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
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.
- Agent Peacock: Ukyo is one of these of The Chessmaster variety because he is both foppish and cunning.
- Ambiguously Brown: Kanbei and Gorobei who according to Word of God are supposed to have respectively Hispanic and African features.
- Armor Is Useless: Lightweight mecha are cut down like flies by ordinary arrows.
- Arrow Catch: done by Gorobei, both for entertainment and in battle.
- Artificial Limbs: Shichiroji has an arm that is armor plated and shoots grappling hooks from the fingers
- Bamboo Technology: Heihachi's massive battleship-piercing crossbow. How did they find a tree so big to make the "arrow"? It's not our business.
- Bare Your Midriff: Both Kirara's ceremonial garments and her day-to-day wear show off quite a lot of skin for a priestess.
- Barehanded Blade Block: This is justified and plausible, since Kikuchiyo's sword is so wide Kambei can catch it without cutting his hands.
- Battle in the Rain: The first fight between Kanna village and the Bandits
- Because I'm Jonesy: How Ukyo knew Kanbei wasn't the one who killed the imperial envoy; he did it himself.
- Beleaguered Assistant: Tessai to Ukyo who treats him like dirt. It's not until later that we find out that Tessai is a former Samurai with skills on par with any of the seven.
- Berserk Button:
- 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.
- Black Dude Dies First: This despite the fact the first to die in the original film was Heihachi
- Blade Brake - starting with Kambei in the first episode.
- Blood Less Carnage:
- 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.
- Bratty Half-Pint: There's two, though Okara is more of a brat than Komachi.
- Bullet Proof Human Shield: Averted Katsushiro accidentally kills Kyuzo when firing a machinegun at a soldier in front of him, as the bullets go right through the soldier into Kyuzo.
- Call Back: Invoked by Katsushiro as a bittersweet goodbye to Kirara.
- Calling Your Attacks:
- Mocked by Heihachi "Allow me to introduce you to WOODCUTTER STYLE!"
- Used seriously by Shichiroji: "Secret Technique: Tatami Counter!"
- Catch a Falling Star: Kambei's rescue of Kirara
- 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.
- Coming-of-Age Story: For Katsushiro, as well as Kirara. They grow up and into their roles.
- Cool Sword
- Kambei's sword is specifically an anti-tank sword
- 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.
- Defector from Decadence:
- 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.
- Eyes Always Shut: Heihachi never looks where he's going.
- 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.
- Field of Blades: Used in two different ways.
- First, Kambei makes one with swords that they had captured from Nobuseri in the Kanna village square so that any of the samurai whose swords broke during battle could rearm quickly.
- In the end, the four samurai who died have their swords stuck in their graves as headstones.
- First Girl Wins: Genderflipped because Kiara is the only girl here. She gets neither the first or the second guy.
- Foregone Conclusion: Toyed with but ultimately played straight. Though they die in a different order, the same four samurai who perished in the original bite it here too.
- Four Is Death: There are Seven main characters but only three survived.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Heihachi's massive battleship-piercing crossbow. He did that with the level of technology Kanna village possess and really quickly.
- Gas Mask Mooks: The Guardians/Shikimoribito wear masks in every scene and sort-of maybe work for the emperor or the bandits.
- Gonk: Lots of these, but especially the bad guys. Really, almost everyone who isn't a main character looks like they were beaten half to death with the Ugly Stick.
- Groin Attack: Episode 5 shows a close-up shot of Kambei grabbing his opponent's crotch to catch him off guard. It worked.
- Grapes of Luxury: Ukyo does this a lot because he's a Spoiled Brat with a Paid Harem.
- 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.
- Humongous Mecha: The Nobuseri
use are mechs ranging from "bigger than a man" to "Gundam-sized".
- Implausible Fencing Powers: samurai can slice anything, and deflect energy beams.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: In the English Dub, every episode title begins with "The."
- Immortality Inducer: The throne that preserves the user's life. One really wonders why the Emperor didn't start getting suspicious when Ukyo started monkeying with the controls.
- It's Not You, It's Me: Two and Kirara is on the wrong end of both because both of them were broken by battle.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Kikuchiyo is rough and boisterous but he's also a sweet guy and Friend to All Children.
- 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.
- Knight of Cerebus: Ukyo makes the show darker and once revealed as the emperor's clone and the series true Big Bad.
- Like That Show but with Mecha: Seven Samurai didn't have any robots.
- Losing Your Head: Kikuchiyo gets taken apart several times, including being beheaded by Kambei for a plan. Twice.
- Love Triangle: Type 5 — Katsushiro loves Kirara, Kirara loves Kambei, and Kambei acknowledges her feelings but doesn't reciprocate.
- Magnificent Seven: An anime remake of the original.
- Master Swordsman: The Seven are all this. Kanbei rejected a crowd of samurai because they were mediocre.
- May-December Romance:
- Averted in the case of Kirara & Kambei.
- May or may not be the case with Kikuchiyo and Komachi, because don't know Kiku's true age since he's a cyborg.
- Miniature Senior Citizens: Primarily found in Kanna Village like the elder, who is shorter than Kiara and only a head taller than her sister.
- Miko: Kirara is a water priestess.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: Tessai in respect to Ukyo.
- 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.
- Not the Fall That Kills You:
- Very much averted in episode 2, by grabbing a falling elevator and then manually slowing that elevator down before it hits the ground.
- Justified in episode 25, when it's Kikuchiyo being grabbed, since his machine body makes him much more durable.
- Off Hand Back Hand: Gorobei likes to do this a lot, only with stabbing.
- Off Model: Conspicuously episode 7 and Episode 17 as well
- One-Man Army: Most of the seven samurai can defeat many their number.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Kyuzo's only known motivation for joining the group is making sure Kambei lives long enough to finish their score.
- Precocious Crush: Komachi (child) on Kikuchiyo (adult presumably).
- Psychotic Smirk: Ukyo's satisfied expression, and it is creeeeepy!
- Recycled In The Future! It's the traditional story but set in an age with cyborgs and airships.
- Redemption Equals Death: Heihachi and to some extent Kyuzo, although he never mentions his past.
- 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).
- The Rival: Kyuzo, to Kanbei; see Only One Allowed To Defeat You.
- Unstoppable Rage: Katsushiro has a fit of this shortly after the trauma of performing his first kill in combat. In the following battle he goes on an all out rampage, much to Gorobei's surprise.
- Ronin: At least half the samurai who eventually join were wandering unemployed warriors before the farmers found them.
- Rule of Cool: The last third of the series is full of this. They cut mecha in half with katanas and Katsushiro stops a blast of the Imperial Capital's main cannon with his katana.
- Samurai: Naturally and varied from veterans to young pups to a guy that claims he's a samurai.
- Spared by the Adaptation:
- The Village Elder and Sanai
- 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.
- Take a Level in Badass:
- 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.
- Training the Peaceful Villagers: Archery in this case.
- Transforming Mecha: The red ones turn from a disk/wheel thing into two humanoids.
- Trojan Horse: Used when some of the samurai hide in rice bales to sneak into an enemy base.
- Unpronounceable Alias / Overly Long Name: Kambei is first seen resolving a hostage situation from Kikuchiyo's unwanted interference, under the name... Tenkaiheizaemon Yoshichika.
- 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.