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Anime / Samurai 7

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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 Kambei 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 Kambei's weapon as an anti-tank sword.
  • Adaptation Expansion: While the first two thirds of the series more or less follow 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.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness:
    • Kambei, Shichiroji, Gorobei, Heihachi and Kyuzo are much more conventionally attractive than they are in the source material (Minoru Chiaki, who played Heihachi, was more endearingly "cute" than handsome.)
    • Advertisement:
    • Averted with Katsushiro, who was already a pretty boy.
  • Adaptational Ugliness:
    • Whereas Kikuchiyo from the original 1954 film was a tall, strapping, nimble, athletic young man played by the ruggedly handsome Toshiro Mifune, here he's an enormous mechanized suit of armour with not even a visible face.
    • Shino's father Manzo was no oil painting, but the anime made him even uglier.
  • Afraid of Blood: Implied with Heihachi, who has rather odd reactions whenever he gets cut.
  • After the End: After several world-ending wars, when Earth (the whole solar system in the manga and novel) is reduced to a wasteland and a standard spaceship used decades ago is repurposed into a mobile capital citadel for the postwar empire.
  • Agent Peacock: Ukyo is one of these of The Chessmaster variety because he is both foppish and cunning.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Kambei 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
  • Badass Longcoat: Kyuzo boasts an impressive red coat.
  • 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. Some of the other women of Kanna village like Shino bare their midriffs too.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • BFS:
    • 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.
  • Bishōnen: Katsushiro, Heihachi and Kyuzo are the pretty boys of the series.
  • 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, Kanbei rejects her love as a lifetime of war has rotted his heart and Katsushiro has become jaded by his experience of war. On the other hand, the village is saved, Ukyo is defeated and killed and the villagers celebrate their victory with the surviving samurai. Kambei, Katsushiro, and Shichiroji manage to move on with their own lives, which isn't too bad.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Gorobei is black in this adaption and is the first of the samurai to fall. Heihachi, the first to die in the original, still dies, but later on.
  • 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.
  • Bookends: 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. More likely is that his own body revving up provides the sound and it's serrated on the back near the hilt.
  • 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.
  • Complexity Addiction: The Nobuseri are working for the Imperial government, which uses the rice they steal to buy the power cells needed to maintain the fleet. Making the whole thing a violent and overly complicated form of taxation.
  • Confronting Your Imposter: How Ukyo knew Kambei wasn't the one who killed the imperial envoy; he did it himself.
  • Cool Sword
    • Kambei's sword is specifically an anti-tank sword
    • As mentioned in Chainsaw Good, Kikuchiyo's sword has teeth on the backside, though he never swings it that way.
      • It's also about twice as long and wide as all the others.
  • 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.
  • Cyberpunk It's the classic story, IN THE FUTURE. Cool fact, there's a game called Seven Samurai 20XX which has a similar concept.
  • 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.
  • Demoted to Extra: Shino, her father Manzo, and villager Yohei are not as prominent as they were in the original film.
  • 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 is unable to find out and persue a relationship wit her 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. As in the original film, Shino is disguised as a boy.
  • 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. Ukyo has red squares on each cheek as do all his city guards, although that could just be makeup.
  • 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 Kirara 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.
    • Manzo as well. Kamatari Fujiwara was no oil painting, but this Manzo manages to be even more unattractive.
  • 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 and instead entirely deflecting its path away from the village and cutting it in half His ultimate fate? Melted down into near-nothingness; only his feet remain still planted firmly where he stood without giving an inch to the fortress..
  • 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.
    • Though this doesn't stop Kyuzo from being shot to death.
  • Kid Samurai: Katsushiro is the youngest of the samurai and has an idealistic notion of samurai.
  • Kid with the Leash: Komachi with Kikuchiyo.
  • 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.
  • Made of Explodium: Not only do robots immediately explode when cut in half, the explosion begins at a point between the two halves, where there isn't actually any robot left. Perhaps it's volatile gas igniting from the sparks of the sword's passage?
