episode 17

episode 17 — Cut! / Reap!

The farmers begin reaping their rice. Shichiroji watches them. Kikuchiyo tries to reap as well, but the kids laugh at him, as he is too big. In his annoyance, he says he used to be the quick reaper Tago, then stops before he can say anything more.

Kiku stops before the new grave, and talks to the grave, saying he hates farmers, that as usual farmers only worry about rice and weather, and wonders if the newly dead died a useless death after all. Hei sees Kiku at the top of the hill, as Kiku continues murmuring about Kanbei and Kyuzo leaving, and that they are all heartless. Hei says that Kanbei will come back, because he’s a samurai. Kiku bitterly asks what IS a samurai. Hei tells him: look in the mirror and you’ll see one.

Other renovations to the village are also being done, especially rebuilding houses. The elder comments that the farmers developed team spirit because of working together to prepare the village for the attack. He asks if Kanbei really knew about doing this. Roji says he probably had this planned, too, to leave most of the samurai behind. They must rebuild the village to the point it can make rice again; after all, they were fed with rice.

Katsu goes over Kirara’s books when she herself comes over. She reads the passage he is on, essentially the Samurai 7 version of the history of civil wars and samurai, a revised version of a similar monologue in the original movie:

Wars came one after another for generations, created a culture and lifetsyle of battle. Those with money turned themselves to machines, and the size of the machinery was the symbol of authority. If you were not a samurai, you were not even a man. Because everything revolved around war, culture was lost after war. Thus, war was needed for samurai to keep authority. But some of those who served samurai survived, refined their skills, and became merchants. They created towns and houses after the war. Soon, the samurai were good for nothing.

Katsu declares that even though it’s a merchant age, he is still a samurai. Kirara says sorry again, she made him suffer a bitter explerience. Katsu in turn says it was out of pride that he chose to be a samurai. He places a hand at her back, and says they are steps in the path he must take. (We then have clips of the aftermath of Katsu’s first kill) He tells Kirara, that he wants to be proud of himself for choosing to be a samurai. (We then see clips of Kirara jumping off, and the recruitment of all seven samurai in order.) He now feels the sense of loss, and is beginning to understand why Kyuzo says he wants to feel alive.

Tessai reports to Ukyo about the second failed attack. Ukyo compliments Kirara on that victory, noting that it was Kirara who prepared the samurai. When Tessai protests, saying the leader is Kanbei, Ukyo says that the most important fact is that farmers defeated Nobuseri. Ukyo gives orders to tell the story to the other villages, to teach them that the Nobuseri are no longer things to be afraid of.

A messenger also arrives to report. Ayamaro is fired as manager of Kougakyo, since he is implicated in the murder of the Imperial messenger. As Tessai stares at Ukyo, the messenger says that Ukyo is being appointed as Ayamaro’s replacement. He quickly accepts, being capable and the next in line. Ukyo and Tessai go to the area where batteries are being prepared. He whacks his sword at a railing, then addresses the workers. He will soon let them out.

Kiku fishes with Okara and Komachi, thiking about what Heihachi said about being a samruai. The girls comment that he must be lonely because Kanbei is gone, noting that he had been chasing kanbei all this time (We see clips of Kiku and Kanbei) After being teased for being a useless farmer, Kiku finally declares, I’m a samurai, I’m a samurai! There’s only one thing a samurai can do! (A few clips of the Honoka story are shown)

Katsu and Kirara discuss Kanbei’s departure while with Rikichi, in bed with bandages. They also comment about Kyuzo leaving, that maybe he has no more reason to stay with Kanbei gone. Katsu notes that the “7 deities to protect the rice” have already split. (Then the clip of Hei talking about the 7 deities)

Kiku charges into the hut, and declares that he is going to the capital, that he won’t let Kanbei have all the glory alone! Katsu reminds him that they were told to stay put. Kiku grabs him by the front of his gi and asks since when did he become just an obedient boy. Katsu tell him with conviction: I’m a samurai. Alright then, Kiku says, we’ll prove to the bearded guy (Kanbei) that we’re samurai and find Rikichi’s wife.

Meanwhile, Kanbei reaches Shikimoribito territory. Honoka meets him. Kanbei says he is there to fulfill his promise. He says that Sanae and Honoka’s sister are at the capital. Shikimoribito surround them.

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