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  • Samurai 7, Vol. 5 - Empire in Flux
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Samurai 7, Vol. 5 - Empire in Flux

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Product Details

  • Actors: R. Bruce Elliott, Christopher Sabat, Sean Teague, Colleen Clinkenbeard, Luci Christian
  • Directors: Futoshi Higashide, Hiroyuki Okuno, Makoto Sokuza, Mitsuo Kusakabe, Shunsuke Tada
  • Format: Animated, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Funimation Prod
  • DVD Release Date: March 28, 2006
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #188,508 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Samurai 7, Vol. 5 - Empire in Flux" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The once impenetrable band of seven, now diminished to six, was forced to come to terms with the inevitable when Gorobei risked his life to save his brethren. With sword in hand Kambei is determined to find answers. Leaving the surviving samurai behind, Kambei departs on a solitary trek with an even more perilous mission in mind. Based on the legendary Akira Kurosawa classic epic feature film, Seven Samurai.

The characters in Samurai 7 have achieved their goal: the bandits have been defeated and the peasant-farmers of Kanna village can harvest their rice in safety. Kambei, the leader of the samurai, departs to fulfill his promise to rescue Rikichi's wife Sanae--and pick up a long-neglected strand of the plot. At the capital, he discovers that Sanae has married the emperor and is carrying his child. (As the emperor resembles a Peking opera character floating in a tank of nutritive liquid, it's not clear how their relationship was maintained or consummated.) In an even more dramatic revelation, the emperor announces that the orchidaceous Ukyo is the 49th imperial clone and heir to the throne. Kambei is arrested when he threatens to assassinate the emperor and sentenced to death. The remaining samurai, "water priestess" Kirara, and her gabby little sister Komachi are heading to the capital, so it's unlikely Kambei will be beheaded. At this point, Samurai 7 has lost even the vaguest ties to Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, its supposed model, and has become pure sci-fi. (Rated TV PG, suitable for ages 12 and older: violence, alcohol use) --Charles Solomon

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Antonio D. Paolucci on April 3, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As the proverbial saying goes, the plot thickens. In all of the first four volumes of Samurai 7, the story stayed pretty true to the classic movie Seven Samurai, only perhaps a little more drawn out and a lot slower. But in the previous volume, the battle for the village was wrapped up nicely and a new storyline was presented (though in many ways it still follows what the movie did, only in a different chronological order).

Now, the mission for Kambei has become save all of the women taken by the Bandits, and that means he must travel to the capital and face the emperor himself in order to do so. In this volume, old enemies presented earlier in the series--and never truly forgotten--are brought back, old allies are mourned, and the samurai are separated into smaller groups.

Like the other four volumes, the action in this volume is still as solid and crisp as it was previously, and the animation is still good, though definitely not the greatest. The 3D CGI, however, is the best I've seen in any anime series. And of course the story unfolds as dramatically as it had before, even with the newly presented plot twists. I felt when the fourth volume ended that the next would be a huge test for the Samurai 7 series, since it was obvious that the objective was to present something new. Luckily, it passed that test and in many ways the story now is more exciting and tense than it was before.

Samurai 7 is definitely one of the best anime of 2005-06, and I think this volume proves that (though I think I remember saying that in my reviews of the other volumes). For any skeptics out there, Samurai 7 was picked up very recently by IFC, a channel that never before had an interest in anime.
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By Sesho on September 13, 2006
Format: DVD
The village of Kanna has been saved and the bandits have been destroyed for the moment. But as long as the corrupt relationship between the bandits and merchants is allowed to continue, peasants will never be safe. The reason why is that the Emperor and the merchants are able to keep the bandits busy harrassing the farmers thereby keeping these former samurai from turning their swords to a richer catch. Kanbei sets off for the capitol on his own, taking it upon himself to rescue not only Rikichi's enslaved wife but the sister of Honoka, the young girl he met among the Shikimori. Knowing him, he has a plan of attack all mapped out, but the newly matured and battle-hardened Katsushiro and the ever-impatient Kikuchiyo have found it too hard to wait around for news anymore. The two set out to find Kanbei, along with the water priestess Kirara and her little sister Komachi. The effeminate dandy Ukyo is also headed there, with visions of Kirara dancing through his head, as well as seizing the Emperor's power!

This fifth volume of this awesome series shifts the action down a notch, and focuses instead on the politics of the Samurai 7 world reminescent of the first three Star Wars episodes. While this doesn't neccesarily bring the show down, it does give you an uncomfortable feeling that it could run off the tracks of its own ambition. If this is the quiet before a storm, so be it, but if it is the quiet before boredom, woe betide its viewer. The writing is excellent, though I don't know if I see the transformation of Katsushiro from idealistic kid to Clint Eastwood as very believable. I also didn't like the reduction in screen time of the other samurai as Kanbei comes front and center. Still, this is an extremely high-quality anime.
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Format: DVD
When the show was first announced, many were wondering just how much of the original film would be included into the show and what would be altered. So while there is some similarities, there was also significant changes. Kikuchiyo is now a talking(and loud!) robot, the bandits are actually massive robots straight out of Gundam and there's a subplot involving an effeminate man. Well volume 4 ended the ties between film and show and now the show's off on its own but it just becomes slightly off in a way.

After the action-packed volume 4, things get more quieter while the plot gets bigger. Kanbei is now off on his own to the Capital to rescue Rikishi's wife while Kikuchiyo, Hatsushiro, Kirara and Komachi decide to go help out Kanbei, leaving Heihachi and Shichiroji in the village to help rebuild. A subplot that was forgotten involving a weird effiminate looking guy named Ukyo is given attention finally.

The original film ended with the bandit battle, leaving at least 4 samurai dead. Well in the last volume, only one of which died in the battle for the village so now there's a whole story about the Emperor and honestly? It was kind of boring; it was literally the first time I started to read and watch at the same time. The volume in many ways is more story driven than action, it was just too bad the story was just kind of dull.

While the show personally is in that good but not great range, this volume doesn't really derail it but it is also not as compelling as the show normally is.
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