Funimation Licenses 'Samurai 7'

Based on Kurasawa Classic
Funimation Productions has announced the licensing of the 26-episode TV series Samurai 7, which is based on the 1954 classic film, Seven Samurai, directed by the great Akira Kurosawa. Produced by Gonzo Digimation at a cost of $300,000 per episode, Samurai 7 was shown on Japanese TV this year (the first Japanese DVD doesn't come out until Wednesday), demonstrating once again that the gap between when an anime series is shown in Japan and when it is licensed for the U.S. continues to shrink.

Though some fans who are familiar with Kurosawa's work may object to the futuristic setting of Samurai 7, the plot -- seven down on their luck warriors agree to help a village ward off a large band of raiders, who attack just after harvest time -- remains essentially the same in spite of the addition of mecha on both the raiders' and the samurais' side. With its bigtime budget and Gonzo's computer animation wizardry, Samurai 7 is a series with some real potential and should receive an airing on American TV, though no announcements concerning release dates or possible TV showings have been made at this time.
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