Samurai Champloo

Samurai Champloo
Samurai Champloo Logo.png
Title card for the anime series
サムライチャンプルー
(Samurai Chanpurū)
GenreAdventure, comedy[1]
Manga
Written byMasaru Gotsubo
Published byKadokawa Shoten
English publisher
DemographicShōnen
MagazineMonthly Shōnen Ace
Original runJanuary 26, 2004September 26, 2004
Volumes2
Anime television series
Directed byShinichirō Watanabe
Produced byTakatoshi Hamano
Takashi Kochiyama
Tetsuro Satomi
Written byShinji Obara
Music byNujabes
Tsutchie
Fat Jon
Force of Nature
StudioManglobe
Licensed by
Original networkFuji TV
English network
Original run May 19, 2004 March 19, 2005
Episodes26 (List of episodes)
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Samurai Champloo (Japanese: サムライチャンプルー, Hepburn: Samurai Chanpurū), stylized as SAMURAI CHAMPLOO, is a Japanese anime series developed by Manglobe. It featured a production team led by director Shinichirō Watanabe, character designer Kazuto Nakazawa and mechanical designer Mahiro Maeda. Samurai Champloo was Watanabe's first directorial effort for an anime television series after the critically acclaimed Cowboy Bebop. It was first broadcast in Japan on Fuji TV on May 20, 2004 and ran for twenty-six episodes until its conclusion on March 19, 2005.

Samurai Champloo is set in an alternate version of Edo-era (1603 to 1868) Japan with an anachronistic, predominantly hip hop, setting.[2] It follows Mugen, an impudent and freedom-loving vagrant swordsman; Jin, a composed and stoic rōnin; and Fuu, a brave girl who asks them to accompany her in her quest across Japan to find the "samurai who smells of sunflowers".

Samurai Champloo has many similarities to Shinichirō Watanabe's other work Cowboy Bebop. Both series are critically acclaimed, focus on mixing genres, follow an episodic narrative design, and utilize contemporary music.[3]

Samurai Champloo was dubbed in the English language and licensed by Geneon Entertainment for releases in North America. Funimation began licensing the series after Geneon ceased production of its titles. It was also licensed for English releases in the United Kingdom by MVM Films, and in Australia and New Zealand by Madman Entertainment.

Plot

A young woman named Fuu is working as a waitress in a tea shop when she is abused by a band of samurai. She is saved by a mysterious rogue named Mugen and a young rōnin named Jin. Mugen attacks Jin after he proves to be a worthy opponent. The pair begin fighting one another and inadvertently cause the death of Shibui Tomonoshina, the magistrate's son. For this crime, they are to be executed. With help from Fuu, they are able to escape execution. In return, Fuu asks them to travel with her to find "the samurai who smells of sunflowers".

Setting and style

Samurai Champloo employs a blend of historical Edo-period backdrops with modern styles and references. The show relies on factual events of Edo-era Japan, such as the Shimabara Rebellion ("Unholy Union"; "Evanescent Encounter, Part I"); Dutch exclusivity in an era in which an edict restricted Japanese foreign relations ("Stranger Searching"); ukiyo-e paintings ("Artistic Anarchy"); and fictionalized versions of real-life Edo personalities like Mariya Enshirou and Miyamoto Musashi ("Elegy of Entrapment, Verse 2"). The content and accuracy of the historical content is often distorted via artistic license.

Historical context and Western influence

Samurai Champloo contains many scenes and episodes relating to historical occurrences in Japan's Edo period. In episode 5 ("Artistic Anarchy"), Fuu is kidnapped by the famous ukiyo-e painter Hishikawa Moronobu, a figure prominent in the Edo period's art scene.[4] Episode 23 ("Baseball Blues") pits the main characters in a baseball game against Alexander Cartwright and a team of American baseball players trying to declare war on Japan.[5] As for Western influences, the opening of the show as well as many of the soundtracks are influenced by hip hop.[6] In episode 5, Vincent van Gogh is referenced at the end in relation to Hishikawa Moronobu's ukiyo-e paintings.[7] A hip hop singer challenges the main characters in episode 8 ("The Art of Altercation") and uses break dance throughout.[8] In episode 18 ("War of the Words"), graffiti tagging, a culturally Western art form, is performed by characters as an artistic expression and form of writing. The ending of the episode has Mugen writing his name on the roof of Hiroshima Castle, the palace of the daimyō in Edo Japan.[5]

Other Languages
azərbaycanca: Samurai Champloo
français: Samurai champloo
interlingua: Samurai Champloo
lietuvių: Samurai Champloo
Bahasa Melayu: Samurai Champloo
Nederlands: Samurai Champloo
português: Samurai Champloo
Simple English: Samurai Champloo
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Samurai Champloo
中文: 混沌武士