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Based on the legendary Akira Kurosawa classic epic feature film, Seven Samurai. A futuristic war-ravaged country on the brink of collapse. The once powerful samurai are coming to the end of their rule. Bandits roam the coutryside with savage intent. A powerless village hires 7 ronin, a samurai with no master, to defend their way of life. One group seeks protection, the other, seeks one last chance for victory in the battlefield.
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The 2004 broadcast series Samurai 7 borrows the premise of Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai (1954): driven to desperation by bandits who steal their crops, the inhabitants of a small village try to hire unemployed samurai to defend them. With nothing to offer as wages but their precious rice, the villagers send a delegation to a nearby town to recruit warriors poor enough to accept the dishonor of working for peasants. Samurai 7 moves the story into the future: the bandits and some of the samurai are robots. The village delegation consists of "water priestess" Kirara, her loud-mouthed little sister Komachi, and diligent Rikichi. In the first four episodes, they find four samurai willing to work for them: grim Kambei, eager Katsushiro, street performer Gorobei, and blustering mecha Kikuchiyo. But Kirara's beauty attracts the effete son of a wealthy merchant, adding a lot of predictable complications.
Seven Samurai is widely recognized as a masterpiece of international cinema; Samurai 7 is a lavish (it cost a reported ¥32,500,000--nearly $300,000--per episode, an extremely high price by Japanese standards) but derivative sci-fi saga that should have been allowed to stand on its own limited merits. Stressing its ties to Kurosawa's work only invites unflattering comparisons. (Unrated, suitable for ages 12 and older: violence, tobacco use) --Charles Solomon
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