October 27, 2009

Samurai 7 #15: The Gun and the Calm

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

(1954 film)


Having totally wiped out the first wave of attackers, destroyed the bandits' massive pair of floating headquarters, and killed several of their main generals, the last thing our heroes want to do is let the villagers get complacent. This was far from a final victory as they know the bitter bandits will quickly regroup to seek revenge.

After the non-stop action last episode, this is yet another necessary little breath-catcher in the wake of the looming war. The samurai force themselves to down a bitter farming dish as they give over their rice to the villagers. The children race around with the boisterous Kikuchiyo. Kirara prays to the spirits of her parents. And Kyuzo goes scouting to get a sense of the enemy's current strength, and see if he can do anything about one of their rare guns.

The thread about Katsushiro accepting the death he's brought takes some nice new steps as he gains some important lessons about perception from Heihachi who, despite being a bit older and having taken part in the great war, had never killed anybody before this day's events, either. Though I'm sure some see this little character arc as dragged out, I find it quite necessary. The lessons Katsushiro is absorbing are important for the path he's chosen, and we get the sense that all the older samurai were once in his shoes.

It's another great episode. And as people get what sleep they can and huddle away from the approaching rain clouds, the tension of the gathering storm looms over all.

(series trailer)


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

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