Samurai 7 (TV Series 2004) Poster

(2004)

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Very well done variation on the original Kurosawa film
Chung Mo4 February 2006
First of all, this high quality anime series comes from the Kurosawa company so it has the blessings of the Kurosawa family for whatever that's worth.

At first I was skeptical about the transference of the story to some sort of fantasy future. The city setting is impressive while similar to futuristic cities seen in other anime. The film "Metropolis" is one. In fact the whole production is of the highest quality in terms of art direction. This is one good looking anime series. The music and soundtrack are really good also. But it would be meaningless if the story and the characters didn't have something to offer the viewer. And something they do. While not in league with the strong characters of a "Cowboy Bebop" or other top animes, Samurai 7 has a well thought out and developed crew. The story is paced for a full series so your memories of the film have to be tempered. There is a new sub-plot and a number of invented incidents. The whole production has the integrity of the Zatoichi film series and other classic samurai dramas.

The creators of this series do experiment at some points with mixed results. One early episode seems to have been done entirely by an artist from the "Fooly Coolly" series. The expressionistic loose art style works and doesn't work at the same time. There are some other anime concessions (beautiful girls, mega destruction) but overall it doesn't hurt the series.

Some notes on the US DVD release: The video quality is excellent but the sound and translation are a mixed bag. The dubbed track is different compared to the subtitle track. A lot of dialog is dumbed down or changes the original intent of the Japanese writers. I recommend avoiding the English track for this reason although the voice actors are very well cast and do an excellent job. The sound mix is sloppy at times. With episodes 5 - 8, the Japanese track has the sound effects turned way down, giant crashes sound like small drops, but the English track has the music and sound effects overpowering the vocal track.
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10/10
Fun and Enjoyable Adaptation of Seven Samurai!
gabrielbeugelmans15 May 2006
First of all, this is definitely a high quality anime series that does have the blessings of the Kurosawa family.

At first I was unsure about the story being changed into some sort of fantasy future. The city setting and the "robots" are pretty impressive though.In fact the whole production is of the highest quality. This is one good looking anime series. The music and soundtrack are really good also. But it would be meaningless if the story and the characters didn't have something to offer the viewer. And they do. While not in league with the strong characters of other top animes, Samurai 7 has a well thought out and developed cast. The story is paced for a full series so your memories of the film have to be kind of tempered. There is a new sub-plot and a number of invented incidents.

The creators of this series do experiment at some points with mixed results. There are some other anime concessions (beautiful girls, mega destruction) but overall it doesn't hurt the series.

Some notes on the US DVD release: The video quality is excellent and so is the sound and translation . The dubbed track is different compared to the subtitle track. A lot of dialog is slightly different or changes the original intent of the Japanese writers. I recommend avoiding the English track for this reason although the voice actors are very well cast and do an excellent job. The sound mix is sloppy at times. With some episodes, the Japanese track has the sound effects turned way down but the English track has the music and sound effects overpowering the vocal track.

Overall, I believe the series is very enjoyable and fun while not being over the top...9/10
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9/10
One of the Best Animated Action Series ever.
kinetsmac5 July 2007
That's right. I'm not a fan of anime, and I probably never will be. I can understand how others can enjoy it, with the quirky characters and bright colors, but for me, it just stands as a mostly un-enjoyable genre.

As for this series, Samurai 7, a futuristic recreation of the classic black-and-white masterpiece? I absolutely loved it.

Samurai 7, while taking some generous liberties with the original film (obviously there weren't giant mechs raiding villages back in any 30's film) stands on its own as an engaging story that uses top-notch animation and clever translation/writing to keep itself intriguing. The CGI for the numerous robots and the hand drawn animation for the rest of the characters all looks great, though I did notice in the later installments of this series that there were points of animation that suddenly looked sub-par. Don't ask why, my guess is that the better animator got sick or something and they called in a cheap replacement.

But what really makes this series stand out, and is also a feature I feel is desperately missing from the majority of the anime genre, is the simple, relatable humanity of the characters. As with any "team" film or series, which have large ensembles of interacting and different characters, Samurai 7 relies of the simple yet difficult art of human subtlty and foibles to deliver diologue and conflict that is above and beyond most animated features. Even for the characters that are mechanical (I don't believe its ever explained how the people are put in robotic bodies)you feel a definite attachment and understanding for them, and in the process, you care for them.

