November 17, 2009

Samurai 7 #24: The Oaths

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)


On the flying citadel, Emperor Ukyo inspects his newly lobotomized mechanical bandits. They're wired to obey his every command, which he tests by having them goof off in battle.

In the village of Kanna, Katsushiro and the militarized farmers have built an impressive fortification of arms recovered from their previous battle with the bandits, and wonder if it will be enough.

In the desert wastes, the other five heroic samurai pass through villages where the people praise their benevolent new dictator, until coming across the remains of betrayed bandits that Ukyo himself blew out of the sky. Digging out one of those multi-storey, jet-propelled swords, they hotwire it as a speedy vehicle.

On a carriage circling around the pending battle, Rikichi, Sanae, and Kirara wait for the final outcome, while little Komachi tearfully wonders if the boisterous Kikuchiyo will fulfill his oath to to be her husband when she grows up.

And then the battle begins.

I've openly wondered in the past how it is that the samurai are able to enact the superhuman feats they do, soaring through the air and slicing down huge cyborgs or even entire starships. Though not explained, there's a scene here that suggests it's because the blades of their katanas act as a tuning fork of sorts, gathering and amplifying their energy once they've been properly trained. I really would like an explanation just to clear up the specifics, but they've been pretty consistent till now, and I love the moment where Katsushiro deflects a massive laser beam as a demonstration that he's finally become one with his blade.

We only get a hint of the battle to come, though, and I can't wait to see where things go from here. Ukyo knows he'll win. The samurai know they'll die. What could possibly go wrong?

(series trailer)


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