I just finished watching the series, Samurai Champloo. I loved the series. I can not say a bad thing about the show. The series is a mashup of modern day trends with the samurai way of life in the edo time period of Japan, during the time of the samurai.
Samurai Champloo is from the same director of Cowboy Bebop; it has a very similar swagger and feel to it.
Samurai Champloo starts off with a young girl named Fuu who works at a restaurant and has a near fatal encounter with a rogue samurai named Mugen. Mugen is rude, arrogant, and a show boat. Mugen ends up saving Fuu from a horde of attacking samurai. While this is going on, a wandering ronin named Jin, a badass samurai with glasses, walks in.
Mugen is jealous that he has killed some of the “badasses” he has heard about, and he attacks Jin. Mugen has a very unique fighting style, blending breakdancing and swordsmanship. Jin’s style is traditional and deadly. They fight until the place burns down, leaving it ruins and being captured, they have no choice but to work together with Fuu to escape. They put aside their differences just long enough to fight their way out. Fuu needs help finding a samurai who smells of sunflowers. She insists Mugen and Jin help her on her quest. They want to kill each other, so she flips a coin and the fate decides whether they fight or search for the sunflower samurai with her.
The whole premise of the series is based on looking for this mysterious swordsman and the personal journey of the three companions. The series is a perfect blend of hip hop and modern styles with Japanese samurai culture. The anime was fresh and so much fun to watch. There was never a dull moment while watching Champloo, be it Mugen’s hilarious acts or Jin’s badass fight scenes.
The three travelers and main characters of the story interact perfectly and mash together so well. The intros to each episode have little historical facts that they like to work into the story, such as, Van Gogh and other facts, like baseball in edo Japan. One of my favorite arcs was a two part episode, dealing with Mugen’s backstory and where he comes from. It was emotional and very telling to see how he became who he is today. The final three episodes were brilliant. We see the story conclude with the arrival at Nagasaki, while also finding the true identity of the sunflower samurai. The friendship of Jin, Mugen, and Fuu is tested to the breaking limit.
I give it a five out of five. It only has one flaw for me. I did not get enough! The series is a mere twenty-six episodes. I loved the series too much for it to end so soon. I would recommend this to any fan of anime or samurai stories. It has everything from comedy, to all out fights riddled with action. Quit reading this review, go buy it or watch it already.