Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Samurai 7 - Box Set |
Actors: Inukai Junji, Zarah Little, Bill Flynn (II), Maria Vu (II)
Director: Toshifumi Takizawa
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Anime & Manga, Animation
The Legendary Epic Reborn. — Samurai 7 is set in a futuristic world that has just seen the end of a massive war, many villages are being terrorized by Nobuseri bandits. The Nobuseri are no normal bandits. They were once men... more »
Full of action, and plenty of samurai vs. mecha battles. An
Dennis A. Amith (kndy) | California | 04/02/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Akira Kurosawa's 1954 film "Seven Samurai" is regarded as a great and influential film that is among the few Japanese films that has captivated audiences worldwide for so long. The legendary film was about a village of farmers hiring seven samurai's to protect the village from bandits has been revamped for GONZO's 2004 anime "Samurai 7.
First appearing on the anime satellite television channel Animax in 2004 as a high definition CS-Pay-Per-View series, the series was later shown in the US on IFC (International Film Channel) in 2006. Unlike the film which takes place in feudal Japan, "Samurai 7 takes place in a cyberpunk era that blends together feudal Japan with high-technology with mecha robotic suits.
"Samurai 7 also has quite a bit of talent behind it as the series is directed by Toshifumi Takizawa known for directing classics such as "Dirty Pair", "Crusher Joe" and "Big Wars"(and also storyboards for mecha anime such as "Mobile Suit Gundam Zeta Gundam", "Mobile Suit Victory Gundam).
Character designs are by Hideki Hashimoto (known for a lot of key animation work for "Heat Guy J", "Great Teacher Onizuka" and "Mobile Suit Gundam") and Takuhito Kusanagi (known for his mechanical design work for "Blue Submarine No. 6 and "Tower of Druaga").
The series begins with the villagers of the rice village of Kanna. Peasants who are forced to harvest rice for the Nobuseri bandits. The Nobuseri are ruthless as they take nearly all the rice of the villagers and even go as far as taking their women and children.
The villagers hardly have anything to eat but the villagers know they can't live life the way they are living now and so, with the approval of their village elder, three people will take their remaining rice to find samurai's who will fight against the bandits and free the village.
The village send three people to hire samurai's with their rice.
Kirara: The village priestess who has a crystal that can read the hearts of people.
Komachi: The young sister of Kirara
Rikichi: The male villager who accompanies both Kirara and Komachi. Rikichi despises the Nobuseri bandits because they took his wife.
During their search in the city for samurai's to protect the farming village of Kanna, the city's heir to Ayamano, Ukyo, develops a crush on Kirara and wants her to join his harem of women. But each time he tries to kidnap her, the samurai's thwart him and thus leads to Ukyo trying to find ways to kill the samurai's and capture Kirara.
During their search for samurai in the city, the three eventually find the following samurai who agree to fight against the bandits.
Shimada Kambei - The great samurai who is emotionless since he has been in so many battles and witnessed so many deaths that he lives in his own shadow of pain, constantly asking other samurai of why they became a samurai. The person becomes the leader of the group. Awesome fighting skills.
Katsuhiro Okamoto - The first samurai that is willing to help Kirara and the others. A young and inexperienced samurai who idolizes Kambei and eventually becomes the protector of Kirara. Eventually grows as a samurai after his first major kill.
Gorobei Katayama - An entertainer and former samurai from the great war who is good at detecting intruders and also has unmatched defensive skills by catching an opponents weapons with his hands and quick to dodge attacks.
Shichiroji - A former samurai who fought alongside Kambei. Now runs an inn and has a fiance but decides to join his friend in battle against the bandits. Fights with a big staff with blades and has a prosthetic hand that is used as a grappling hook.
Kikuchiyo - A huge cyborg who is always opinionated and always trying to prove himself as a samurai. Has great strength and carries a big chainsaw word to fight but he is not that smart. A child at heart, Kikuchiyo bonds with Kirara's younger sister Komachi.
