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[01/31/06 - 12:00 AM]
The Independent Film Channel and Animania Hd Present: Samurai 7

[via press release from IFC]

The Independent Film Channel and ANIMANIA HD Present: SAMURAI 7

Anime Series, based on Akira Kurosawa's Epic Seven Samurai 26 x 30-minute episodes

Cable TV Premiere April 1

Saturdays at 10:30pm ET / 7:30pm PT immediately following The Henry Rollins Show re-launch

HD Premiere March 1

Wednesdays at 9:00pm ET/ 6:00pm PT as part of NEW Animayhem block

SAMURAI 7 - Synopsis

IFC and ANIMANIA HD introduce the Japanese anime series, Samurai 7, to US audiences, in 26 mind-blowing episodes. Filmed in High Definition with stunning production values, Samurai 7 is loyal to the plot and characters of Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai (1954), but has a sci-fi twist. This series promises to be an anime classic.

Set in a feudal, futuristic world that has just witnessed the end of a massive war, scores of villages are terrorized by Nobuseri bandits. But the Nobuseri are no ordinary bandits. They were once Samurai, who during the war integrated their living cells with machines to become dangerous weapons, now appearing more machine than man. Absolute power corrupts, and their reign of terror is increasing its hold on the countryside.

But one group of villagers has had enough. Facing starvation, a young water priestess, Kirara sets out to the city with her little sister, Komachi and fellow villager, Rikichi to recruit samurai (master swordsman, who adhere to the strict code of honor and loyalty, 'bushido') to defend them. With no pay to offer except rice, and knowing full well that only down-on-their-luck samurai would even consider accepting such a deal, the villagers can only hope that their saviors will appear before the Nobuseri return at harvest time.

One by one, Kirara encounters brave samurai that the war has left behind. These men of skill and valor are each unique and not without their quirks. But can they come together as one to defend the helpless village?

SAMURAI 7 - Overview

IFC will air the 26 episodes of Samurai 7 at 10:30pm/ 7:30pm PT, beginning April 1, following the re-launch of "The Henry Rollins Show" (previously "Henry's Film Corner") hosted by IFC's own samurai!

Samurai 7 builds upon the theme of IFC's highly successful and longest-running film strand, "Samurai Saturdays." Throughout the year, this evergreen, weekly presentation of classic, Japanese Samurai movies airs 8am ET/ 5am PT and re-airs in the afternoon (times vary, see upcoming titles at ifc.com).

For ANIMANIA HD (available on DISH network), Samurai 7 serves to further expand its audience to young adults, 14-18. ANIMANIA HD will air one hour of Samurai 7 episodes every Wednesday, beginning March 1, as part of a NEW "Animayhem" block.

SAMURAI 7 - Episodic Descriptions

PART 1: SEARCH FOR THE SEVEN

Episode 1: The Master ANIMANIA HD: March 1 IFC: April 1 Facing starvation at the hands of the Nobuseri, the farmers of Kanna Village make a desperate decision: hire samurai to wage war. The village's Water Priestess, Kirara, her little sister Komachi, and a heartbroken man named Rikichi journey to a giant merchant city. Navigating dangerous streets filled with ronin, they must find willing samurai before their village is lost.

Episode 2: The Pupil IFC: April 8 Kirara's Dowsing Crystal finds a samurai, Kambei, strong enough to lead them, but he refuses to help. Volunteering instead is the untried Katsushiro, but the Crystal does not point to him. When the Magistrate's pleasure-loving son kidnaps Kirara, the young samurai faces his first real test.

Episode 3: The Entertainer ANIMANIA HD: March 8 IFC: April 15 Since the Great War ended, society has been turned upside down. Samurai honor has been replaced by the materialism of the merchants, and displaced warriors must find new ways to survive. For one battle-scarred man, Gorobei, that means entertainment, exploiting his skills for daily bread. But with his real-world approach and adaptability, he may be exactly what the farmers need.

Episode 4: The Loner IFC: April 22 The group has gotten the Magistrate's attention-never a good thing. Viewing samurai "relics" as a threat to merchant authority, their scuffle with his son makes a convenient excuse. He orders the group's execution, farmers and samurai alike. As they battle a string of assassins, Kambei encounters Kyuzo, one silent, incredibly skilled samurai, he is determined to recruit.

