Shimada Kanbei (カンベエ)
He is a wise samurai who has survived many battles, though he feels no joy from them. Many of his friends have died in those battles. He constantly lives in the shadow of his painful and violent past, rejecting Kirara after stating that his heart is dried up. He leads the group during their battles and usually plans strategy. In the end, after understanding Katsushiro has become a successful samurai, he passes his sword onto him as he leaves Kanna village ahead of him and Shichirouji. He is the first samurai.
Katayama Gorobei (ゴロベエ)
He is a skilled samurai who has made his living since the wars' end by entertaining people on the city streets. He is also a veteran of the Great War, so he knows Kanbei by reputation. He is very skilled at dodging blows and can pluck arrows and darts from the air. This ability was presumably based of the fact that in the original movie, Gorobei was able to sense (from a few feet outside the door) Katsushiro's waiting to hit him inside the hut. He often makes light of rather serious or dangerous situations. He is also quite smart, in his own unique way. He is the first to be killed when saving the rest of the samurai from bullet fire during the bandits raid. To him, all the world was a stage and the people, merely players. He is the second samurai.
Hayashida Heihachi (ヘイハチ)
Voiced by: Junji Inukai (Japanese), Greg Ayres (English)
He is a genial samurai who wishes to avoid fighting as much as possible and prefers to eat rice instead. During the Great War, he took a position as a combat engineer, which kept him off the front lines but also used his mechanical skills. He is discovered chopping wood in exchange for food or devices that interest him. He is most helpful within the group as their mechanic, and orchestrates the construction of medieval-type weapons. However, he harbors a deep hatred for traitors as he was one himself, which resulted in his whole unit being killed. He is crushed by a huge iron bar. Before dying, he shouts out: "I'll be in the rice" or "Find me in the rice". Within the series, he talks about the old tradition of the "seven rice kami" inside every grain of rice. He dies with a smile, and shows himself to be friendly and jovial till his end. He is the third samurai.
Voiced by: Tohru Kusano (Japanese), Duncan Brannan (English)
He initially fought side by side in the Great War with Kanbei, and is often referred to as "Kanbei's old wife." ("Mate" in the English series) He temporarily leaves behind his successful post-war business at the Firefly Inn, and with it, his beautiful girlfriend/fiance, to join Kanbei in battle once again. He has a prosthetic left hand which has a grappling hook capability with his index finger. In combat he uses a type of spear; the only samurai not using a sword. This is probably a reference to his using a spear mainly during the final battle in the original movie (though normally he carried a sword). His girlfriend, Yukino, has nicknamed him Momotaro, from the traditional Japanese tale, because she found him, badly injured after a battle, floating down a river inside a capsule reminiscent of a peach. He is the fourth samurai.
Okamoto Katsushiro (カツシロウ)
He is a young and inexperienced samurai who wishes to be Kanbei's student, calling himsensei almost from their first meeting. He idolizes the principles of bushido. He promises to protect Kirara no matter what, and seems to be attracted to her. He grows stronger and more skillful throughout the series, eventually becoming a worthy student of Kanbei; and he also comes to terms with killing enemies, after reacting in shock the first time. He becomes strong enough to deflect the capital's main cannon, and defeated numerous bandits all by himself. He gains emotional strength as well, and understands what his true reason for becoming a samurai is. After turning down Kirara in the end, he explains to her that he intends to continue his life on the battlefield. After hearing this, he receives Kanbei's sword from him in recognition as his student. Unlike in the original movie, he shows more focus on becoming a samurai and improving his skills greatly in the anime (where in the original he was preoccupied with a love affair). He is the fifth samurai.
He is originally a nearly silent, mysterious bodyguard for Ayamaro. In that role, he fights with Kanbei, and he later joins the group with the stated intent of saving Kanbei's life so that he can later fight Kanbei to the death. Kyuzo is an incredibly skilled fighter, wielding double blades that fit into one sheath on his back. He's accidentally killed by Katsushiro when Katsushiro used a gun to protect Kanbei because his sword was broken. Rather than showing anger to Katsushiro or regret of his own life, he instead expresses his anticipation of fighting Kanbei in the after world. He is the sixth samurai.
He is a cyborg with a mechanized exoskeleton. He is originally a peasant until becoming a samurai to help others. He is often looked upon as a clown or a bother, as he gets angry easily and often causes trouble with his loud noise and clumsy ways. He is accepted as the seventh samurai after revealing he was also a farmer, like the peasants of Kanna. He carries the largest of the swords, which also acts as a chainsaw. He is fiercely loyal to Kanbei, and, when given recognition, he returns favors fourfold. He is well liked by the villagers, especially by little Komachi, who asks him to become her husbanda when she grows up, a request that he accepts in return for her keeping his fake family tree. He is the last to be killed, he died protecting Kanna from the crashing capital. He shows his true determination and strength here, and proves himself to be a worthy samurai.