Posts Tagged Bleach

Why stop at Seven Samurai?

So, rumors are going around that Zack Snyder (director of 300 and Watchmen) is working on a Star Wars version of Akira Kurosawa’s classic Seven Samurai. I’m assuming that means seven warriors will band together to defend a small village, only this time they’ll have lightsabers.

Whether this actually happens or not, it shows the flexibility of Kurosawa’s original story. Seeven Samurai has already been adapted as Magnificent Seven and an anime called Samurai 7. Tropes from the original have also been recycled in countless actions films.

Which begs the question: What other sci-fi adaptations of Seven Samurai are possible?

Seven Gundams: I’m thinking specifically of Gundam Wing; they’re only two pilots short of a full contingent already. The plot would involve seven laconic teenagers and their mobile suits defending an unarmed space colony, with space rice as their only payment.

Seven Redshirts: A Federation starship is dispatched to defend a small outpost from the Romulans and/or Klingons. An away team is dispatched. Everyone dies.

Seven Klingons: Klingons consider a glorious death in battle as payment. Three survive (as in Seven Samurai) and their shame is passed down for three generations.

Seven Superheroes: Pretty much a standard Avengers (Marvel) or Justice League (DC) story, but substituting an impoverished village for New York/Metropolis.

Seven Transformers: Not that Optimus Prime would ever accept payment for defending humans against a Decepticon attack, but some Energon would sweeten the deal and give Megatron a reason to attack.

Seven Mandalorians: Factional differences lead to the destruction of all seven before the Hutts get to the village.

Seven Soul Reapers: A group of Soul Reapers has a dispute with the Soul Society (it happens all the time) and redeem themselves by entering the World of the Living to stop marauding Hollows.

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NYC: Nerd Mecca

Most nerds shun light and social interactions in favor of the safe serenity of their parents’ basements. The fact that thousands of them emerged from their hiding places, descending on New York’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center like a swarm of zombies, shows just how big of a deal Comic Con is. However, it could be bigger.

First, an explanation: Comic Con is a four day celebration of all things nerdy. It’s held in San Diego every summer and New York every October. There are vendors selling everything from comics to action figures, celebrity appearances, artists displaying their skills, and corporations showing off new movies and video games.

An essential part of the experience is cosplaying, dressing up like a character from one’s favorite series. A big part of Comic Con is actually just people-watching, or maybe superhero-watching. I went last Saturday, bumping into: Captain America, Thor, Ichigo (the main character of the popular anime/manga Bleach), and the Flash (the original, 1930s version, in fact), and many others.

For all this, convention-goers pay $50 for a one-day pass. That’s the rub: it seems like a lot of money just to walk around, gawk at men in tights, and buy stuff. Things are different in San Diego, though.

At the San Diego Comic Con, major movies like Avengers and Watchmen are previewed, and their creators and stars hang around for more than a half hour. This year, the reality show American Chopper and the creators of Gears of War teamed up to unveil a custom trike based on the game. Nothing like that happens in New York.

That really doesn’t make sense. New York is, after all, the comic book capital of the world. Marvel and DC are headquartered there, and have been since time immemorial. Consequently, the “Big Apple” is the setting for many superhero stories. Spider-Man lives in Queens and studies at Columbia, Daredevil protects Hell’s Kitchen (aka Clinton), Dr. Strange lives in the Village, and anyone who saw this summer’s Captain America movie knows that S.H.I.E.L.D.’s base of operations is in Times Square.

The West Side is clearly less of a commute for the big wigs of comics, so why make all the important announcements in San Diego? It could be a sign of the times: comic book heroes are still popular, but the books themselves are not. The real money is in movies and video games, and the people who make those live on the West Coast.

I had a great time at Comic Con (this is actually my second year), but I still think it could be better. There must be a way to honor New York’s place in comic book (not just comic book-based entertainment) lore, and give fans their money’s worth. The Javits Center isn’t too far from the Marvel and DC offices in Midtown; perhaps they could take an office field trip.

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