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The war is over, but peace is still out of reach in this anime series, based on the classic movie Seven Samurai. In a dystopian, alternate-future resembling feudal Japan, the peasantry is at the mercy of the emperor, Bandits, a scheming merchant class, and mysterious Guardians. The constant warring has finally come to an end, only to leave the world in upheaval. The feudal structure is disintegrating and the weapons of the war, samurai turned into mechanical fighting machines, rampage across the countryside victimizing everyone in their path. Without a war to wage, the Bandits turn on the peasantry, stealing their harvest and their women. These constant attacks take their toll, causing one village of rice farmers to fight back. The elder of Kanna village sends water priestess Kirara, to find samurai with the strength and the honor needed to protect their village. Without money to pay the samurai, the villagers can only offer rice as payment, which makes hiring protectors for Kanna a difficult task.

Eventually, Kirara meets Kanbei, a master samurai, and although he refuses her offer at first, he soon realizes that the priestess of Kanna has gotten herself into more danger than even the bandits pose. Together, they gather together the seven samurai needed to protect Kanna village: Kanbei the master, Katsushiro the apprentice, Gorobei the entertainer, Heihachi the drifter, Kyuzou the loner, Shichiroji the friend, and Kikuchiyo the fool. Each samurai has his own reason for protecting Kanna village, and each is not the man he first appears to be. However, it soon becomes clear to them that protecting Kanna from bandit raids is not going to be enough. There are more dangers that await the samurai, than the villagers of Kanna could have foreseen.

Directed by Toshifumi Takizawa for Studio Gonzo, the Japanese version features the voice talents of: Masaki Terasoma, Romi Paku, and Fumiko Orikasa. The English dub features the voices of R. Bruce Elliott, Sean Michael Teague, and Colleen Clinkenbeard as Kirara.

Samurai 7 is a Anime series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (26 episodes). The series first aired on June 12, 2004. It has mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.7.

Samurai 7 is available for streaming on the SKY PerfecTV website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Samurai 7 on demand at Crunchyroll Amazon, Vudu, Crunchyroll online.

SKY PerfecTV
1 Season, 26 Episodes
June 12, 2004
Anime
7.7/10
Cast: Shinichiro Miki, Romi Paku, Zarah Little, Bob Carter, Colleen Clinkenbeard
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Samurai 7 Full Episode Guide

  • The explosive fight against the Capital continues, with both sides suffering major losses. The mighty Capital has been downed, but its inertia continues to propel it toward the village at a disastrous speed. Saving the village now will take more costly sacrifices. As the dust settles, what happens to the survivors who must bury their fallen friends?

  • In addition to the Capital's terrifying Mujou Gun, Ukyo has created a fleet of Nobuseri drones - a mindless army numbering in the thousands that follow his every command. Undaunted by the impossible odds, Kambei drives the samurai directly into the heart of the massive fleet. The ultimate battle for the future of the peasants and the empire has begun.

  • Katsushiro, still acting on his own, has returned to Kanna to defend it from the approaching Capital. This will be a daunting task - the massive air-ship's main weapon could level the village with a single blast. Unbeknownst to Katsushiro, Kambei and the rest of the samurai are racing toward the Capital as well, poised for the final showdown.

  • Ukyo is brilliantly playing Kanna's success to his own advantage, calling on ronin samurai to defend other villages from the Bandits, while at the same time secretly ordering the Bandits to increase their attacks on the villages. But to achieve his two-faced goals, Ukyo has one essential caveat. Kanna must be burned to the ground.

  • Kambei's rescue has created deep rifts between Katsushiro and his sensei. Kambei believes the young samurai was too rash in his attempted heroics, and Katsushiro believes Kambei was arrogant to battle the Capital alone. At a time when every move is critical, with Ukyo's plot rapidly unfolding, can the samurai survive their team being split in two?

  • In an unpredictable mix of heroics and political maneuverings, the rescue team finds a way out of the Capital alive, and takes refuge at the Firefly House. With Kambei pardoned, Sanae and Muzuki freed, and peace promised to Kanna, it seems the samurai's work is done. But the merchant Maro has a warning: the true struggle has only begun.

