October 28, 2009

Samurai 7 #18: The Emperor

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)


Though they've already worked through the central plot of the film, there's one element they hadn't touched, and it's interesting that it would be the one to carry us into an original continuation of the story. Kanbe, having vowed to track down Rikichi's stolen wife, Sanae, set out by himself to find her and the hidden Capital that was the driving force behind the bandit raids. Taking the fall for a crime he didn't commit so as to gain entrance, Kanbe not only finds a content Sanae living in the lap of luxury, but finally comes face to face with the long-absent Emperor.

Meanwhile, back at the village, young Katsushiro and boisterous Kikuchiyo feel as though they've been excluded from Kanbe's plans and set out on their own to find the Capital and recover the kidnapped women. It's great to see the dynamics of the fellowship continue beyond their breakup, but I have a little problem with who they bring along. Kirara I can understand because she still feels in debt to the heroes and her powers of foresight may come in handy, but Komachi? I'm sorry, but the last person I'd bring along on an assault of the Emperor's hidden fortress is a rambunctious little kid.

Elsewhere, because you just can't have enough good plot threads, the psychopathic Ukyo continues taking advantage of his magistrate father's absence by holding our heroes' protection of Kanna Village up as an example of what society would be like under his rule. He rallies together dozens of samurai and orders them off to other farming villages to take out any bandit hordes that remain. Unfortunately, these are the jailed samurai who took advantage of our farmers early in the series, so I doubt they'll treat the villages with the same respect as our heroes.

Another great, great episode that gets the ball rolling on some fine original threads which cleverly pick up where the adapted material left off.

(series trailer)


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

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