few speed bumps along the way. When the animation wants to be great, it can be really great! The animators did an excellent job of blending both 2D and 3D graphics together to create some really unique sword fights and larger-than-life battle scenes. However, when the animation wants to be bad, it can make you want to pluck out your eyeballs and wash them with soap. In some episodes the animation quality takes a sharp nosedive and you are left questioning why the animators would allow this ocular atrocity. Despite having a great cast of characters, they can sometimes be annoying; Katsushiro’s character means well and you really want him to succeed in the end but his naivety and his lack of ability really makes it hard to root for his success. Also, Kikuchiyo’s blundering pratfalls may seem funny at first but it gets old really quick to the point where you will want to reach through the screen and smack him upside the chrome dome. Despite all of these nitpicks though, this anime has a lot going for it and these complaints can be pushed to the back burner if you find yourself invested in the show.

The Era’s End

Make sure to cinch up your chin strap because this anime will leave you with your jaw on the floor. Each episode showcases an incredible journey and with a wonderful cast of characters, breath taking animation and a story of freedom and perseverance, you will want to bow your head in respect for this wonderful adaptation.

My Rating: 8/10

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

About Alex Bowman

Browse Archived Articles by

No Comments

There are currently no comments on Anime Review: “Samurai 7”: Filling Some Very Big Shoes. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

Leave a Comment