Tonight's Weird Wednesday feature is a guilty pleasure of mine call "Samurai 7" from 2004. I'm not a fan of anime or Japanese cartoons in general, but this show is something else.
Just like "The Magnificent Seven," "Samurai 7" is based on the original "Shichinin no Samurai" written and directed by Akira Kurasawa in 1954, and released in English as "Seven Samurai."
I don't remember exactly what year it was, but when HD TV first appeared on the scene, there were scattered shows in HD but only DISH network had a whole series of independent channels that were all broadcast entirely in HD. One of them was "The Kung Fu Channel," and one of them was a cartoon network. It was a hot Summer, and I'd come home after work every day and watch one of these episodes. I had never seen anything like it before, and it was dazzling. They took a classic story and combined what looked like a Japan from the 20's or 30's with a Science Fiction story that must be at least 200 years in the future.
Episode one was called "The Master."
Let the rice wars begin!!
The basic story is still playing out today. You've got a bully, and a weak victim calling out for help!
The big guys want all the rice, and they want the little guys to grow it for them for no profit, and barely keep any for themselves.
The animation will keep you glued to the screen as it combines very flat images and totally intricate Sci-Fi stuff like you've never seen, or at least hadn't seen.
The village peoples don't know what to do. They are all but starving!
And whatever you do, don't get them mixed up with these guys!
The Elder tells the people what they need to do. They need to find a Samurai who will come and defend the village, and somebody will have to go to the city and find one!
Now this is the kind of Wow animation I'm talking about!
In the city, they've got more than just rice to eat!
The Water Princess's stones signal that he is the chosen one............End of the first episode!
I have tried many times over the years to find this show streaming or on DVD, but it never was, and the DVD's were always too expensive, but now since there are eighty-seven thousand streaming services out there, I was able to find one who streamed the whole series for free. There are lots of commercials which I loathe, and I had my doubts as to whether I would still think it was good, but after one episode, I have to say that it is just as interesting as the first time I saw it!
You can give it a try for free at