Samurai 7 Vol. #7 (Viridian Collection) (of 7) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Release Date: Tuesday, December 04, 2007
What They Say
Facing impossible odds and unavoidable sacrifice, the samurai know this battle will determine the fate of not only Kanna Village, but that of an entire nation. The final battle has arrived. It ends here.
The end is here and carnage is all around!
For this viewing session I began with the 5.1 Japanese track. The music is constant as well as the continual gunfire and explosions makes great us of the surround sound. I also listened to FUNimation‚€™s English dub too to listen to their 5.1 as well. Great balance amongst the speaker setup, which lead to great sword collisions from behind during all the fight scenes. With all the explosions and raging battling the 5.1 really gives a boost to the overall conclusion of this series.
Samurai 7 is one of the latest Gonzo series airing in Summer of 2004 till Christmas of 2004 so the transfer is 16:9 widescreen. Animation is sharp and crisp with beautiful combination of hand drawn and computer like most Gonzo shows. There is no bleeding in the animation making the background scenery and the characters come out vibrant and lifelike. The constant changes in background always gives your eyes something to focus on.
FUNimation continues to use the clear keepcases like they used for Fullmetal Alchemist and Burst Angel, which is great especially when including reversible covers. The first side is a watercolorlike painting of Shichiroji facing foreward with his robotic hand holding the edge of his staff that he has slung over his shoulder and Akira Kurosawa‚€™s Samurai 7 right by his shoulder. To mark the volume there is a seven in a diamond below the u of Samurai with FUNimation and Gonzo‚€™s symbols on the bottom left corner. On the back is eight screen caps and episode listings. The reverse cover is a charcoal drawing of all seven samurai staring directly ahead. The disc also includes a thirty page booklet with character sketches and staff interviews from Gonzo on the resurrection of the Seven Samurai.
There is thirty second sound clip with a nice war era type feel to it. In the upper right corner is a picture of Shichiroji with his staff drawn for battle, with play, episodes, audio and extras directly below him. The curser still blends into the background making it hard at sometimes to figure out what option you are on but not as much as the previous disc, and the response time is still quite quick.
T he two minute image gallery continues to be on each volume since the pictures are vibrant and crystal clear. This disc also contains textless songs of both the opening ‚€œUnlimited‚€� by Nanase Aikawa and the closing ‚€œFuhun‚€� by Rin. There is also trailers for Baki the Grappler, Case Closed, Speed Grapher, the Z-store, Fullmetal Alchemist, Desert Punk, the FUNimation channel & an interest intro trailer to the upcoming Gonzo series Basilisk.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The disc opens up with the villagers of Kanna burning the metal corpses spread amongst the village from their victory thanks to the aid of Katsushiro. Kambei and the rest of the group are attempting to make their way back to Kanna since they keep seeing the wake of the disaster behind Ukyo and the capital. They come across the remains of the Bandits that Ukyo had blown to bits and use his sword as a much faster transport to the village; leaving Rikichi to take the women home. But, before they leave, there is an extremely tender moment between Komachi and Kikuchiyo where he gives her his ‚€œfamily tree‚€� and she talks about how she loves him. This really makes you understand how Kikuchiyo feels for he finally has another person get him and he promise to come back to her. Yet, her sister, has her eyes on another of the samurai as we see Kirara‚€™s true feelings towards Kambei come out.
Katsushiro is the only samurai at Kanna when the capital arrives with a blistering blast that he is able to deflect with his kitanna. This shows how far Katsushiro had gone as a warrior from the pathetic swordsmen he was at the start of the series. Katsushiro and the villagers meet the brainless bandits (since the had their souls removed by Ukyo), as Kambei, Kikuchiyo and Shichiroji approach from the rear. All four have their swords drawn as the continue to deflect blasts as well as dice bandits. Heihachi joins Katsushiro as the rest of the team rides upon Ukyo‚€™s mighty cannon blast and land on the deck of the capital.
