Samurai Champloo is a Japanese anime series that was developed by Manglobe. It was published by Kadokawa Shoten. This anime series is set in an alternate version of the Edo-era from 1603 to 1868 in Japan with a hip hop setting. It tells a story that follows Mugen: an freedom-loving vagrant and impudent 19-year-old swordsman, Jin: a 20-year-old level-headed swordsman and a ronin and Fuu: a 15-year-old brave girl who is working as a waitress in a tea shop but she was abused by a group of samurai. She was saved by a mysterious rogue Mugen and a young ronin Jin and she asked them to join her on a quest to travel across Japan to find the “samurai who smells of sunflowers”.
This anime series was critically acclaimed with Cowboy Behop because they’re both focused on mixing genres, episodic narrative design, and music. It has a lot of similarities to Shinichiro Watanabe’s other anime series Cowboy Behop. This anime series has 26 episodes in season one until it reach to its conclusion on March 19, 2005.
MUGEN: he is a 19-year-old man and one of the main protagonists of Samurai Champloo. He was born in a penal colony on the Ryukyu Islands in the Edo period which was a separate kingdom with close ties to the Japan’s Satsuma domain. He has blue tattoos on his wrists and ankles that he was once in prison. As an anti-hero, he’s very fond of fighting and always pick fights for petty reasons. He’s like a rapper who acts like a bad guy. The word “mugen” means infinite in Japanese.
Mugen’s highly swordplay and a fighting style was based on break-dancing and he’s using all kinds of form of martial arts as he fights his opponents. It makes him a force to be reckoned with. He carries two blades, and his weapon is a sword with a curved blade and a hilt with two prongs sheathed across his back and a small tantō concealed at the end of his scabbard. He has a main weapon with a combination of the Okinawan sai and a Japanese katana. Mugen can parry attacks with the steel base of his geta.
JIN: he’s a 20-year-old level-headed man and one of the main protagonists of Samurai Champloo. He’s a ronin who carries himself in the stoic manner of a samurai of the Tokugawa era. He wields a katana and a Wakizashi. He also spends his life training in kenjutsu dojos. He carry a daisho as he is one of the samurai class. The description of his swords have a twin-eyed design and a lightning on the tsuba. His outfit is a traditional hakama and gi in indigo blue patterned with a white diamond kamon that was made up of four small white diamonds. His kamon resembles of the great Takeda Clan that leads to the speculation that his family origins are may of nobility. He also wears glasses that is purely ornamental. He is named after one of the seven virtues of the samurai in Bushido. He only lived for his sword and no master; saying that the lords of that time have no sense of honor, only caring about self-preservation. He change when he travels with Fuu and Mugen, and he consider them as his”first friends.”
Jin is a taciturn, level-headed and an extraordinary skilled swordsman that using swift, refined, orthodox moves of the Mujushin Kenjutsua discipline. It makes him the perfect rival to Mugen. Jin is a very skilled Shogi player with very sharp memory, as he show when he reproduces a shogi board position after his opponent ‘accidentally’ upsets the board. When he’s using his waist-strung daishō, he fights in the traditional kenjutsu style of a samurai trained in a dojo.
FUU: she is a fifteen year-old girl and one of the main protagonists of Samurai Champloo. Since her childhood, her father abandon her and her mother for an unknown reason. Because she don’t have father in her life, she and her mother has a difficult life until her mother died of illness. After having a not successful job as a teahouse waitress, she saves Mugen and Jin to prevent them from killing each other. She recruits them as her bodyguards to help her on a quest to look for the “Samurai who smells of Sunflowers” but she never describes what a sunflower smells like or what the man looks like. Mugen and Jin are reminded of their life-debt to her when they wish to fight each other. Fuu is “tanagers”, small, brightly colored birds. She has a bright and compassionate personality but she’s very prone to accidents, getting lost, and getting into trouble. She’s described as a big eater when she entered an eating contest. She wears a deep pink with a pattern of flowers and carries a matching tanto.
MUGEN, JIN, AND FUU WALKING
Samurai Champloo has a strong characterization that show three different people traveling on a journey together to find a “Samurai who smells of Sunflowers”
EDO-ERA JAPAN WITH HIP HOP CULTURE
Samurai Champloo blends Edo-era Japan with a hip hop music and its culture. They are themes and the background music. Mugen’s fighting style shows his break dancing, the show feature record-scratching, townspeople rap, and beat-box with wooden sticks and swords. The opening song “Battlecry” by Japanese hip hop genius Nujabes and Shing02 is one of the best and greatest intro theme of Samurai Champloo because it sets the mood for the whole anime series. It’s also one of the most popular and greatest anime soundtracks. Nujabes and an American producer Fat Jon provided a soothing and magnificent hip hop and established the influence of hip hop on the story line, the characters and style.
Samurai Champloo is well-balanced has a great mix of different themes. It has a crazy amount of fighting and the fight scene are very clean. It has romance and relationship theme but it’s mostly from Mugen’s crude humor and he fails his attempt with women. The artwork and the scenery of this anime series is awesome.
It has a very strong anti authoritarian theme that shows abundant abuses from the imperial regional governments that terrorizing the townspeople, rejecting foreign people, stealing people’s money, ruining their businesses, making deals with the local Yakuza gangs, and hard-headed bullies. Mugen, Jin, and Fuu show their actions that reject the authority of the local governments and they have no issues with violence against these tyrannical government figures when they threaten their lives.
I absolutely love this anime series Samuari Champloo because of the sword fighting and the hip hop background with record-breaking, beat boxer and the break dancing. I love the story line, characters, the style and opening theme that sets the mood for the show. When I watched this show, I get very hungry when I see Mugen eating. If I travel to different places just like Mugen, Jin, and Fuu feeling hungry, I would just go to a restaurant. I also like seeing Mugen’s sword fighting and break dancing at the same time. I consider it as my favorite fighting style. He’s my favorite character of this show because he’s a anti-hero. I also like Jin due to his level-headed nature and he chose to lived by his sword despite not having a master. Mugen and Jin may have fought each other a lot of times but it’s nice to have them fight together and travel with Fuu. They are great team but fierce rivals. I enjoyed the hip hop setting of Samurai Champloo because hip hop is one of my favorite genre. Having hip hop culture, sword fighting, and alternate version of the Edo-era in Japan made this anime show the best along with Cowboy Behop. Best anime series I’ve ever see! If anyone hasn’t watch Samurai Champloo, I recommend checking it out at www.funimation.com and www.crunchyroll.com #ActionAnime #Anime #Adventure #SamuraiChamploo #Mugen #Jin #Fuu #Funimation
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