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Samurai 7 - The Complete Series
Samurai 7 - The Complete Series
Actors: R. Bruce Elliott, Christopher Sabat, Sean Teague, Colleen Clinkenbeard, Luci Christian
Directors: Futoshi Higashide, Hiroyuki Okuno, Makoto Sokuza, Mitsuo Kusakabe, Shunsuke Tada
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
UR     2007     10hr 0min

Legendary Epic Reborn! This 7-disc set contains the enitre Samurai 7 saga - over 11 hours of action! Samurai 7 is set in a futuristic world that has just seen the end of a massive war, many villages are being terrorized ...  more

     
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Movie Details

Actors: R. Bruce Elliott, Christopher Sabat, Sean Teague, Colleen Clinkenbeard, Luci Christian
Directors: Futoshi Higashide, Hiroyuki Okuno, Makoto Sokuza, Mitsuo Kusakabe, Shunsuke Tada
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Animation, Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
Studio: Funimation Prod
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 03/27/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 10hr 0min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 7
SwapaDVD Credits: 7
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English, Japanese
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

"On the battlefield, there were samurai. On the land, there
H. Bala | Carson - hey, we have an IKEA store! - CA USA | 04/15/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Absolutely, Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai - Criterion Collection - 3-Disc Remastered Edition is one of the great films of all time, and, in attempting a remake, one would require a hefty set of balls, as well as ample funding and talent. In 2004, with the approval of Akira Kurosawa's estate, a top notch anime version, SAMURAI 7, was created and debuted on Japanese television. In SAMURAI 7 - THE COMPLETE SERIES, we get the entire series, consisting of 26 episodes on 7 discs. SAMURAI 7 takes Akira Kurosawa's original masterpiece and transports it from the 16th century to a war ravaged, sci-fi future setting. However, the tweaked storyline still chronicles the tale of seven samurai who come to the aid of a tormented farming village that has been subjugated by bandits; this time, however, the bandits are the Nobuseri, mechanically-integrated predators who themselves were once samurai.

You don't need to have seen the 1954 film to enjoy SAMURAI 7, though viewers of both will make rapid connections between the two. The makers of this anime did a great job of instilling into their project the same heart and intent of the original SEVEN SAMURAI. This isn't just a meaningless point A to point B anime action flick. Emphasis is thoughtfully placed on character and plot development as we actually get to know the players in this series, from the ragtag samurai, which the last great war has largely reduced to a jobless and purposeless state, to the lowly farmers, who are insular, abhor fighting, and fear the samurai almost as much as the bandits.

Although palpable throughout the series, it's in the samurai's stay at the Kanna village where the distinction between the two social classes become most pronounced as the bushido code clashes with the villager's less "noble" but infinitely more realistic principles. The bridge between the two castes lies in the form of Kikuchiyo, the boorish but exuberant mechanical samurai who used to be a farmer; this was the role originated by the great Toshiro Mifune. Don't get me wrong, this animated Kikuchiyo version doesn't even come close to bringing to the table what Mifune did. It just underscores how bigger than life Mifune made his character that this incarnation actually had to be in a mechanical shell to halfway compete. Honestly, Kikuchiyo here is adequate and, at times, nerve grating.

But there comes a time when plot and character development must give way to serious hind kicking. And, in these moments, the samurai do NOT mess around. The action scenes are astounding! You almost believe a regular-sized guy can take out a mechagiant. These key sequences are significantly emphasized by the blood-pumping score, which uses a healthy dose of Japanese taiko drums. The animation is very, very nice to look at, even if, at times, the CG doesn't quite harmonize with the 2-d animation.

By the way, this thick box set also comes with 7 booklets with interviews and production art. Special features of note are: weird animated shorts of "Mr. Stain on Junk Alley" on discs 2, 3, and 4; relaxed commentary by the Voice Director & several voice actors on disc 4; and character profiles and image galleries on several discs.

Along with the sci-fi trappings, there are a few other significant changes that were made from Kurosawa's original film. There's a more impactful role played by the love interest Kirara the water priestess, as well as the introduction of her younger sister Komachi, who, along with Kikuchiyo, serves as comedy relief (Kirara and Komachi, by the way, are also Japanese brands of rice). Another change made is that, here, the samurai actually take the battle beyond the village bandits. But, listen, even with the sci-fi elements, the cool animation, the awesome battle scenes, I feel that the best thing about SAMURAI 7 is that it somehow retains the humanity of the original film. This really is anime for grown ups. The ending is still appropriately bittersweet as, ultimately, it's the villagers who win. There will always be harvests and harvest songs for the farmers. The samurai, on the other hand, just drift away. And the samurai leader, Shimada Kambei, who claims to have lost every war he's been in, has just lost another one...
"
A Fine remake of Kurosawa's Epic Film
Tommy Milagro | Salt Lake City, UT | 03/06/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"For anyone who enjoys anime, this is a good series to start with. Even though the story takes place in a futuristic setting and many of the storyline concepts have changed, much of the plot and rich characters of the original "Seven Samurai" have been retained. Clearly the budget was spent in making sure the Nobuseri and other CG images meshed well with the traditional animation of the characters, and it works on that level.

Granted the first two episodes of Samurai 7 start slow, but it is necessary to establish the characters of the mismatched seven who come to the aid of Kanna Village. Furthermore, the issues of honor, war, respect that were prevalent in the original are once again on display in this anime without overshadowing the awesome fight scenes, or vice versa."
Those who know what is right...
Jay F. Grissom | San Diego, CA. USA | 05/05/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Solid, meaningful, worthwhile, must see... I can't think of any other way to describe it.

Our world is filled with those who KNOW what is right (but don't do it) and those who DO what is right...

This work reminds me a lot of (sorry I know there is a LOT of buzz, but clearly this is true) Frank Millers 300.

Just like the Spartans of pre-Greece fame the Samurai of Samurai 7 were the guys who did the right thing even when the odds were stacked in favor of the house.

It just goes to show you that themes of right and wrong transcend cultures.

Money well spent."
A decent series, but overall, I found it lacking
GrayD | Wayne, PA USA | 11/09/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"First, you cannot compare this to Seven Samurai (which is one of the greatest movies ever made - in the top 3 for me).

Studio Gonzo certainly knows how to draw BIG stuff and some of the floating castles and mecha are amazingly beautiful, especially as they crash into the earth. The world vision offered by Samurai 7 is intriguing - a mixture of old and new - where men with swords are able to cut down giant mecha. The social and political situation is also quite fascinating - a ruthlessly maintained order kept by groups only interested in their selfish needs. The characters are nicely done for the most part (although, by now, some are quite cliche) - the samurai are very likeable and heroic - each offering something different to the team.

And considering that I really enjoy Samurai and Mecha, I really went into this series thinking it would be great. So what went wrong?

The story line does follow the movie's plot (in a disjointed and very different stylistic way - I liked it) but, the later episodes go on to a new storyline which felt like a filler plot. While the first part is somewhat satisfactory and intriguing, the latter became almost unwatchable to me. Perhaps the ridiculousness of the story started to get to me, or maybe the likability of the characters began to wane and it just seemed to drag on. Perhaps I got sick of the over-whining of the "victims" and wished they'd just do something about it. Maybe I got tired of all the preachy talking or the cliche bad guys and convenient plot twists*.

It's still decent, but in my opinion, it's about 8 episodes too long and I don't think this warrants a 5 star rating.

* The most egregious plot twists involve the Emperor, but I don't want to include any spoilers. Just that when they happen (a discovery and a betrayal), it was very underwhelming."