There are virtually no over the top anime-staple "weird faces," or whatever they're called by anime fans, where an over-the-top emotion causes the face of a character to become "super-deformed." I find this a welcome breath of fresh air, and its absence truly keeps the idea that these are actual people in the story alive, though some odd character designs do occasionally mar the experience, if only for a few brief, forgettable seconds.

As for the action, fear not. Fans of sword fighting hack-and-slash, beat-em'-ups will be well satisfied. Especially between the hand drawn characters, the fighting couldn't be better, with a beautiful mix of "Kung-Fu" and "Samurai-champloo" esquire combat that truly leaves you breathless. My one complaint in this aspect of the series is that the giant mech characters, who are each about the size of a building, seem a bit helpless to the small, faster human characters, who dice them up like cheese at a deli over and over again. Fortunately, as the mech characters are few, this never really bars anything down.

While the visual style may irk Seven Samurai purists, and the storyline is greatly molded to fit this post-war, cyber/steam punk universe the plot is set in, open-minded fans of Seven Samurai and its several spin-offs ("Magnificent Seven" anyone?) will find tons to love, as well as anime and animation fans in general who have never seen the film.

Dig up this vastly underrated series. Trust me, your in for one hell of a ride.
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9/10
Time changes. But its thematic essence isn't.
Glen B.Wang24 June 2006
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.
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9/10
Immensely enjoyable.
mmushrm14 January 2011
To be honest I had been aware of but avoiding the Samurai 7 series. The reason was that it was a "remale" of the Seven Samurai. I had no inclination to watch a animated remake as I felt its would be the same story but with drawings. Well I was wrong. I finally watched it and the 1st few scenes had me hooked. Yes its a remake of 7 Samurai but different setting and story arch. It uses the premise (inspired by) of the 7 samurai. All the characters are there and follow the same personalities but are at the same time different. The art work is brilliant in the beginning of the series but part way through the standards fell. Its like they changed artist. It has the Japanese style of combining 2D with 3D with nice colouring to give the show a period feel. Highly recommended.
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9/10
As a fan of the original movie, i like this very much
Johnny7 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This is an Japanese Animation series made as a remake from the Japanese 50's Seven Samurai. The characters are the same and the plot is almost the same. But the difference is that this is based in the future as the nobuseri (bandits) whom were mechanized samurai before are robbing the villages around the "world". So one village decides to send a "water maiden" her sister and a peasant Rikichi to find a suitable crew of samurai to beat the bandits. The movie has great battle scenes (as the battle in the beginning of the first episode where the armies of mechanized samurais fight). there's about 28 episodes in the series. The Soundtrack is great and the plot is great too. Action is good. And the actors are great. There is nothing bad for me in these series. I hoped that they would actually continue the series etc.

i would give 9/10 for this anime series as it is a good remake from a great movie.
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Kurosawa's masterpiece changed into post-apocalyptic sci-fi anime, hmm
MisterWhiplash2 April 2006
I just watched the first episode of this take-off on Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai on IFC, dubbed into English (and possibly edited in other ways I'm not sure). At first I wasn't sure what to make of it, and in the first five minutes or so I had no idea what connection, if at all, this had to Kurosawa's original story. Then as the episode unfolded I could see the relationship to it, if only on a loose basis; large mechanical machines in battle and dominance over people has a farming community panicked, leading to reaching out to find samurai to protect them. In the first episode there is only minimal swordplay towards the end, as the "one" is discovered, at least one of them I could figure.

In order to have more of an appreciation for the show, I think, one has to take it sort of apart of the original film. The original 1954 classic takes from both samurai/Japanese lore, as well as the Western genre (originally some John Ford influence in there), forming into this big, but focused epic. Watching this series, I could see this owes a lot more to the dozens of other anime like this, where samurai are cast against the light of a science fiction backdrop (some of the opening animation made me think of Star Wars, also a connection to Kurosawa coincidentally), as technological forces of mass destruction face off against those ultra-skilled with a sword, or maybe more. The hero of this episode, for example, and who I can imagine has a much greater role in the course of the series, is like the Takashi Shimura character from the Kurosawa film crossed with one of the characters from an ultra-stylized Magma comic book, to give a generic comparison to be sure.