Hayashida Heihachi - A samurai who is laid back and rather eat or be cool than fight. A former mechanical/combat engineer, his knowledge of mechanics provides useful for the team.
Kyuzo - A former bodyguard and talented samurai warrior for Ayamaro, an is an enemy of the samurai's in the first part of the series. Both Kyuzo and Kanbei go into battle against each other and end with a draw. With both men finding enjoyment in their battle against each other, they vow to fight again. Kyuzo eventually joins the team when he finally finds a great opponent in Kambei. Joining the group because he wants to be the person to fight and kill Kambei, so therefore he joins the team and lends them his skills as a talented samurai.
For this Blu-ray disc release of "Samurai 7, the first two discs contain a total of nine episodes each with the third disc containing the final 8 episodes plus the special features.
VIDEO AND AUDIO:
"SAMURAI 7 was originally a series shown in high definition in Japan. So, needless to say, the picture quality is very good as it is in 1080p High Definition, 16×9.
With that being said, it's also important to remind everyone that this is a television series and not an OAV or a film which have a bigger budget and much more detail in the overall animation quality.
In Japan, many of these animators have only a week to get an episode done and often are working on other anime series at the same time, so that being said, "Samurai 7 does have beautiful segments during the CG segments but in terms of the animation, character designs are simplistic, color pallet is solid with not much shading.
And for animation that utilizes less detail, this gives the animator more time to focus on the action sequences which they definitely did for "Samurai 7.
So, you can expect to see really good detail when it comes to the CG segments especially during the two wars because there is a lot of mecha battles that utilize the CG. And the background renderings often get the most detail. But picture quality is clear and there are scenes that do showcase a lot of vibrant colors. But for those most part, there is a softness in terms of colors. More focus on earth tones and greens.
For some, a drawback is that nine episodes are put on each disc, some enthusiasts would rather have 4-5 episodes with a higher bitrate but with the style of "Samurai 7, this is a television series not an OVA or film, so one can not expect a super-detailed series. The picture quality is a step up from the DVD release but what "Samurai 7 will appeal to are the audiophiles.
For the audio, audio is presented in Dolby True HD 5.1 in English and Japanese. First, I must say that I was impressed by both voice acting in Japanese and the English dubs. For one, rarely do you get the Japanese audio track in Dolby TrueHD 5.1, so I started the series primarily watching it in Japanese and was in awe of the actual mix and the utilization of the rear channels.
You hear the people in the city chatting and talking at a distance. You hear sound of people talking coming from one side and then the other. Especially in the action scenes and hearing the explosions and blasts and bullet shots.
I switched over to the English track in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and the track also displays the same audio which is fantastic. The voice acting was very well done on the English side of things and overall, just impressed with overall audio quality.
There are a good number of special features included on all three discs. For disc 1 and 2, you will need to go to the episodes listing and you will see episode 1 and episode 14 contain a commentary feature. The commentary is based on the English voice dub, so for example episode 14 would feature the ADR director Christopher Bevins, R. Bruce Elliott (voice for Kambei) and Sean Michael Teague (voice of Katsuhiro) commenting on the various characters and how they enjoyed the vocal performance of their co-actors. Of course, English voice dubs are never going into the technical commentary on the animation and why certain scenes are the way they are. But for those who enjoy commentary by English voice dubs, especially these two talents, then you'll definitely enjoy these two commentary tracks.
On disc 3, there are several special features. Included are:
* Promotional Video - In Japan, their promotional videos for upcoming series are quite long and in this case, this five minute video features the CG action-packed battles and also introducing the Japanese cast involved in the overall production. The video is in Japanese with English subtitles.
* Textless Opening and Ending - The textless opening and ending theme to Avex artists Nanase Aikawa's opening theme "Unlimited" and Rin's ending theme of "Fuhen".
* FUNimation Entertainment Trailers - Trailers for FUNimation Entertainment anime series and film releases.
