Thursday, 26 January 2012

Samurai Champloo

Smell the Movies
Smell the TV

Transmitted:May 2005 to April 2007
Country of origin:Japan
Genre:Japanese animation
Starring:Kazuya Nakai, Ginpei Sato, Ayako Kawasumi
No. of seasons:2

Oddball anime that should be plain annoying, but somehow manages to captivate.
Fuu, a young girl, encounters two Samurai whilst in a small tea shop. They are as different as can be, and intent on killing one another, but Fuu manages to convince them to go on one last quest before slicing each other up.
The mission?
To find 'The Samurai who smells of sunflowers,' a figure Fuu is desperate to locate, for reasons that I don't want to spoil here.
The characters are well crafted.
Fuu: sweet, world-innocent yet precocious.
Jin: a traditionalist, proud of his martial arts abilities and utterly focused.
Mugen: a layabout who just happens to be gifted in the ways of Samurai swordplay, mainly due to his ultra-competitiveness.
Their quest takes them the length of Japan and the show reveals their adventures along the way.
Mixing old world stylings with ultramodern sensibilities this is an odd mix but on the whole it works, monks singing hip-hop notwithstanding.
Classed as a comedy, at times this is laugh out loud funny, whilst at others the humour, for a Westerner at least, falls flat and simply irritates. Indeed, the episodes I rate as lowest are without exception the knockabout, zany episodes.
Likeable and charming, though not without a healthy dose of violence and bloodshed, I sense this is one only for the anime initiated.
If just starting out on your anime adventure, I'd look elsewhere before sampling this curio.

Find an episode guide here:

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