Monday, 21 April 2014

Your handy guide to the Seven Samurai

Akira Kurosawa's quite marvellous Seven Samurai is out on Blu-ray this week courtesy of those sexually devastating BFI types, and it's one of those films that not enough people have seen even though they know they really should. I suspect what's holding many people back is the fear of not being able to follow which of the titular septet of samurai is which, what with them all being Japanese and in black and white.

Because I'm good like that, I'm prepared to overlook the potentially racist undertones of your fear and shall attempt to alleviate it with this convenient cut-out-and-keep guide to the seven samuraiest samurai in all of samuraidom. Banzai!

(NB Do not attempt to cut out)

Kambei: Baldy Samurai

Kambei is the leader of the titular ronin, and is wise because he is old and bald. He is thoughtful and considerate, and slays people in silence and slow motion. His interests include cartography and painting.

Katsushirō: Baby Samurai

Katsushirō enjoys flower arranging and tumbles in the hay with pretty young boys. He is headstrong but naive and narcissistic; his morning routine is two hours long, and he is exceptionally pleased with the inverted boobs shape made by his hairline. He is a Pisces.

Gorōbei: Manly Samurai

Gorōbei works out regularly and can bench press a Nissan Micra. He enjoys archery, but not its western equivalent, darts, which he says is for "fat, drunk gaijin". His favourite colour is azure.

Shichirōji: Chunky Samurai

In the face of fierce competition, Shichirōji has the daftest hair of all the samurai. He was probably on his way to the hairdressers when Kambei bumped into him and recruited him, the poor bugger. Shichirōji enjoys running, building barricades and watching the EastEnders omnibus.

Heihachi: Silly Samurai

The joker of the pack (in the same way that every office has a joker, i.e. he's not very funny), Heihachi uses his humour to leaven tense situations, like awkward inter-samurai arguments about whose pubes are in the miso soup. He spends his spare time splitting logs and sewing, the big girl's macho blouse.

Kyūzō: Scary Samurai

The name "Kyūzō" is Japanese for "Do not fuck with me". He is an excellent trainer of armies but is a loner ever since he got close to one of his recruits and had his advances rebuffed. He tells everyone he got that scar above his eye when he was attacked by Godzilla, but in fact he merely cut himself shaving while distracted by a bee.

Kikuchiyo: Phony Samurai

Kikuchiyo's interests include fishing, being naked outdoors, amusing small children and near-fatal amounts of heavy drinking. Often he likes to combine all of these at once. He dislikes miserable people, horse riding and real samurai.

Seven Samurai is out now on Blu-ray in normal boring plastic case and deeply sexy steelbook hewn from the finest Hattori Hanzō steel, very possibly.

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