October 21, 2009

Samurai 7 #14: Run Wild

2004 episode
directed by Toshifumi Takizawa and Futoshi Higashide
written by Atsuhiro Tomioka
based on the film SEVEN SAMURAI by Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto, Hideo Oguni

(1954 film)


As our last episode came to a close, the villagers kneeled before the enraged bandit horde, pleading for forgiveness. Three of our heroes were missing, three were tied up, and Kikuchiyo's mechanical noggin was resting in a basket.

It was one hell of a cliffhanger, and a nice twist following our heroes' first strike, but, predictably, it was all a clever ruse as the samurai now infiltrate the enemies' massive, mobile fortress, pulling themselves together, making introductions to their foes, and striking one hell of a strategic blow. It's all great stuff, executed with the skill I've come to expect from this show.

A particular bit I'd like to note is Katsushiro, the young samurai-in-training. A few episodes ago, he was torn up after having to make his first kill. Here, he's still grasping with the course he's chosen as he has to dive into his first real "kill or be killed" battle. I love how they've played this element of his role up much more than the film, allowing the new character to grow beyond his namesake.

I must say, though, that I'm surprised we've yet to have a death among our heroes. That's not really a criticism as there's nothing wrong with keeping them alive, nor do I want to see any go so quick, but this was around the point in the film where Kurosawa stripped the seven of one number, just so we don't feel too certain of their likely victory. I'm sure something will happen in the next few episodes.

Anyway, great, great work all around. No complaints. And a nice big "LOL" at Kikuchiyo for running through the big battle, eagerly calling for his lost katana so he could join the fray.

(series trailer)


(official website)
(anime news network)
(internet movie database)

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