Samurai Champloo (Spring 2004) – Death, Betrayal, Hip Hop!

“Samurai Champloo” is not the only anime I thought is pretty famous in the US. Directed by Shinichiro Watanabe who also directed “Cowboy Bebop”, it’s the most phenomenal anime I’ve ever watched. I remember the first time watching this anime one year ago because it was recommended by one of my friends on MyAnimeList. It may seem so simple and I want to discuss more details about this anime. This show is like “Pulp Fiction” of Quentin Tarantino where these two things bring the same idea as deeply embedded cultures. Just as “Cowboy Bebop”, introduces western and Japanese culture in science fiction. However, this is an anime with a very strong culture in it. This anime introduces things related to 90’s hip-hop culture such as graffiti, music, and contemporary hip-hop culture.

The premise is too simple to discuss. It’s about a woman who desires to find her father beside the help of two samurais with a recalcitrant personality. Together, they start their adventures. But, this isn’t what you imagine. This premise is the same as “Cowboy Bebop”. It seems simple but doesn’t go such away. Watanabe shows us with a detailed adventure to explore. Set in the era of the Edo period of Japan, it seemed comfortable in it.

This anime combines all of its culture such as baseball, tagging, graffiti, beatbox, hip-hop, rap, etc. so the concept is fairly unique. Imagine, a whole culture combined with history; it confesses the reality. This show just introduces us to Fuu Kasumi’s journey to find a samurai who smells like a sunflower. With the help of Mugen and Jin, this anime keeps a lot of its essence inside. There is action, there is drama, and there is tension.

“Samurai Champloo has pretty good art. Manglobe’s artwork is like witnessing something that’s not certain but so colorful and hallucinating. It’s like, we are being pulled into the anime and as if inside. This is what I saw at the time of my first intense impression. It opens in the 20s with its hip-hop culture. Then, the time setting became backward in the Edo period. The thing it got me in the first episode was a meeting between Mugen and Jin started with severe fights. I think the artwork isn’t too exaggerated. In fact, like, a bit notable for the anime in 2004.

The music is the best of all the aspect. I didn’t expect the soundtrack like what the anime is but, damn. Although I’m not into hip-hop, I love the first opening titled Battlecry by Nujabes feat. Shing02. By the way, rest in peace Jun Seba. If I want to hear the opening song one more time, this is one of the anime soundtracks I hear repeatedly. There’s underestimated. In addition, the soundtrack and background are also supported considering this anime does bring a deep hip-hop culture in it.

I like the transition between frames, the sound effect like a disc jockey. Some like jazz, blues, rhythm, or so are possible in this anime. I also like Kazuya Nakai as Mugen. All the people who’ve watched this anime certainly known him. I thought at the time of watching this anime, his voice was similar to Zoro Roronoa from “One Piece” and in fact, it was him. Ginpei Sato who cast as Jin is very cool and calm. Ayako Kawasumi who cast as Fuu is also very memorable considering she is filling Saber in the “Fate/stay night” and “Fate/Zero”.

If you ask me, do I enjoy this anime? I figure it’s not easy. This anime is just my first good judgment only because it’s always being fell. But, I was also forcing my intention to watch this anime. Maybe because of the story always comes out of its main point or it’s not my type of series. “Samurai Champloo” is an action anime it must be watched by people. For enjoyment, this anime is actually good and plentiful of drama. The action is unbeatable for all.

“Samurai Champloo” is a show everyone should watch it because of all sorts of tension-filled action, mixed with humorous comedy. Sometimes a few humor, sometimes drama-filled stories, and a conception of a story combines two entirely impossible things. This is an anime you should not miss because this is something that mixes everything up.

5 out of 5 stars.