I'll keep on watching the series to see how and when the action unfolds, and I'm even intrigued enough to seek out the uncut, Japanese-language version of the DVD. But make no mistake, this will divide (or just make made) those who place the Kurosawa film in such high regard, as to whether such a work of art can be transposed into a well-made, if not that spectacular on a first go-around, anime show. Those who are already fans of the animation style anyway may gravitate to it, however when compared to programs like Fist of the North Star and Ninja Scroll it isn't quite the caliber either. My recommendation- if you have IFC, it's worth a view, but if you are expecting a literal translation from live-action film to animation, look elsewhere.
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10/10
IFC should brink it Back
tommypezmaster23 May 2007
This show was my favorite and know what? it was only on for 2 years, whats up with that? all the good shows are on for a short time like Samuria 7, Donkey Kong Country (Show), Cardcaptors, Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, Hamtaro and oh, lets not forget about Coconut Fred's Fruit Salad Inland!!

Instead, they put on the bad shows that are on every channel like CatDog, Baby Loonley Tunes, The Buzz on Maggie, and the rest of the baby clan. the good show have got to be brought back.

I mean this show is better than the Bad shows. Samurai 7 is a good show, The plots & characters are decent & original. CatDog failed to be that good.

IFC is really faithful now that there airing anime & DVDs are probably gone dunning it's cancellation
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9/10
An interesting retelling of the 'Seven Samurai' story
Tweekums1 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This series, loosely based on the classic film 'Seven Samurai' is set in a world that resembles feudal Japan but also features futuristic machines. The farmers of Kanna village are fed up with living on gruel because mechanical bandits keep stealing their precious rice harvest so they decide to engage the services of a group of samurai to help them fight back. To this end three member of the village; water diviner Kirara; her young sister Komachi and farmer Rikichi head to the nearby city to find samurai. They manage to find several but finding ones willing to fight for them will not be easy. Eventually they manage to recruit group; some experienced others less so. Kirara also catches the eye of Ukyo; the adoptive son of the city's leader and will need the help of the samurai to get away from him. Once back at the village they manage to fight off the bandits but their fight is far from over and not all of them will survive.

I had been put off this series by trailers featuring lots of 3D mechs battling in space and a rather gloomy DVD box cover but once I started watching it quickly became apparent that this was something special. The main characters were interesting and emotionally involving; this was particularly true of Katsushiro the young samurai who has yet to see combat and is changed forever when he does; experiencing both excitement and tragedy in battle. The main character designs look great and they are well animated, the 3D mechanical bandits they fight aren't so good; they stick out too much from the main 2D animation. Those wanting plenty of action shouldn't be disappointed and those wanting some lighter moments should like it too… some good laughs are provided by Komachi and her new friend, the mechanical samurai, Kikuchiyo. Ukyo proves to be an interesting antagonist; at times it seems like he might not be bad after all and at others he seems conniving and dangerous. Overall this series was much better than I expect it and I certainly recommend giving it a go… and if you do don't skip to the next episode when the credits start; after the 'coming next' prologue there is a little section featuring Komachi writing a letter to her friend Okara.

These comments are based on watching the series in Japanese with English subtitles.
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10/10
It was a legendary masterpiece!
Warning: Spoilers
I'd like to say, I'm a little bit prejudiced about the samurai themed animes because of the Afro Samurai. Samurai Champloo was the first series proved me I was wrong. I was reluctant to watch Samurai 7 both being prejudiced about Samurai themed animes and the average point on IMDb. I thought if it couldn't even be over 8, it wouldn't be impressive. Then I watched the series and it was everything. Thanks to directors and writers, I watched this kind of a amazing series. What does make Samurai 7 legendary? Story, characters (both psychologically and visualization), philosophy and especially last episodes. I've watched pile of animes so far. I can say that when they made a good plot, they couldn't prepare a good end or the opposite of the situation was acceptable but extraordinary works. And also those extraordinary works had couple of things I'd like to change. But Samurai 7 is something else. I don't know what to say. Everything was natural. The main characters were dying one by one in a reasonable way. Even the characters I didn't expect them to die but I can't complain about it. I'm so sad to see them dying but this was the top of my admiration. They didn't make up unreasonable situations or reasons in order to save characters' life. This was an epic masterpiece. I really respect whoever contributed to create this masterpiece.
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