Before the ears of rice begin to bend, bring us samurai that can defend us. Our hope now rests on that.
Samurai 7 is an anime remake of Seven Samurai, down to the names of the samurai.Being an anime retelling, however, it also has Humongous Mecha that get cut in half with katanas.When the Nobuseri bandits prey upon the village of Kanna, the poor villagers — out of fear of starvation — send their water priestess to the nearest city to hire as many samurai as possible to protect them. The villagers will offer the samurai all of the rice they can eat in exchange for their services, but what samurai would hire out their swords and their skill for rice?In the aftermath of a devastating war, samurai strive to find meaning in their lives. It is through protecting the village of Kanna that the seven samurai who take up the villagers' offer find that meaning — and more.Now with a character page that needs some love. The series aired on American television on Toonami from August 18, 2012 to February 9, 2013.
This series has examples of the following:
Absurdly Sharp Blade: The katanas in this series cut mechas in half. That is only the start of things. The first cut you see in this anime is a mecha getting torn clean in half, interrupting its cannon fire. The second involves Kanbei diving off of a reconfigured mech sword made into a ship, plummeting down in complete freefall, and cleaving a battleship in half at the center. The notes for the show actually describe Kanbei's weapon as an anti-tank sword.
Adaptation Expansion: While the first two thirds of the series more less follows the plot of the film - albeit with a few alterations - the last third introduces the plot of Ukyo becoming the new Emperor and waging war on everybody to up the stakes even further.
Affably Evil: Ukyo makes some pretty amusing comments and has a certain foppish style and seems liked by his Paid Harem and he turns out to be a quite cunning villain
Afraid of Blood: Implied with Heihachi, who has rather odd reactions whenever he gets cut.
Normally, Heihachi is a happy-go-lucky pacifistic guy, but he really hates traitors because he was one during the recently ended war, and it resulted in the death of his whole unit.
Given that he used to be one, Kikuchiyo is infuriated whenever anyone acts oppressive or inconsiderate toward peasants.
Ukyo really hates machine samurai. The viewer is led to believe this is because Kikuchiyo nearly cuts him in half in an early episode but in reality it's because Ukyo grew up a peasant on a farm and thus lived for years under the heel of the Nobuseri.
BFG: The Benigumo (red ones) have shoulder compartments with a shotgun, with eight barrels. Four rows of two. And even the man portable ones are shoulder mounted and look more like WWII artillery.
Even those gundam sized mechs use both hands to use a large handle; about 40% of the sword is the handle. The red ones have a shield and a smaller sword, but it's still huge.
The mech swords even come equipped with jet propulsion and cockpits, to be used as emergency aircraft.
Bittersweet Ending: Most of the samurai die and Kirara finds that her pure soul has been tainted by the battles, making her unfit to continue as a water priestess. Not only that, Katsushiro rejects her, as the war has hardened him too far for him to love... and Kanbei adds yet another defeat to his already long list. On the other hand, the village is saved, Ukyo is defeated and killed and the villagers celebrate their victory with the surviving samurai. Kanbei, Katsushiro, and Shichiroji manage to move on with their own lives, which isn't too bad.
Most of the battles are like this since the majority of the bandits are full body converted mecha. Even when human pilots are cut into pieces, the explosion of the mecha usually mask all the gore.
(Intentionally) averted when Katsushiro takes his first life and is completely drenched in a shower of blood and oil from the victim and his mech suit, and later when he accidentally kills Kyuzo. It seems the amount of blood shown is directly proportionate to the emotional impact each death has on the killer.
Book Ends: In the beginning, Kambei performs a quick move that consists of two slashes. In the end, Katsushiro is practicing the move and manages to perform it in the last episode, signifying his growth as a samurai.
Boomerang Bigot: Heihachi hates traitors, even though (and most likely because) he once was one himself. He is militant about it due to unresolved guilt.
Chainsaw Good: Kikuchiyo's sword occasionally crosses into this. It either has some sort of chainsaw effect or revs up like a Vibroweapon, but the sound and visual effect makes it look like a chainsaw.
Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Ukyo makes this his standard M.O. First, by assassinating the imperial envoy as a favor to the Prime Minister, he's able to replace his father as city governor. Following that, in the same episode that the Emperor formally recognizes him as a worthy heir to the throne, Ukyo murders him and takes his place.
As mentioned in Chainsaw Good, Kikuchiyo's sword has its own engine to slice through heavy machinery like a chainsaw.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Early attempts of the farmers to fight mecha with pitchforks and firewood axes result in this. It leads to prime examples of There Is No Kill Like Over Kill as the mecha respond by smashing the farmers with swords the size of your average train car.
Death by Adaptation: Gorobei is a very clear-cut Type II, presumably because the samurai who was supposed to die first was also one with tech skills that are necessary later.
It's never stated outright, but besides seeing Kambei as a Worthy Opponent, Kyuzo seems to have joined the heroes based on disgust for the dishonorable behavior of his fellow samurai under Ukyo.
The Guardians qualify as well, since they turn out to be former samurai who chose a less villainous path than the Nobuseri.