  • The Magnificent Seven Samurai: An anime remake of the original.
  • Master Swordsman: The Seven are all this. Kambei rejected a crowd of samurai because they were mediocre.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: Primarily found in Kanna Village like the elder, who is shorter than Kirara and only a head taller than her sister.
  • Miko: Kirara is a water priestess.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Tessai in respect to Ukyo.
  • Mythology Gag: One episode has Kikuchiyo carrying Shino over his shoulder into the village, more or less the same way Chico in The Magnificent Seven did with Petra (Chico being a Composite Character of the original Katsushiro and Kikuchiyo, and Petra being an Expy of Shino.)
  • 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 That Kind of Partner: Something similar in the English dub. Kambei calls his war buddy his "old wife", and this is translated as having him refer to the guy as his "mate". So, in English as in Japanese, the other characters are surprised when they meet the guy and find out he isn't a (female) love interest.
  • 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.
  • Parrying Bullets: The samurai can do this, among other Implausible Fencing Powers. Several times, shells are cleaved asunder and the most skilled of samurai are even able to deflect Wave Motion Guns.
  • Precocious Crush: Komachi (child) on Kikuchiyo (adult presumably).
  • Psychotic Smirk: Ukyo's satisfied expression, and it is creeeeepy!
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Kikuchiyo gets to make the same brutal speech he did in the source material.
  • 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 Kambei; see The 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.
  • Rōnin: 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 Sanae
    • Double-Subverted with Heihachi. Surprising fans of the movie, he was spared from being the first samurai to die, but he finally meets his end in episode 25.
    • Yohei, who was also Demoted to Extra.
    • In the official novelization, several the Nobushi (Nobuseri) broke out of Ukyo’s brainwashing and fought alongside the protagonists.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Rikichi's wife with Ukyo's predecessor, aided by the fact that she's been impregnated with his child. By the time Kambei 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... Kambei, Kyuzo and even Kikuchiyo 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.
    • For most of the series, Kikuchiyo comes across as a loudmouth braggart who only travels with the Samurai because they don't really care enough to drive him away (plus he proves useful to the journey from time to time). It's when he stands up for the villagers who tried to betray them that Kambei finally accepts him as one of them.
  • The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: Shino, compared to her father Manzo.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Katsushiro in his first proper fight commandeers a sword from one mook to throw it into the other.
  • 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.
  • Vibroweapon: The samurai are able to cut through the giant Nobuseri by activating vibrating mechanism within their swords. It's noticeable when Kikuchiyo uses a Nobuseri blade to stop the falling capital.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Ukyo's plan involves becoming one of these. He starts doing it once he reveals his true intelligence/becomes Emperor, complete with good use of the New Era Speech.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Ukyo in the final episode. Unusually, this moment of insane ranting and violence is followed by him immediately returning to being eerily calm. Then he goes right back to crazy.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Okara's voice is way too deep to be that of a child, at least in the English dub.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: the Capital's main cannon annihilates the Lead Nobuseri, and a nameless mook.
  • Weapon Tombstone: The four dead samurai's graves are marked by their swords.
  • "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.
  • Weapon Tropes: Kambei, Katsushiro, Gorobei, Heihachi - Absurdly Sharp Katana; Shichiroji - Blade on a Stick; Kikuchiyo - BFS, then regular swords (and tree/logs!) after his sword breaks; Kyuzo - Dual Wielding.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Komachi's friend Okara. She's the same age as her, but sounds like a woman in her 20's, acts as such, and is always seen carrying a baby on her back for some reason.
  • You Killed My Father: Parodied in the first episode. In order to create a distraction, Kambei accuses Kikuchiyo of being a samurai who killed his father, and Kambei claims to have trained for years and tracked him down before beheading Kikuchiyo (which had no real ill effect, because he's a cyborg).
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Kikuchiyo's last moment in the series. Beaten, battered, and mostly broken he grabs a massive mecha sword the size of a small building and slams it into the front of the Capital.
    Kikuchiyo: "You're not getting one inch closer to those rice fields!"

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