Samurai 7

Samurai 7: Box Set (Viridian Collection)Although I much prefer watching anime in Japanese, the convenience of having so many shows available on Netflix streaming has lured me into watching a few complete series in English! Recently I finished all 26 episodes of Samurai 7, which I've often heard discussed as an amazing anime, since it's a sci-fi/steampunk version of Kurosawa's classic Seven Samurai. Unfortunately (and even unbelievably) I've never seen Seven Samurai (although I plan to remedy this situation soon!), but I still really enjoyed the interesting characters and fascinating settings combining traditional Japanese culture (like rice farming) with incredible technology. In fact, one of the samurai named Kikuchiyo is himself a mechanical man, lumbering around with incredible strength and even blowing steam when he exerts himself! He's definitely the comedic character of the group, but I really loved the emotion between him and Komachi, one of the little girls of the village they are protecting. From what I've read of the original movie, Samurai 7 really expands upon the plot to fill out all those episodes (and manages to drag a little towards the middle), but the entire arc of the series was quite satisfying. Of course the many fighting scenes are incredible (I always love seeing swordsmen going up against huge flying machines), and the soundtrack is great since it primarily uses traditional Japanese instrumentation (shakuhachi, koto, and so on). As expected, the English dub had some terrible voice choices and lots of moments that made me cringe, but I won't complain too much about it!

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