Episodes seen: 1-2 of 13
With a unique style that's sharp like the edge of a samurai sword, Samurai Champloo combines the twenty-first century's bold, flashy, and fresh attitude with Edo-era Japan; a feudalistic world of honor where people lived life day by day and fight by fight.
Jin and Mugen, both ronin, are total opposites, Jin is the classic 'honourable' samurai, while Mugen is a rude and lawless punk. It is from these major difference in opinions of Jin and Mugen that the plot and unique nature of the series is spawned. If the two had not been fighting in a burning down house, a fight derived from their dislike for the other, they would have never been captured and thus forced into working together in order to save their lives through a bloody escape (with the help of Fuu, a klutzy teahouse employee). And if they hadn't escaped together, they wouldn't have ran into Fuu who cajoled them into promising to journey with her to find a samurai that smells of sunflowers.
Herself the Elf sez: While making notes on this show, I noticed that I kept using the word "sharp". I think it embodies this show perfectly -- sharp and stylish, Samurai Champloo is sassy and offbeat as it combines traditional samurai action with hip-hop and that unique Watanabe style. It has a similar feel to Bebop in its laid-back and cool atmosphere punctuated by moments of lightning-fast and exquisitely-animated action. The music, like the art style, is groovy and funky, and the scene transitions are also really nifty.
The characters are entertaining, especially in their interplay, and of course Jin being a cutie doesn't hurt either. ^_^ I would have preferred if one of the 'cool' characters were female, but at least the girl isn't too bad. She is comic relief and does end up as a hostage, but she's at least somewhat competent and not too annoying. Although WTF is with the "smelling like sunflowers" thing? Are they going to go around Japan sniffing random samurai? *lol*
This show reminded me strongly of what an animated Blade of the Immortal could look like....it's got the reluctant ronin accompanying a young girl on her quest, with scattered anachronisms, cool fight scenes and gorgeous art. After seeing Samurai Champloo, I think I can deal with Samura's reluctance to make his fantastic manga into an anime....this'll do for the time being. ^_^
Groovy, cool and stylish, Samurai Champloo is a breath of fresh air from all the rehashed stuff out recently. If you loved Bebop and Read or Die, pick up Champloo ASAP. Highly recommended.