October 27, 2009

Samurai 7 #17: Remembrance

2004 episode
directed by Toshifumi Takizawa and Hiroyuki Okuno
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 village suffered much damage and some striking losses, but, through the actions of the samurai as well as the bravery of the farmers themselves, the bandits were vanquished. But not without the samurais' number now dropping to six as Gorobei, the street performer who could deflect arrows, tried the same with a bullet and failed. As the rains clear from the heavens and the villagers pick up the pieces, we find ourselves treated to a clipshow.

Now, normally, I loathe clipshows and find the dedicating of an entire episode to recapping past events to be a terrible waste of time and resources; here, however, it largely works. With Kanbe mysteriously disappearing, the other samurai decide to help the villagers with repairs, and the old footage brings to life everybody's reflection of past events and uncertainty of where to go from here. The boisterous, mechanical Kikuchiyo is especially jaded by Gorobei's death and sincerely asks one person after another "What is a samurai?"

And it seems we've finally gotten to the end of Katsushiro's main arc of learning to deal with his chosen profession as bringer of death. He now knows what it means and the consequences of his actions, but there seems to be a determination there we haven't seen in a while, and it'll be interesting to see how things go as he and Kikuchiyo, the first two samurai we met, though the last pair to be recognized by the larger group as such, team up for a future course of action.

And we also get a little peek back to the city we haven't seen in a while. It seems that Aymaro, the magistrate, is being brought up on charges for the death of an imperial envoy under his guard. His potential replacement? The psychopathic young Ukyo, who still has his sights set on Kirara. This will not end well.

I agree that it's a controversial decision for the series to have already covered the entire plot of the film with nine episodes left to go, but the creative team has pulled everything off with exceptional skill so far and I'm very intrigued to see where they go now that all we have left are elements of their own creation.

(series trailer)


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

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