movie variations

To discuss the Seven Samurai movie is beyond the scope of this website, but in this page you’ll find some of the changes, similarities, and variations made to the story when it was adapted into an anime.

– Heihachi, Shichiroji, and Kyuzo have more background story and character development in the anime.

– Kyuzo is already quite stony, but not as icy as in the anime. He talks and laughs more in the original.

– Katsushiro keeps the top jacket from the movie (you see it more in the battle scenes at the end of the anime).

— These characters are original to the anime: Kirara, Komachi, Okara, Ukyo, Ayamaro, Amanushi, Sanae, Yukino, Hyougo, Honoka, Mizuki, the Shikimoribito. Sanae is a full-made character inspired from a very minor character in the movie.

— Retained memorable movie scenes:

1. Kanbei accepts the job (“I will not waste this rice.”).

2. Gisaku: “What is the use of worrying about your beard when your head is about to be taken?”

3. Katsushiro is asked by Kanbei to hide and whack at a coming samurai (used to recruit Gorobei).

4. Gorobei talks to Heihachi while he was chopping wood and recruits him (but Hei was using a real axe).

5. Kikuchiyo presents the scroll with his “samurai” ancestry.

6. Kikuchiyo dances in a kimono, then Rikichi storms out (however, unlike in the movie, the samurai already know why that hurt Rikichi a lot)

7. Kikuchiyo’s long speech to the samurai and farmers (but placed in a slightly different context)

8. Katsu to Kyuzo: “You’re really great! I’ve always wanted to tell you that!”

8. Katsushiro, hurting and half-crazy: “Nobuseri wa? Nobuseri wa?”

9. Final dialogue (Kanbei to Shichiroji: We lost again….) and shot of the fields

— Rikichi originally went with Manzo, Mosuke, and Yohei in search of the samurai.

— The presentation of the episode title (black background with calligraphy in white ink), as well as the way the “end” character is given at the end of the series, is derived from the movie.

— Majority of scenes in the first episode are variations of initial events and scenes in the movie. Probably the only thing completely new are the shots of Kanbei and Shichiroji in the heat of battle.

— Heihachi was the one who originally made the banner (the one with the 6 circles, triangle, and rice symbol).

— Manzo is singled out for treason in both movie and anime, but for doing different things.

— To make the anime more kid-friendly, Shino was put to the sidelines. Originally, she was Katsushiro’s girl, and they even had a fling!

— The way burial mounds are presented (with a sword thrust on top) is taken from the movie.

— Rikichi’s wife stays very much alive in the anime (which isn’t what happens in the movie).

— Kikuchiyo, Kyuzo, Heihachi, and Rikichi are the ones who originally do the surprise inside attack.

— (SPOILER!) Those who were killed (I’m not saying here who they were; those who have seen the movie or the end of the anime already know who) were killed by gunshots by the enemy side. The anime version is actually more dramatic. The order of the casualty list is also slightly different. (end)


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