Rainbow Media has acquired Japanese anime series, Samurai 7 and will cross-broadcast the 26 episodes on two of its brands, IFC and VOOM HD Network's channel, Animania HD. Based on filmmaker Akira Kurosawa's classic 1954 movie "The Seven Samurai," Samurai 7 is loyal to the original plot and characters, but offers a unique sci-fi twist with the action set in the future. The half-hour series will air in conjunction with IFC's longest running film strand, "Samurai Saturdays," a weekly presentation of classic, Asian martial-arts-themed movies. Animania HD will have the U.S HD premiere on Wednesday, March 1, 2006 @ 9:00 PM ET. IFC's broadcast premiere, of Samurai 7, will air on Sunday, March 19, 2006 @ 11:30 pm ET.
Shot in high definition with stunning production values, Samurai 7 revisits Kurosawa's epic tale of a small village in feudal Japan that's persecuted by robbers who return every harvest to seize the village's crops. Faced with starvation, the villagers set out on a mission to find and recruit some 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 rice is ready for harvest.
Offering a platform where cartoon worlds take on astonishing depth and detail, Animania HD, is the only channel actively working with producers and distributors to air true HD animation for all ages. The acquisition of Samurai 7 serves to expand its demographic to the young adult 16-24 audience. The channel is just one of the many diverse programming categories on VOOM HD Networks, the largest suite of high definition channels available anywhere. Others include sports, movies, fashion, music and art. The 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.
The Samurai 7 series was licensed by FUNimation Entertainment (www.funimation.com), co-produced by Japan's leading anime studio Gonzo Digimation ( www.gonzo.co.jp/english/ ) in partnership with Media International Corporation (MICO), and directed by Toshifumi Takizawa. Samurai 7 is fully digital animation that is an intensely raw anime series full of action, adventure and sci-fi thrills.