  • Kambei's confrontation with the Emperor - and Rikichi's wife - has landed him in a prison cell, awaiting his fate as the purported assassin of the Imperial Envoy. But the turmoil at the Capital is far from over. A political whirlwind has engulfed the empire with Ukyo at its center; and the outcome could make him more dangerous than ever before.

  • From the very beginning of this new Era of Merchants, little has been known about the Capital, and the divine ruler who manages this complicated system of control. Who is this man, responsible for the rise of the Merchants, the energy trade, and the Bandits torment of the peasants? With sword in hand, Kambei is about to find out.

  • The samurai must come to terms with the aftermath of battle. They can't look to Kambei for leadership; he departs on a solitary trek to the Guardian's cave, having an even more perilous mission in mind.

  • The samurai's heroics have won momentary peace for the village, but as Kirara's Dowsing Crystal indicates, much darker clouds are on the horizon. While Katsushiro and Kirara battle with their feelings for each other, Kyuzo proves just how fearless and skilled a samurai can be - embarking on a solo mission into the heart of the enemy camp.

  • The first attack has sent the Bandits into a retreat, but it won't take them long to strike back. Now Kambei initiates an even bolder plan ? handing Kyuzo, Gorobei, Katsushiro, and Kikuchiyo over to the enemy. With the entire village on the brink of destruction, can the samurai defeat the Bandits from the inside of their own massive ship?

  • The first battle has finally arrived. Are the villagers ready? Or has all of their hard work been in vain? They will find out only when their defenses are tested at last.

  • Katsushiro has taken a step on the samurai path he can never take back: he's made his first kill. Kirara is guilt-ridden, feeling she's pushed Katsushiro into spilling blood before he was ready. Meanwhile, the village is thrown into an uproar, debating what to do with the traitor, Manzo. Only a surprising revelation from Kikuchiyo can reunite the splintered group.

  • Kikuchiyo has been foolishly captured by the Bandits, and the samurai must leave the caves to rescue him. But as soon as they reach daylight the towering machines ambush them. Clearly a traitor is in their midst. Can Kambei and the others survive their first clash with the Nobuseri? And how should samurai deal with betrayal?

  • The samurai escape a merchant raid, only to find themselves in a cavern city under the watchful gaze of the Shikimoribito. Who are these mysterious "Guardians"? Man or machine? Ally or enemy? A new friend tries to explain, but she is hiding something, too. Will these secrets mean trouble for the samurai, and the farmers they've sworn to protect?

  • With Kikuchiyo's fate uncertain, Kambei leads the samurai into a city of relaxation - and pays a visit to a trusted friend. Shichiroji fought with Kambei in the Great War, but has settled down to a peaceful life with a woman he adores. Can samurai truly abandon the warrior way? Will Shichiroji leave his love, and take up his sword again?

  • After the Imperial Envoy is murdered, a citywide hunt for all samurai begins. The team plans a fast escape, but blundering Kikuchiyo seizes the moment to prove himself to the team.

  • Frustrated by their inability to find willing (and capable) samurai, Kambei's group stops at a teashop to recharge. There, they are told of a wandering, moneyless man who chops wood with his sword to pay for meals. As they soon learn, that is only the start of this nomad's peculiar, rice-loving, philosophizing ways. But his uniqueness could prove invaluable.

  • The group has gotten the Magistrate's attention - never a good thing. Viewing samurai "relics" as a threat to merchant authority, their scuffle with his son makes a convenient excuse. He orders the group's execution, farmers and samurai alike. As they battle a string of assassins, Kambei encounters one silent, incredibly skilled samurai he is determined to recruit.

  • Since the Great War ended, society has been turned upside down. Samurai honor has been replaced by the materialism of the merchants, and displaced warriors must find new ways to survive. For one battle-scarred man, that means entertainment, exploiting his skills for daily bread. But with his real-world approach and adaptability, he may be exactly what the farmers need.

  • Facing starvation at the hands of the Nobuseri, the farmers of Kanna Village make a desperate decision: hire samurai to wage war. The village's Water Priestess, Kirara, her little sister Komachi, and a heartbroken man named Rikichi journey to a giant merchant city. Navigating dangerous streets filled with ronin, they must find willing samurai before their village is lost.

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