PART 2: ESCAPE FROM THE MERCHANTS

Episode 5: The Drifter ANIMANIA HD: March 15 IFC: April 29 Frustrated by their inability to find willing (and capable) samurai, Kambei's group stops at a teashop to recharge. There, they are told of a wandering, moneyless man, Heihachi, who chops wood with his sword to pay for meals. As they soon learn, that is only the start of this nomad's peculiar, rice-loving, philosophizing ways. But his uniqueness could prove invaluable.

Episode 6: The Fool ANIMANIA HD: March 15 IFC: May 6 After the mysterious murder of the Imperial Envoy in the Magistrate's home-with a bloody sword as the only clue-a citywide hunt for all samurai begins. With a high price suddenly on their heads, the band of samurai must escape the city fast. Kikuchiyo, the erratic and blundering machine, seizes the moment to prove himself to the team.

Episode 7: The Friend IFC: May 13 With Kikuchiyo's fate uncertain, Kambei leads the samurai into a city of relaxation-and pays a visit to a trusted friend. Shichiroji fought with Kambei in the Great War, but has settled down to a peaceful life with a woman he adores. Can samurai truly abandon the warrior way? Will Shichiroji leave his love, and take up his sword again?

Episode 8: The Guardians ANIMANIA HD: March 22 IFC: May 20 The samurai escape a merchant raid, only to find themselves in a cavern city under the watchful gaze of the Shikimoribito. Who are these mysterious "Guardians"? Man or machine? Ally or enemy?

PART 3: FROM FARM TO FORTRESS

Episode 9: The Bandits IFC: May 27 Kikuchiyo has been foolishly captured by the Bandits, and the samurai must leave the caves to rescue him. But as soon as they reach daylight, the towering machines of the Nobuseri ambush them. Clearly, there's a traitor in their midst. Can Kambei and the others survive their first clash with the Nobuseri? And who is the traitor?

Episode 10: The Journey ANIMANIA HD: March 29 IFC: June 3 Knowing legions of Nobuseri will be searching for them soon, Kambei decides the group must go to Kanna immediately, though the team of seven is not yet complete. Dividing into smaller groups to avoid detection, the samurai and farmers embark down three separate paths to the village. To survive the trek, new bonds of trust must be quickly forged.

Episode 11: The Village IFC: June 10 The samurai finally arrive at Kanna Village? and find no one there to greet them. Recent threats from the Bandits have shaken the farmers' resolve, and not all of them want the samurai's help. As the samurai begin their preparations for war, they must confront something even more dangerous: betrayal from the farmers who have hired them.

Stay tuned for 26 exciting episodes!

TOSHIFUMI TAKIZAWA - Director

Takizawa is best known in Japan for his anime feature films. He co-wrote and co-directed sci-fi anime Blue Remains (2000) and co-directed Big Wars (1993). He also directed anime feature Crusher Joe (1989).

ABOUT IFC TELEVISION

The Independent Film Channel (IFC) is the first and most widely distributed network dedicated to independent film 24 hours a day, uncut, uncensored and commercial-free. The network is part of IFC Companies -- the only brand to operate in every area of independent film to include television, production, financing, distribution, digital, on-demand and exhibition. IFC Companies uses its unique cross-platform position to broaden the audience of independent film and to provide independent filmmakers with a strong voice. IFC Companies is a division of Rainbow Media Holdings, LLC.

ABOUT ANIMANIA HD / VOOM HD

ANIMANIA HD is just one of the many diverse programming categories on VOOM HD Networks, the largest suite of high definition channels available anywhere. Offering a platform where cartoon worlds take on astonishing depth and detail, ANIMANIA HD, available nationally on DISH Network (Ch. 9474) is the only channel actively working with producers and distributors to air true HD animation for all ages. VOOM HD Networks were developed by Rainbow Media to meet the growing demand for quality high definition programming, building on Rainbow Media's history of original programming innovation. Other VOOM HD channels include sports, movies, fashion, music and art.

ABOUT GONZO DIGIMATION HOLDINGS (GDH) - Production Company

GDH is a global corporation that GDH seeks ways to innovate as part of its quest to be a world leader in delivering next generation video content. GDH serves as the umbrella organization for a number of leading animation-related companies, providing a deep pool of excellent creatives, and international marketing strength.

ABOUT FUNIMATION ENTERTAINMENT - Exclusive Rights Holder for North American and US Territories

FUNimation Entertainment is a brand management company and one of the nation's largest independent home video entertainment companies. They manage broadcasting, licensing, production, internet, and home video sales and distribution for their brands. FUNimation Entertainment provides quality entertainment series primarily targeted to children and young adults.





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