Did Not Get the Girl: Kirara develops feelings for Kambei, but though he silently acknowledges their existence he rejects her by interrupting her confession of love and stating that his heart is too barren and dried up to accept it. Katsushiro has feelings for Kirara, but it's never made clear how much of their Ship Tease is her returning those feelings and how much is simply her feeling guilty over dragging him into the battle. In the end, Katsushiro rejects her as well for similar reasons as Kambei's.
Disguised in Drag: Gorobei, Heihachi and Rikichi disguise themselves as "female" traveling performers. Heihachi kinda makes a cute girl, but the other two are more like Paper-Thin Disguise.
Early-Bird Cameo: Gorobei is first seen as mere background character, smiling approvingly at how Kambei handles a hostage situation.
Enigmatic Minion: Tessai seems like a simple flunky and yes-man to Ukyo... until it's revealed later on that he's a former samurai with skills to rival Kambei's.
Expy: The Shikimoribito look like a taller version of Shy Guy.
Evil Plan: The plot is started by the bandit's plan of 'regular rice extortion' from villagers but Ukyo's plan later drives the story. Ukyo claims that his plan involves pitting the various classes against each other to create a new, peaceful world order, but some of what he says during his Villainous Breakdown implies that his plan mostly involved making everybody kill everybody else because he could get away with it.
Facial Markings: Heihachi has two whisker like lines on each cheek also Ukyo has red squares on each cheek as do all his city guards
Fantastic Fruits and Vegetables: The group happens upon a bumper crop of Durian, much to Kikuchiyo's delight and everyone else's discomfort. The durian found are ground plants, while ones in real life are tree-borne fruits.
Guns vs. Swords: Villains (Bandits and Hyogo) use guns while the samurai use swords. Kambei, at one point, points out that being on the "sword" side of that fight is not fun. The one time any of the main characters DOES use a gun, he accidentally kills Kyuzo with it.
Heroic Sacrifice: Several, but most notably Kikuchiyo, who'd been able to survive all previous injuries due to his mechanical body. After the flying-battleship Imperial Capital is disabled and crashes to earth, Kiku prevents it from careening into Kanna Village by picking up one of the giant Nobuseri swords and standing in front of it to slow it down. His ultimate fate? Melted down into near-nothingness; only his feet remain.
Katanas Are Just Better: Ironically, this is the opposite of the film the show was loosely based on where no amount of skill with a katana helped anyone against guns at range. Here, the seven samurai can bring down mech samurai. In the climax The villain's ship has to stop using their massive laser cannons after realizing how easily and precisely the samurai katanas can DEFLECT THEM.
Kid Samurai: Katsushiro is the youngest of the samurai and has an idealistic notion of samurai.
No Transhumanism Allowed: Averted, although the thinking behind the trope is in play. The bandits have totally altered themselves and the mooks hunting the protagonists in early episodes also have significant (although much less) body modification. Outside of Kikuchiyo, anyone with significant mechanization is a bad guy, although Shichiroji has a robotic hand.
Retirony: Inverted with Shichiroji, whose introduction gives all of the classic signs of retirony — he goes on one last mission with his old friend before returning home to get married. Surprisingly, he's one of the three who survive.
Return to Sender: Katsushiro proves that he is a true samurai when he deflects a shot from the capitol back at it, (apparently by vibrating his sword by hand).
Double-Subverted with Heihachi. Surpising fans of the movie, he was spared from being the first samurai to die, but he finally meets his end in episode 25.
Stockholm Syndrome: Rikichi's wife and Ukyo's predecessor. By the time Kanpei arrives to rescue her she doesn't want to be rescued.
The Stoic: Kyuzo. It takes something seriously out of the ordinary to throw him off.
Survivor Guilt: Kambei has a nasty case of it. At the end of the series, he asks Katsushiro if he feels guilty that he survived while four of the others died, but Katsushiro replies that rather than feeling guilty that he survived and they died, he'd live so that he'd bring honor to the names of the fallen.
Rikichi goes from a somewhat pathetic, sniveling guy to a much more confident individual, who while no where near the samurai in fighting prowess, is a very effective part of the peasant rebellion.
Could also count for the title 7. In the beginning of the series, guns were still a major threat and only Gorobei was fast enough to deflect or dodge bullets casually. In the final assault on the Capital, once the remaining Samurai have resolved themselves to a Suicide Attack... Kanbei, Kyuzo and even Kikuchyo are swatting away hails of projectiles straight up Jedi style.
Katsushiro in particular both after his first kill and after kambei punishes him for following him to the capital. at the beginning of the series he's a young ronin who had never killed and was unable to beat even a single mook. By the end he's become a greater warrior.
Unrequited Love Switcheroo: Kirara becomes ready to accept Katsushiro's love in the end of the series, but he has become too hardened by the war to stay in the village.
Vibroweapon: It's suggested that the samurai are able to cut through the giant Nobuseri by vibrating their swords (by hand, no less). It's noticeable when Kikuchiyo uses a Nobuseri blade to stop the falling capital.
"Well Done, Son" Guy: Ayamaro treats Ukyo like the worthless fop he seems to be... until Ukyo has an Imperial envoy assassinated so that he can replace his father as governor. By contrast, the Emperor acts quite proud and pleased to finally have an heir worth his time, for the twenty minutes that lasts before Ukyo kills him off and takes his place.