HipHop meets History in samurai anime Samurai Champloo
It’s interesting to see a series using modern day music as an element to enhance the story. The hiphop beats flowing through the series are intertwined with dialogue for story progression. I don’t often see this approach and at least it’s noteworthy.
Young Fuu gets the help from Jin and Mugen to find the samurai who smells of sunflowers. Along their journey she gets clues concerning the whereabouts of this particular samurai. Jin and Mugen join in without real purpose but along the way learn their meaning in life.
I really credit the studio for combining seemingly unrelated characters that grow into being an inseparable group of people. They grow into more mature human beings that start to comprehend the world and explore justice and wellbeing.
While the setting was original, the story seems to lack in Samurai Champloo. The series used a lot of common plot elements to drive its story, exploring the world and its characters, which revealed clues about the sunflower Samurai and moments to tell the back stories of the main cast.
Fuu often became a hostage of slave traders and Mugen found himself in some shady violent business with Jin being humble and redrawn. Though Mugen and Jin were mostly the saviors, with Fuu being the psychological relief for the group. This trick flows through the whole show and can become a tad repetitive, losing its charm deeper into the show.
Samurai Champloo is already a decade old, but the visuals and sound are on par with the more recent anime. Admittedly I often questioned how good it would’ve looked with modern lighting effects and a more impactful color scheme.
Samurai Champloo delivers a complete package with an engaging cast, refreshing setting and natural character development. Yet, I can’t overlook the fact that the show used a common trick throughout its run to drive the plot, therefore I rate the show an 8 out of 10. It would’ve deserved a 9 would it use a more original approach to explore its cast and theme.