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Lunch » Tags » Movies » Reviews » Akira Kurosawa's Samurai 7 - Vol. 4: The Battle for Kanna

Akira Kurosawa's Samurai 7 - Vol. 4: The Battle for Kanna

1 rating: 5.0
A movie directed by Toshifumi Takizawa

Based on Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa's legendary martial-arts epic SEVEN SAMURAI, the action-packed anime series Samurai 7 offers an anachronistic spin on the film's famous parable of vigilante justice. This time around, the story takes … see full wiki

Tags: Movies, Anime
Director: Toshifumi Takizawa
Release Date: 2004
MPAA Rating: Unrated
1 review about Akira Kurosawa's Samurai 7 - Vol. 4: The...

Kyuzo

  • Nov 25, 2006
Rating:
+5
Pros: Oh, everything.

Cons: Zip.

The Bottom Line: What? Are you waiting for me to say it's bad?

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.

A quick note before you begin reading – this is volume 4 of a 7 volume series. There’s a very good possibility you’re going to spoil things by reading this (especially in just who the seven samurai turn out to be. Unless you’ve seen the opening credits already, then you know, but in case you haven’t seen any of these, then yeah – spoiled). I recommend you go start at the beginning to get the full flavor of the series.

The series is based it off of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 movie Shichinin no samurai, or Seven Samurai (where do you think we got The Magnificent Seven from?). But even though it’s based off of an older movie, it’s all redone in a futuristic setting where samurai have amazing skills, machines roam aboard, and anything goes. Fabulous.

The Story High Water Priestess Kirara, her sister Komachi, and friend Rikichi have traveled to the city in order to seek out samurai. As peasants who grow rice, nasty bandits who used to be samurai, but are now more machine, constantly steal the rice and sometimes even the women. So Kirara’s village is willing to hire other samurai for protection. What began as a simple quest has gained them seven samurai and a whole list of new problems. But now they’ve reached the village and the real battle has just begun.

Episode 13: Hit! The Bandits are coming, and so it’s time to start the war. Heihachi’s mechanical skills have given them the upper hand, alongside Kyuzo’s teaching of archery to the villagers. Round one will soon over, and round two is in the works.

Episode 14: Go Wild! Kambei has come up with an interesting plan to infiltrate the huge ship the Bandits cruise around in. Who doesn’t enjoy a bit of havoc? Well, aside from the Bandits that is, considering the havoc will be wrecked upon them.

Episode 15: Soaked! While the Bandits regroup, it’s time to recuperate; eat, rest, and relax. Later on though, as if being in a battle wasn’t enough – it’s now raining. Here we go again…

Episode 16: Death! Time for round three. Not enough havoc was wrecked in the episode before the last, so now it’s time for a little retaliation. Never mind that it’s raining. But as the episode title says, there is death – and it may not be all on the bad guys’ side.

What’s Up?
I love Kyuzo! He skips on off and brings back a huge surprise. And Katsushiro is more of a berserker than a samurai. His rage tends to be the fuel for his sword, as opposed to his skill. I often wonder who his teacher was. I mean, the kid goes nuts. No wonder Kirara was a little freaked out for him. His voice is starting to grate on me again. And it looks as though Shichiroji has a little secret of his own I’d failed to notice before. Was it colored before? I don’t know. I don’t much mind.

At the beginning of the series I knew that someone, somewhere along the lines would probably die. I mean, it wouldn’t be anything that would surprise me. I’d decided that out of the seven, three - maybe four – could perish and I wouldn’t be too bummed because they’re the type you’d expect it out of. I like all the characters, don’t get me wrong, but they just have this demeanor that if they died, even they wouldn’t be too sad about it, and because of that, it’s easier to accept on my part. I’d just like to end by saying I’m 1-0.

Animation Still fabulous. All the colors and the details. Like what’s with that little thingy tied at the end of Heihachi’s sword? Haha, it’s cute. Watching Kyuzo fight is poetry in motion.

I can’t believe I forgot to mention this sooner, but the Bandits and a lot of their machinery is done in computer animation. Though it looks just slightly weird, it turns out to work very well. Somewhat surprising. Kirara’s water crystal also is computer animated, and though it was a little strange at first, I soon got used to it and thought nothing of it. Huzzah, huzzah.

Voices Either version works for me. I have random twitches with one version versus another, but overall they’re both very pleasing. There are some notable voices on each side, for those of you who pay attention to the voice actors (such as Christopher Sabat and Sonny Strait for the English version, and Romi Paku in the Japanese version). However, recently I do have to say that Katsushiro is starting to get on my nerves again. The Japanese version, not the English one. The Japanese Katsushiro is voiced by Romi Paku, who is female for those of you not familiar with her name. She does a pretty good job, but all his berserker screaming is a little much. His voice goes up a few more octaves than I would like. Ah well.

Music For those of you familiar with Inuyasha, the name Kaoru Wada should ring a bell. It seems by now that Kaoru Wada’s style deals a lot with drums and flutes with the occasional brass for effect. I remember thinking, “This sounds familiar…” when it first started out. Then I finally noticed the name and it all made sense. But it’s not totally Inuyasha and it works out very well with the series so I don’t even notice. In fact, I’ve taken quite a liking to the little piece that is played at the end of every episode when they showcase the “Next Time…” clips. It’s like any soundtrack music I guess; similar style, but changed up to match the action on the screen.

The opening song is “Unlimited” by Nanase Aikawa, fast and sung by a female. It’s a very good opening song and sets the right tone for the series. The ending song is “Fuhen” by Rin. It’s slower, still sung by a female, and let me just say this – the first time I heard this song I wanted it. The instrumentation is great, using a lot of instruments I don’t know the names of, though I’m sure they’ve all originated in Japan, certain flutes and strings and such. It makes for a good wind-down song after anything that’s happened in the show. We’re past the halfway mark, so these songs will no doubt last the remainder of the series. The last episode may have something different, but that has yet to be seen.

Any Warnings? Fighting, violence, and the occasional killing. This means blood, explosions, and death. It’s a samurai show and if you don’t expect such things from people wielding swords and huge machines with guns, uh, I guess you don’t know samurai or mechas very well – if at all. There is some swearing, but not much. That’s essentially it.

Final Thoughts I am thoroughly pleased with everything I have seen, and remain excited to see just where it will all go… And I do so love Kyuzo. Haha.

NT

Samurai 7 Volumes
Samurai 7 – Vol. 1: Search for the Seven
Samurai 7 – Vol. 2: Escape from the Merchants
Samurai 7 – Vol. 3: From Farm to Fortress
Samurai 7 – Vol. 5: Empire in Flux
Samurai 7 – Vol. 6: Broken Alliance
Samurai 7 – Vol. 7: Guardians of the Rice

Recommended:
Yes

Viewing Format: DVD

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