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Old 2008-06-07, 10:40   Link #701
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Well what can I say...when it comes to setting up scenes where you become overwhelmed by emotions when the heros die, then this is one of those series that succeed especially coming out to the final episodes.

I don't know what clicked for me but something certainly did as I feel really emotional, like someone took a hammer to my heart after just watching the final episode. This isn't a hammer end, not for the samurais anyway...bitter-sweet would be the best way to describe this feeling. Ultimately they did win the war but lost so much along the way.

The storytelling was just captivating in my eyes. I am quite a fan of traveling, action themes so that is usually a plus to get me raving about series like this but in all honestly this series is what I call good. It followed quite a linear plot with the end clearly in sight yet the enjoyment (and tears) along the way to the end was just fantastic.

Whilst I feel that some characters were underdeveloped (such as Heihachi and Kyuzo) I guess they did serve their purpose of being warriors. It is strange that it isn't that bothersome for them to be underdeveloped but it would have been nice to have known more though at the same time it does bring about a sense of mysteriousness.

Though the one who ultimately went through the biggest change has to be Katsushiro. He was probably the weakest to start off with but by the end he was ruthless. Besides gaining that insane powerup through killing people I think the most important thing here is that he gained "the smell of battle". He has come a long way since the series started but even at the end I question how sane he really is. It was unusual to see a character still left with a crazed look in their eyes right up to the final episode but the epilogue seems to show that he has matured enough, Kambei giving him his sword was a huge sign of respect (though I am worried that Katsushiro has turned into some kind of war junkie). Well that's where imagination comes in.

I was kinda disappointed that the potential romances didn't go as far as I had hoped but perhaps that this is a good thing as it is primary an action series. Though it was interesting to see the underlying developments of Kirara's character.

Like Katsushiro, she was also quite naive and the ending was also somewhat bitter-sweet for her. Thoughout the series even I was having trouble figuring out who she was looking at as she never gave any hints. But to see it being revealed to be Kambei isn't surprising at all. Though she was shot down quite badly.

Kambei's character is a walking tragic from what I can see. I can certainly feel how much he would have liked to die in battle yet it doesn't happen. He must have the devils luck. But despite this, the glimpse into his heart when he rejected Kirara was interesting. I don't have much to say other than that his heart has died long ago...he didn't agree to the job to save the farmers but rather sought for his own demise. It's tough when you have have skill to survive.

Shichiroji being his friend from the old wars also know this much but he has choosen to live a happier life (good for him ^^).

As I say though, the story for this series played out pretty nicely. With the first battle gone I was thinking whether this series was moving too fast at first. but then as more events came I realised that the death of Gorobei wasn't enough. Even though he wasn't my favorite samurai he was mourned for. Being the first person to die came as a shock but I expected it as much. You can't have a war without some of the main characters dropping like flies.

Ukyo is a crazy, lying, thieving, murdering bastard. That is all.

Out of all the deaths though I'd say that Kyuzo was the most unfortunate. He died literally from friendly fire (and for that Katsushiro drops down few ranks from my list >.>). But yea, he is another lost soul. I felt great sorrow when he died in Kambei's arms. It was a horribly sad experience. The guy was all mysterious and had no reason to live other than for a good fight with Kambei, not to mention being super cool I jsut found that his death was uncalled for the way it happened.

But the one who made me grief the Most has to be Kikuchiyo. Man I just love his straight forward character. It was great to know that such a character even exists and not being annoying like the usual of his type. To see him end up being battered by the bastard prince then on pure will power, save the village whilst sacrificing himself was just amazing...and emotional. You have to feel like Komachi, even I had watery eyes. Some people who you don't expect to die, Kikuchiyo was somewhat like superman to the viewers. He never gives up and her never when he does fall it comes with great sadness. *Manly tears!*

In a way he was like Kamina to me.

Heihachi also deserves a mention for being another who died. His great heroic act was more than enough to redeem his betrayal in the past. Another great man not forgotten (and will forever be in the rice).

