Movies Books Music Food Tv Shows Technology Politics Video Games Parenting Fashion Green Living more >

Lunch » Tags » Movies » Reviews » Akira Kurosawa's Samurai 7 - Vol. 7: Guardians of the Rice » User review


  • Nov 25, 2006
Pros: Exciting - good series

Cons: It's all over - and there are more gravestones than I would have liked

The Bottom Line: Well it's been a full year (in the series) and we've come full circle - so how did it all end? Read on.

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

Just fyi – you’ve reached the end of a series. So if you have no idea where you are or having seen any of the previous volumes, I suggest you turn around and start with volume one. If not, you risk spoiling, well, everything.

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 a war on the capital itself.

Episode 24: Promise! Katsushiro has returned to Kanna village and realized the capital plans on destroying it. He takes charge, and for the first time in his life, looks like a true samurai. Now if only he can hold out long enough for the others to arrive.

Episode 25: Fall! The attack on the capital begins – Ukyo and his minions vs. Kambei and the others attacking the back, Katsushiro and the villagers at the front. Who will die? Who will win?

Episode 26: Plant! The final outcome of the fight between samurai, villagers, and the capital. Who will kill the insane Ukyo? Will the capital stop its onward rush before destroying Kanna village? And when the time comes to plant again, who will be left to see it?

What’s Up?
Eek! No, no, no! I’m very sad. My favorite samurai are dying – the ones I thought would make it aren’t and the ones I thought would croak are staying alive. Why? *fusses* Poo. (yeah, I’m mature, aren’t I?) So my final score turned out to be 3-4. Dang. Two of those threw me pretty good. One more than the others. Sad. Another huge shock was how one of them died - that made me unhappy, but in the big scheme of things, I suppose it was probably the best way to remove him from the picture, considering who it was and what his goals were. I know, I’m not making much sense, but I can’t go about telling you who died and who lived, as that would truly ruin some things for you.

I never quite got who Kirara truly wanted. Kambei and not Katsushiro? Doesn’t matter because nothing will ever come of it. I feel a little sorry for Ukyo – the guy really was insane, despite the amount of intelligence he had. Creepy. A good fight – or war, whichever you want to call it, with a lot of surprises. I’m not sure if I like Katsushiro as much as I did in the start when he was just an innocent never-killed-anyone-before samurai. He got better, don’t get me wrong, but instead of being like the other samurai, he still has this berserker mode where he yells and screams as he attacks and frankly it’s kind of annoying. I think the poor kid has issues, but like the others said from the start – he should have known what he was getting into. Ah well.

As for the final ending, the aftermath of the fight leading into winter and then spring (hence the title “Plant!”), when the music came along and the credits rolled, I didn’t exactly know how to feel. It was so mellow, no one staying with Kirara, instead drifting off to…well, wherever, I started to feel a little let down. I can’t tell you exactly what I expected (aside from certain samurai still being alive and maybe Katsushiro giving up his sword to stay with Kirara – or just staying with her and acting as the village protector or something), so I sat there for a while, pondering over the way it wrapped up. I finally decided that without the events I expected happening, there wasn’t any other way to end the series. It was semi-anticlimactic, but acceptable. You’ll have to decide on your own if you like it or not.

The animation, aside from past hiccups, never missed a beat. The combination of computer graphics and hand-drawn skill went hand in hand with one another. Always with bright, clear colors, plenty of detail, and in general, the kind of animation everyone wants to see. That’s a huge reason many of us anime fans watch it – American animation skills are just not up to par. Why do you think Disney backs up Hayao Miyazaki’s films?

Voices Overall, I could watch either one. Each version, Japanese and English, has a voice actor that I personally do not like for the character. Though for the most part I was able to handle Katsushiro’s Japanese voice, there were numerous times when it started to drive me bonkers. The same goes for Ukyo’s English voice actor. But throughout the series, the quality was great, so good job to the casting directors.

Music Kaoru Wada’s music (also for Inuyasha) was great in this series. Though it did have some clear similarities to Inuyasha, for the most part it fit so nicely with this series that one easily forgets them. Just like any skilled composer, though the style is the same, the variations are what make the pieces more attributed to the show/movie they are being written for. Good stuff.

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. Though I was wondering if they would switch the end song at the final episode of the series, they did not, and both these songs are constant from episode 1 to episode 26.

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. But be ready for some unexpected deaths…

Final Thoughts A very pleasing series. Not too fast, not too slow, good plot, characters you easily become fond of, music that is just right for the series, and animation to make any fan smile. As for replay value, it may not be ultra high (as in, “Holy cow I’m sooo going to watch this tomorrow”), but I could easily see myself flipping this on again in the future, though I would dread having to see Katsushiro’s transformation again, as well as knowing some of my favorite samurai won’t see the spring.


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. 6: Broken Alliance


Viewing Format: DVD

What did you think of this review?

Fun to Read
Post a Comment
About the reviewer
Nicole ()
Ranked #165
Age: 27 Currently: Freelancing my butt off and querying my other novel, Blood for Wolves. Who likes seriously factured fairy tales? =D      Like books? Then take it from a real, live … more
Consider the Source

Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.

Your ratings:
rate more to improve this
About this movie


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 place in a futuristic feudal society ravaged by years of brutal warfare, where the lawless bandits terrorizing the rural countryside are a terrifying mutant amalgam of man and machine. One particularly poverty-stricken village decides to battle the mechanical menace by hiring a band of nomadic samurai for protection, resulting in a ragtag assemblage of masterful swordsmen with their fair share of personality quirks. Atmospheric and stylish, SAMURAI 7 does Kurosawa justice with topnotch storytelling and gorgeous animation rendered in a muted palette that evokes the source material's black-and-white cinematography yet remains completely vibrant and visionary. This collection includes the final three episodes in this innovative series, including "The Oaths," "The Last ...
view wiki


Release Date: 2005
MPAA Rating: Unrated
DVD Release Date: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd. (July 25, 2006)
Runtime: 1hr 15min

First to Review

© 2015 Lunch.com, LLC All Rights Reserved
Lunch.com - Relevant reviews by real people.
This is you!
Ranked #
Last login
Member since