DVD
Samurai 7
Volume 2 - Escape From the Merchants

Starring (voice): Fumiko Orikasa, Takehito Koyasu and Masaki Terasoma
MVM
RRP: 19.99
MVD2125
Certificate: 12
Available 10 April 2006


Set in a futuristic world that has just witnessed the end of a massive war, scores of villages are terrorised by Nobuseri bandits. But the Nobuseri are no normal bandits. They were once Samurai, who during the war integrated their living cells with machines to become dangerous weapons now appearing more machine than man. Absolute power corrupts, and their reign of terror is increasing its hold on the countryside. But one group of villagers has had enough deciding to hire samurai to protect their village. Kirara is a young priestess who travels to the city seeking out protection. One by one, she encounters brave samurai that the war has left behind. These men of skill and valour are each unique and not without their quirks. But can they come together as one to defend the helpless village?...

Samurai 7 is futuristic sci-fi anime update of Akira Kurosawa's timeless classic, Seven Samurai. Produced by Studio Gonzo (Gantz; Burst Angel), Samurai 7 is a 26-part action-packed series about a small band of heroes and their battle to defend a small farming village against an onslaught of giant, flying mecha-warrior robots.

Volume 2 in this collection opens with The Drifter, in which Kirara and the Samurai continue looking for addition warriors to help them in their cause. They discover a Samurai who is chopping wood. While he is skilled with both the sword he has never actually had to kill anyone. If he joins the band of warriors will he actually be of any use when it comes to battle?

The Fool: A man who was part of the Imperial Envoy is murdered and the Emperor believes that the Samurai are to be blamed. To this end, the emperor issues a royal decree that all Samurai, and anyone with them, must be captured - dead or alive.

The Friend: In hiding from the Emperor and his men, Kambei, and the other Samurai, visits his old friend, Shichiroji, at an inn in the city of Kougakyo. Shichiroji tells them of a secret passage they can use to escape if things get out of hand.

The Guardians: The group rests up in Honoka's (a girl they meet who works for the guardians) house. But, when the Nobuseri arrive and the samurai decide not to interfere in their trading with the guardians, Rikichi finally looses it. He explains why he hates them so much and says that he won't stand idle by. And neither will Kikuchiyo.

I have to admit to being a little restless while watching these episodes. The storyline really seems to be stretching itself a little too thin and, in places, I really had to force myself to not switch off and go and do something less boring instead.

Extras include character profiles; opening and closing titles without the credits; Seven Samurai trailer and trailers for other MVW releases.

Nick Smithson

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