So overall, I really enjoyed this series. The story and strong characters was what carried it through to me and I had fun watching. It had highs and lows, lefts and a rights and overall gains a solid 9/10 in my books.
Heck, this is the type of stuff I won't mind rewatching once in a while

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Under the radar series Summer2009: Kanamemo, GA Geijutsuka Art, NEEDLESS

Last edited by Deathkillz; 2008-06-07 at 13:41. Reason: failure spelling
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Old 2008-06-07, 12:21   Link #702
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Rather than rewatch the anime, go watch the original black & white movie, Seven Samurai. Thematically and cinematically, it is far stronger than the anime adaptation. Samurai 7 pales in comparison, but I'll concede that it is faster paced and more action-packed than its predecessor.

Personally, I liked Samurai 7 up until it started to diverge away from the source material, after the village had been saved. I don't mind original stories, but Gonzo's attempt at introducing new themes fell flat and the second half of the series felt unnecessarily drawn-out as a result.

In Seven Samurai, Akira Kurosawa explored the unravelling class distinctions between samurai and peasantry at the end of the Sengoku era. In particular, he subverted the traditions of a chambara story by making the samurai less heroic than they usually are - in the movie, he portrayed them as practical men who would run away to save their own skins whenever necessary. But nonetheless, all seven "samurai" possessed a certain warrior nobility despite their fall from grace. Through Kikuchiyo in particular, Kurosawa demonstrated that the defining trait of a true samurai is his warrior spirit, the willingness to die fighting against hopeless odds.

Kurosawa also showed how the peasants can be as despicable as the bandits - they feared both the samurai and the bandits, and cared only about making use of Kanbei's men to rid themselves of the immediate threat to their survival. Once the bandits were out of the way, they had no qualms getting rid of the surviving samurai. Katsushiro's lover abandoned him to return to the fields, emphasising the unbridgeable difference between the two classes - the peasants exist to grow life while samurai exist to take life.

Not surprisingly then, in an age of peace, the samurai were doomed to extinction. This fact was very clear to Kanbei in the movie. They may have won the battle, but in truth, they had already lost the war.

Samurai 7 stayed faithful to these themes in this first half of the anime, although they had to tweak the story slightly due to the addition of Kirara. I suspect Gonzo realised that, having "updated" the plot elements, they needed to find another way to communicate deep social divisions to a younger audience unfamiliar with the feudal clash of classes. So they added the love triangle between Kanbei, Kirara and Katsushiro.

The difference between the classes remained the same, but communicated in a slightly different way, via the pollution of death. As you've correctly observed, anime-Kanbei was part of the "walking dead". He became an experienced warrior on the backs of countless lives he had taken. It was not something he was proud of. Hence, he was privately aghast that Kirara should be attracted to him because of his "smell of death", and saddened that anime-Katsushiro, in his naivete, wished to follow in his footsteps.

In the end, it became crystal clear that Kirara could not be with Kanbei. In her foolishness, she polluted her soul and was forced to abandon her status as a water priestess. By the same token, Katsushiro also paid a terrible price in his quest to become a samurai - his soul had become polluted with the "smell of death". Kirara knew she was partly responsible for this outcome and heavily regretted it.

Thus, the anime pays homage to the movie by once again showing that life and death cannot coexist. And in a time of peace, merchants of death such as the samurai had no place in society - their era is over. Both Kirara and Katsushiro chose to pursue "death" and they both paid dearly for their mistake - having chosen their respective paths, they are unlikely to find full happiness in their lifetimes.
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Old 2008-06-07, 13:48   Link #703
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I was looking into that movie actually, it could be interesting

Though I think I also saw a clear distinction between the earlier and later parts. But this much was expected if the story has to move onto defeating the head (just thankgod that you don't see the usual power ups that come with facing a stronger foe).

I don't mind original ideas too but it did seem to drag on during the middle parts. But overall it was satisfying to watch even with that minor downside. The meaning and feelings that were brought across is this series' strong point though I have to say. The fact that there are so much emotion behind everyone's deaths was really surprising to watch...when you become attached to a character and mourn for their deaths in angsh.

In that I'd say on that part that Gonzo did a pretty good job.

