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Akira Kurosawa's Samurai 7 - Vol. 6: Broken Alliance

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: 2005
MPAA Rating: Unrated
1 review about Akira Kurosawa's Samurai 7 - Vol. 6: Broken...

Heihachi Hayashida

  • Nov 25, 2006
Rating:
+5
Pros: Same as usual - everything

Cons: A little slower this time around - worried about the ending in the next volume

The Bottom Line: We're nearing the end - how sad.

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

A quick note before you begin reading – this is volume 6 of a 7 volume series. You’re going to ruin your appetite if you start here. Even by just reading this review, so don’t say I didn’t warn you. In fact, you’ll just feel confused. Besides, there won’t even be seven samurai running around. That’s right – go back six spaces and roll again.

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. Gorgeous.

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 hires samurai for protection. What began as a simple quest turned into a long journey, a war against the Bandits, and now one final battle to fight that may be the end of a few beloved samurai...

Episode 21: Fools! Whatever plans Katsushiro and Kikuchiyo might have had go out the window as Ukyo makes a surprise move concerning Kambei’s execution, the captive women, and then reveals more of his new plans to rule everything.

Episode 22: Slap! Kambei isn’t exactly happy of Katsushiro and Kikuchiyo’s decision to try and rescue him, and he lets them know it. This leads to Katsushiro leaving the group and going out on his own.

Episode 23: Liar! Poor Rikichi is still trying to reconnect with his wife, Sanae. Kambei and some of the other samurai contemplate their past and future, Ukyo plays games on the capital while the Bandits are out getting themselves destroyed by rebelling peasants (much to Ukyo’s delight). Now Kambei, Heihachi, Shichiroji, Kyuzo, and Kikuchiyo plan to take on the capital – and get help from an unlikely place.

What’s Up?
Though I do appreciate the development Katsushiro’s gone through, he’s still pretty stupid. He makes some rash decisions, and doesn’t understand Kambei at all. Young pup. I know maybe three minutes more of Kambei’s history than Katsushiro, but it’s not much and even I still get the man better than him. And his girl voice is annoying me. Get him a man’s voice and then maybe he would seem less whiney. No offense to Romi Paku, but I just don’t like a male having such an obvious female voice. Katsushiro isn’t that young.

Oh well, at least he does a little hookin’ up with Kirara.

These three episodes are fairly slow, leaving only three more for this to get all wrapped up. Not much time. And I wonder, even if they do bring down the capital, what happens after that? I mean, that’s a big mess to clean up. People all over rely on the capital, as twisted as it is…guess everyone will just have to learn to trade with each other and such…

Animation
We’re still good, nice and clear, clean, colorful. None of that weird degraded stuff that happened randomly throughout the series (ok, one full episode and then maybe twice more in certain spots). Animation that makes you content. The Bandits are still computer generated, as is the capital, but it all works out very well. Gives it more of a tough, frightening look than if it were hand drawn. Not that hand drawn stuff is weak, oh no; this just brings in a nice touch and meshes well with everything else so much so that you notice it once and then don’t think about it the rest of the series (unless you’re me of course, and you’re actively paying attention to it).

Voices Either version works for me. I have random twitches with one version versus another, but overall they’re both very pleasing. Though as I mentioned above, Katsushiro’s English voice is starting to grate on my nerves. I mean, it's not bad, it’s rather well done, it’s just that it’s a woman and I know it and I wish it wasn’t is all. 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). Otherwise, everything will be up to you to decide.

Music Kaoru Wada, master of the music for Inuyasha, is responsible for this series as well. Though similar in sound and instrument use, it fits the series very well, with appropriate pieces in specific spots, and doesn’t even remind me of Inuyasha unless I’m actively thinking about it.

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.

Any Warnings? Fighting, violence, and 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 It’s been good times all the way, though I admit I am worried about just how the last three episodes are going to wrap everything up. I hope three episodes is enough time for everything to play out – I’d hate to have such a great series like this messed up by a ending that feels rushed or unfinished.

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. 4: The Battle for Kanna
Samurai 7 – Vol. 5: Empire in Flux
Samurai 7 – Vol. 7: Guardians of the Rice

Recommended:
Yes

Viewing Format: DVD

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"Heihachi Hayashida"
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