|English title||The Guardians|
|Previous episode||The Friend|
|Next episode||The Bandits|
The Guardians (Ikaru! 怒る!) is the eighth episode of Samurai 7.
Later, Ayamaro and Tessai show Ukyo a secret room. Ayamaro tells Ukyo that since the Emperor has summoned him, he (Ukyo) will be in charge.
Meanwhile, Rikichi spots some rice on shore and runs off the boat toward it and Gorobei chases after him. He spots the rice and a bunch of people harvesting it and sap from the trees. A girl walks up to him and tells him not to touch the rice. Gorobei and the others are close behind. The girl introduces herself as Honoka. She explains that they harvest the sap for the guardians, who are always watching them. She then tells the group to follow her to her house.
Kirara Mikumari and Komachi Mikumari sit beside Katsushiro, with Heihachi and Shichiroji there as well. Just then, Shichiroji notices a guardian above them. The guardian shoots a dart into Katsushiro and runs off. Shichiroji chases after, but the guardian shoots up in the ceiling. Shichiroji heads back inside and Kambei inspects the dart. He says that it's actually a pharmaceutical dart that was used during the Great War. Katsushiro says that the pain is gone and he feels better. Shichiroji wonders why the guardians are helping them.
Katsushiro tells Kambei to go on without him. Kambei tells him to stop acting brave, but Katsushiro insists that he's not. Kambei tells him that he's frustrated, as he should be. He then tells him that he is the fifth samurai. Outside, Kambei tells Kikuchiyo that he'll keep the promise he made with him, but that Kikuchiyo should go home.
Elsewhere, Rikichi tells Honoka that she should come with him and stay at the village once the bandits are taken care of. Gorobei arrives and teases Rikichi saying that he's using samurai to get a wife. Rikichi says that he just doesn't like to see pain. Gorobei asks Honoka if she has any family. She says that she only had a sister who was taken by the Nobuseri or bandits.
Just then, the Nobuseri arrive. Honoka explains to everyone that they are the guardian's trading partners. Rikichi, who wants to do something and fight them, can't believe that no one is doing anything. He grabs Gorobei's sword and runs to where the Nobuseri landed. Gorobei catches up to him and holds him back. Rikichi yells at the people there, telling them to do something. Kambei tells him to stop, but Kikuchiyo tells Kambei to let him keep going, that he need to vent because he's been holding it in for a while.
Rikichi explains that his wife was sold to the Nobuseri. She insisted she go, and he was too weak and scared to save her. Kambei asks him what her name was, and he replies Sanae. Kambei swears that they will rescue her after they save Kanna village.
Some time later, Kikuchiyo goes after the Nobuseri, secretly while hiding in the river. Komachi follows him, but he tells her to go back. Once Kikuchiyo gets outside, he comes across an unhappy Hyougo and Kyuzo.