Katsushiro tries to catapult himself onto the ship by using the giant crossbow from earlier in the series, but falls short only to be plucked from the air by Heihachi as he watches Kyuzo get hit with a bullet shell. Heihachi has Katsushiro cover his back while he goes ahead with his important job of destroying the engine, although as soon as he is done setting the bombs he is struck done by the sword of a bandit, and while dying he is able to heroically trigger the detonator. Katsushiro can‚€™t believe that both Kyuzo and Heihachi are dead and you see the madness start to take over him.
Inside the capital Kambei, Kikuchiyo and Shichiroji find all three of the Ukyo decoys, yet thanks to Kikuchiyo‚€™s farmer‚€™s heritage can smell the stink of work on them. The corn pip swordsman cuts them all down and fights with the three samurai, but to our surprise Kyuzo is alive swiftly slices him. The gunfire is raining down on the four samurai and Katsushiro‚€™s sword breaks, leaving him with only a gun by his feet to save Kambei. He riddles the opponent with bullets but they go completely through their target killing him and Kyuzo who had stepped in to save Kambei as well, which makes Katsushiro the killer of his own comrade. This was the first time I can remember a main character getting killed with friendly fire and dying in such a shocking manner that it left me speechless. I‚€™m not usually effected too much when a character is killed off but watching both Kyuzo and Heihachi die so close together was gut wrenching and disheartening. Leaving you with a pending dread of which of the four remaining samurai will actually make it out alive.
Kambei and the rest spring a trap for Ukyo at his escape ship. Kikuchiyo is about to kill him when the ship tilts making him miss his mark and allowing Ukyo to pepper him with bullets injuring him greatly. He opens the door to get out when he finds that Kambei had been waiting for him and he drives at him with immense speed as he slashes his target. But, the wound doesn‚€™t kill him and he tries to shoot Kambei, but Kikuchiyo dives onto him and they roll out of the capital. Rikichi picks Kikuchiyo up and the obsessed Ukyo still moves towards Kirara even while the blood drips down him. Kikuchiyo gives him one finally wallop and then asks to be placed in front of the capital where he will make his final stand. Just like Heihachi, Kikuchiyo, stares down death and considers the safety and lives of his friends over his own. Shichiroji and Kambei lend Kikuchiyo a hand in destroying the capital, which falls over the ledge taking Ukyo down with it and bringing an end to the empire.
Only Katsushiro, Shichiroji and Kambei survived of the seven brave warriors who decided to lay their life on the line to defend the villagers of Kanna. We see that Katsushiro is forever changed by the killing that he has done, and Kambei even bequeaths him his sword so he can go on his warrior way. Yet, Shichiroji and Kambei have seen the end of their war and you feel that they finally feel they have made up for the loss in the last great war. Kirara passes down the role of water priestess to Komachi signifying and end in her life too. The villagers resume their lives as farmers but leave the flag and graves of their fallen heroes in prominence on the hill to be forever remembered.
After all the build up in the previous six installments the conclusion is here and the finale does not let you done. Samurai 7 is an up and down rollercoaster of emotions as you hang on to the edge of your seat through these final three episodes trying to find out the who will live and who will die in this last struggle against Ukyo and his horde of minions. Sure, there was tons of action to keep you entertained but the sacrifice and sheer will of the characters is what really gets to you. Personally the scene between Kikuchiyo and Komachi was cute, heartwarming and sad all at the same time. The best aspect of this series was that ability to pull on all the emotional strings making this one of the most enthralling series I‚€™ve watched in years.
Japanese 5.1 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,Textless Songs
Sony SAVA D9000 Dual Stack DTS w/ 5 Disc Changer in stack 1 and subwoofer in stack 2 Tv is Sony 57‚€� widescreen rear-projection HDTV Model #KPD 57WS550
Mania Grade: A-
Audio Rating: A-
Video Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: A-
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: D
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Samurai 7