As for the peasants being evil aswell...maybe I'm a bit glad that they didn't show that side as I was already "this" close to punching the bucked tooth farmer

Siggy: hohohohoho~ | AnimeHistory welcome to our blog ~ | Summer2009 early review
Under the radar series Summer2009: Kanamemo, GA Geijutsuka Art, NEEDLESS
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Old 2008-07-09, 10:59   Link #704
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i just finish the series, i think it is pretty good, i will give it a 9/10, love the op, didnt care much about the ed. Pretty good dub.

my fav samurai is kyuzo, the "cool" and "wild" type , and he is said to be the strongest if not on par with kambei the leader. Too bad he die in the end . The other samurais are cool too
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Old 2008-08-28, 05:46   Link #705
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I just finished this anime. Been on my list for a while but was worth the wait.

One of the best samurai animes out there.

Kyuzo deserved better than the way he went out. As arguably the best samurai out of the seven. Definitely the most badass though, hands down.

Like Deathkillz said, there wasn't enough elaboration on the romance. (Sometimes I think that animes do this on purpose).

Kanbe shot down pretty hard. She kind of expected it though, right? He definitely is one "cold-hearted man" but he didn't have any interest in her in the first place.

I was saying "come back" to myself when Katsushiro left Kirara in that village.

Oh well, hopefully Katsushiro comes back eventually to the village when he has fulfilled himself with enough samurai duties.

(Thinks similar situation of the The Last Samurai. Now that I think of it, if they could've done a "two years later" and have Katsushiro come back with a rapidturtle looking in the fields at Kirara looking back, that would have been a nice romantic wrap up.)

Remember Katsushiro, "Never let go of her hand again," hopefully somewhere in the post anime dimension (I like to think there is) (Like the anime Baccano! stated, stories don't really have beginnings nor endings), he remembers that and comes running back he should've done in the first place.

Great anime; great characters; a post epilogue would've been real nice.

Believe in yourself. Not you, who believes in me. Not me, who believes in you. Believe in you, who believes in yourself!

Last edited by Kamina-san; 2008-08-29 at 01:32.
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Old 2008-09-22, 21:37   Link #706
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Well I finally was able to watch this anime. Had the fansub version for almost 2 or 3 years and never had the chance to see it. Must say is quite awesome. I want to buy the dvds now ^^. Well, I think Kanbei left because he knew she was pregnant. So when the little biy return, she just says that the touching hands made her pregnant =p. Congrats you are a father.
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Old 2009-07-05, 18:33   Link #707
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There is a bit of difference from the movie and the anime. I really liked the anime because the movie was more tragic like Shino and Katsushiro in the movie she dumps him quickly and Kirara what an unpredictable character, 2 episodes she loves Katsuhiro and 10 episodes she loves Kambei. There is also difference between Sanae and Rikichi where in the movie there relationship was more tragic, still in the anime it was the most twisted and you can say the only real "romance" you can see in this anime. Overall this anime reminded me of Basilisk with tragic characters and tragic romance.
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Old 2010-03-08, 19:01   Link #708
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Just finished this anime, it was very good. I watched the dubbed version, Though thought it was kind of odd to have at times two recaps, one with Komachi, and the standard recap, and sometimes it had two different openings. In the dub version after the credits there is a kind of epilogue by Komachi, that was kind of cute. I really like Kikuchiyo in this version, he was interesting in the original movie as well. Actually all 7 were cool in their own way.
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Old 2010-06-08, 18:34   Link #709
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I just finished watching this anime. I think it was great. This has been the first anime in ages that gave me the feeling "I want more episodes ffs". It's a shame there are only 26 episodes. I loved the story, samurai's always do good in my book. The fact some of them die during the anime makes it more interesting for me, it's not the typical Shounen stuff where everyone makes it. I just have to say that Kyuzu's death was really epic. He deserved better but it still was a good death for him, this was the only way to make Kanbei survive the anime aswell.

I have two favourite characters. Kyuzu for obvious reasons and Kikuchiyo since he was the funniest of them all. I liked all the seven samurai's to be honest. The only character that annoyed me was Rikichi.

I give this anime a 9/10 star rating. I'd recommend it to everyone who likes fighting-type animes.

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Old 2011-11-13, 22:30   Link #710
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Great piece! I recommends to everyone and anyone.

This anime just screams testosterone-moving action!!
People who love action and a good story should definively watch this!
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action, historical

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