11 Feb 2013

Samurai Champloo

Out of all the anime I have seen, not one has had fights as well animated as Samurai Champloo. They are entrancing, amazing, and an absolute joy to watch. The graphics are just phenomenal. Aside from that, it's mostly episodic, with little continuity in between episodes. It is a shame the story is a little flakey and lackluster- if it was better Samurai Champloo easily be at the top of everyone's anime list.

A scene from Samurai Champloo with the main characters
Mugen, Fuu, and Jin.

As this anime was directed by the guy who made Cowboy Bebop, you know that it's not going to be lacking quality. The graphics are stunning for a 2004 production, bringing superb combat animation and characters that look brilliant together. Usually when you're watching two people fight in an anime you don't even have to think about how they string the same sequence of frames together several times during the space of a couple of minutes. You can call it lazy, or just due to lack of budget or time. Regardless, I did not see this effect in Samurai Champloo. Each fight was fresh and a pleasure to watch.

Mugen and Jin fighting again in Samurai Champloo
Jin is a conventional Samurai.

Samurai Champloo has a typical cast of characters unusually banded together. Fuu is the main heroine; working in a tea shop. Jin is a stoic Samurai, your typical heroic warrior. Mugen is an anti-hero and likes to spill blood at every opportunity. It's not common to see a hero and anti-hero working together from the beginning. It's a premise that I want to see more often.

Mugen from Samurai Champloo being serious
Mugen is not so conventional.

The story is rather haphazard at best. When Fuu accidentally spills tea on the sadistic Daimyo's son, she lands in a dangerous position. Mugen happens to save her out of his love for bloodshed more than anything else. After decimating the Samurai guard, Jin walks into the tea house and is immediately assaulted by Mugen. So begins a fight to the death between two of the main characters. After a fire and a reasonable amount of collateral damage the heroes wake up in chains, set for execution. Jin and Mugen take a final stand, defeating dozens of opponents. Fuu helps them escape, on the condition that they help her find the Samurai that smells like sunflowers. So as I said, the story is nothing special.

A comedy scene from the anime Samurai Champloo
They make a good trio.

What you will get from watching Samurai Champloo is a fantastic well rounded anime with great fight scenes, cool characters, and inspiring visuals. There is jazzy hip-hop music and a matching style to suit it. It's one of the rare anime to have awesome opening music. Ultimately, if you decide to watch Samurai Champloo you will enjoy it. Jin and Mugen are a great duo, both equally cool in their own way. You will get to watch some amazing fights. Sure, the story is flimsy; but that's not what you're here for.

No comments:

Post a Comment