24 June 2006 | pip-7
Time changes. But its thematic essence isn't.
Based on the old samurai film made by Japan's legendary filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, Samurai 7 is probably the first remake ever to be fully approved by the Kurosawa Estate after years of being 'unofficially' spawned into several versions by other international filmmakers.
This animated TV series tells the story of a maiden and her friends who seeks for the seven warriors who are willing to protect the rice fields in a faraway village from the bandits (basically, the premise is almost the same as the original, albeit with different arrangements and settings). Despite the fact that the show's anachronistic nature (humans and robots roam in this industrialized-world of feudal Japan) seems to be ripped off from a Final Fantasy game, it still retains the crucial themes and its dramatic storytelling that make the original Seven Samurai a legend among film buffs. It's an entirely new realm, everyone may admit, but hey, it's still worth the price of its complete DVD collection.
Let's start off with the animation flow: generally, it's really good but no, it's no Miyazaki (and it's not even up to the par with the giants like Cowboy Bebop and Evangelion) but its butt-kicking action scenes are undoubtedly impressive anyway. The only thing that ticks me off is the 3D robot designs and stuff: they seem to be way too obvious and easily distract viewers from enjoying the story in its entirety. If only they were designed as they were on any Gundam shows (and hey, some of the giant mecha samurai DO resemble of Gundams, only stiffer) Characters develop nicely throughout the show, with some valuable info slowly coming out into the light, revealing the main reasons behind the feudalistic atmosphere and yes, there are some hidden pasts behind each of the characters that will augment only the story's thematic plot.
There are so many reasons why Samurai 7 is both loved and hated by not only fans of Mr. Kurosawa but also anime buffs as well. But I'll leave this up to you. For me, it's one of the best stuff everyone can expect in terms of its visual feast and enticing storyline.