"Samurai 7 is a pretty interesting take on the Kurosawa 1954 classic but I admit that I totally dig the concept of combining feudal Japan with steampunk technology. For anime, to combine samurai battles with mecha robot suits seems unbelievable, but within the concept of what "Samurai 7 is about and the overall journey of these samurai trying to protect the peasants and their village was quite fun.
The characters all have their own unique abilities and characteristics and the series is just all out non-stop action.
This is my first experience of watching an anime television series on Blu-ray. In the past, most releases were typically film or OVA-based but with "Samurai 7 having the high definition background when initially aired in Japan, the picture quality is clean but at the same time, it's detail is mostly within the CG scenes and the overall animation, relies on simple character designs that is typical with anime television series versus a film or OVA which the animators have much more time to work on.
But like a next gen video game, an anime series is not all about its graphics, for this series, what works is the adventure, the journey, the action and its enjoyable characters but most importantly, a well-crafted storyline. During the first 18-episodes, I really enjoyed the fight for the village but then there was a short lull as the episodes started to focus on twisted, protagonist Ukyo trying to usurp in power and become the next emperor and then suddenly getting back to the action-packed storyline and setting up the ultimate war.
There are some who may not see the need for high definition with their anime, especially if you are going to watch it on a 17-24 computer monitor but for those who want to watch anime in HD on their large television screens (especially using HD projectors) and seeing more detail and of course getting Dolby TrueHD sound in both Japanese and English is a plus.
Overall, I really enjoyed "Samurai 7. It manages to hold some of the enjoyment that made the original film so classic but the incorporate the adventure and the "other world" type of features you would expect from an anime series. Again, samurai vs. mecha suits? Who would of imagined that?
"Samurai 7 is an enjoyable television series and I'm very happy that FUNimation Entertainment brought this series to Blu-ray!"
One of the Best Anime series of all time.
Sweden Is God | 09/15/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I own the collector's edition of the original series on regular dvd and I'm not sure yet if its worth getting the new one. Anime is a weird thign to put on blu-ray because it doesn't suffer from the contrast and lighting issues that plague most movies. The sound can be easily bumped up in quality to either 5.1 or 7.1 dolby surround, if thats important to you. I just don't feel that most anime does any better on blu-ray than it does in upconversion.
If you do not own this set yet however and own a blu-ray player, this is a very reasonable price for such an incredible anime series. Being a remake of a classic cultural story from Japan, its already steeped in history, but the reimagining of the series and book is just incredible. I've never fallen in love with a main character like I did in this story. He is simply one of the most tough-A-$-$-ed anime samurai you will ever meet and he is everything that epitomizes the samurai code. The story features many characters that are believable, well developed, and consistent as well as great themes that still hold true today in many respects. Whether your in for the story or the action, it doesn't matter, its worth it on both counts.
The animation technique is much liek Burst Angel or the Karas movies in that they combine some cg elements with the anime to create some jaw-droppping scenes which include sword-wielding tough-guys taking down gigantic machines in ways you never thought possible. Far-fetched? Sure, but its some of the most fun I've ever had escaping into an anime world. I highly recommend this series to anime lovers everywhere."
Absolutely amazing in every way!!
Arianette | Orange County, CA | 08/14/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'll keep this short and sweet. My boyfriend owns the DVD version and we both fell in love with the show the first time we watched it. As soon as I saw it was going to be on BluRay I knew I had to have it. It is absolutely money well spent! Samurai 7 is by far one of the best animes I have ever had the pleasure of seeing and it holds a firm position in my top 5! You name it and this series has it; action, adventure, comedy, drama, amazing battle sequences, giant mechs and even a little romance. The characters are well developed and I fell in love with all of them (minus Kambei, the hero worship he receives is quite frustrating!). The animation is practically flawless (with the exception of episode 7) and the CG elements are outstanding in HD! The sound quality is what really blew me away though, everything is so crystal clear and I will not rest until I find a bumping surround sound to watch this show on!! Samurai's versus mechs may be a little hard for some people to swallow but trust me when I say, this is hands down one of the best animes ever created and if you have the money and a BR player you absolutely have to buy this BluRay box set!!"