episode 07

Episode 7 — Cure! / Heal!

(This is the episode notorious for incredibly weird animation, considering that Samurai 7 is such an expensive undertaking. It is said that only 2 animators were working on it, and it is possible that the director for this episode was aiming at a non-conventional style. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. This is also the first episode where the nicer opening sequence is shown.)

Nobuseri hover over Kanna village again, and the farmers are starting to worry when the samurai will come.

The gang starts planning their next move while hiding out. Heihachi’s stomach begins to complain. Rikichi apologizes that they were not able to bring rice with them. Kanbei proposes that they go to where a friend is to have some food and rest, as well as a hideout.

Firely House (Hotaruya) is presented as a large inn and teahouse. A presentation by Shichiroji and Yukino is the big event of the night. Somewhere deeper inside the manager is dealing with a burly drunk man about lodgings. The burly man however is rejected lodging at Hotaruya. He attacks the main show, but Roji makes short work of him, kicking him out and telling him to leave.

The gang reaches the outskirts of the village of healing. Some discussion between them about the area, described as a place they can rest and leave their cares behind, and where Ayamaro’s power doesn’t hold. Komachi and Kirara still worry about Kikuchiyo, though.

There is no need to worry. Kiku is seen running around inside the town already, escaping guards.

Deeper into the night, Shichiroji and Yukino sit at the top of the entrance steps and talk. Roji sadly comments that all a samurai can be now is a bodyguard or a Nobuseri. Yukino cuddles in and says it’s not true, and reminds that he is a samurai too. Not anymore, he says, adding that a grown-up firefly is silent (meaning: he’s put the more exciting antics behind him as a young man’s thing) He promises to stay at Hotaruya forever, since he owes her.

Roji sees Kanbei at the foot of the steps. Kanbei tells him he is glad to see him again, and asks if he would let them stay at the inn. Roji agrees, and everyone else appears to say thanks.

Whistles are heard around town. Kyuzo is seen chopping at a few people, with Ukyo watching nearby. They have heard that the mechanical samurai are at the village of healing.

Kanbei introduces Roji to the gang as his “partner” in the previous war, which Katsu interprets with a deep blush as “wife” (at least, an intimate kind of partner). Roji then introduces Yukino. When asked how they met, Yukino says that 5 years ago she literally picked up Roji at the river. We are then shown exactly how, with Yukino opening a capsule that stopped drifting on the river, a man in uniform inside. Hei notes that the story is like the Momotaro story (check Shichiroji’s character profile).

Roji is given the quick version of the samurai hunt problem. He says that they have a secret escape to Shikimoribito territory, if needed. Yukino then claps and presents them with an incredible spread of food. Heihachi does full justice to the meal, saying that he’s better at eating than at sword technique. Katsu gets very red in the cheeks as Kikrara offers him a rice bowl, much to Yukino’s delight. Roji is then given the short version of the Nobuseri problem.

Kiku manages to make it to Hotaruya.

Kirara does not touch her food. She says she can’t eat such nice food while her fellow villagers are starving. Yukino just says that everybody has hardships, that you can’t stay stiff all the time or you won’t get anything done. Roji claps for more entertainment. A group of geisha come out to dance, and Hei dances along.

Kiku talks to the manager about a room, and brings out the roll with the genealogy.

At the village entrance gate, Kyuzo chops at the security robot and gets Ukyo’s group inside the village.

As the rest of the men sleep, Roji catches up on old times with Kanbei. He explains how Ninomaru castle collapsed and he thought he would die there. Kanbei reminisces about the old traditional way to be a samurai: do good in battle, have good property, be a feudal lord, die a rich man that way. Roji sadly relates that money is needed now, not spears. After a short sad song about the futility of samurai life, Roji agrees to go. Kanbei reminds that it will be hard and he may really die now. Roji only smiles. (This HAS got to be from the movie, yes?)

Yukino bathes with Kirara, offering to pretty her up. Kirara tells her that she can’t do that, get pretty and all, with the problems they have to think about. Yukino tells her to forget her worries while at the inn. She talks about Katsu, and how they make a nice couple. Kirara evades, saying she is not interested in men. But she does say she adores how Roji and Yukino get along. Yukino sadly notes that “Momotaro” will leave to kill ogres someday. She opens a window, and sees that the inn is surrounded by guards.

Yukino warns Kanbei and Shichiroji. Kanbei tells Gorobei to wake everybody (This is the part noted in a discussion a while back: Hei-san manages to put on the dark jacket part and shoes in 5 seconds?!) and starts to plan quickly. But Kiku appears, with Kyuzo and the others behind him! Kiku rushes to the gang and greets them, saying that as long as he’s there everything will be fine. After some words are exchanged, the guards surround the gang. Roji and the others raise the tatami mats and Roji shows a passage under the floor, so when Tessai slashes, no one is there.

The gang is next shown already on a riverboat. Yukino sees them off, wishing that Shichiroji won’t cause trouble. She tosses over his staff to him, while he takes one long look at Yukino. As they move away, Yukino says she hopes Nobuseri will kill Roji, as tears keep flowing. Kirara kindly answers that Momotaro will come back, with lots of treasures. Kanbei apologizes for taking Roji from his current life, but Roji says it’s no big deal — he was just living in a dream for a time.

In another riverboat, Ukyo and his group follows after the gang into Shikimoribito territory — a place where people are staring at them like bats from the ceiling!


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