Happy Monday BaddaBing BaddaBlog readers! This is Manga (And Also Anime) Monday, the place where Japanese reigns king and we get to revel in its glory, while also making respectful criticisms. Today’s topic is going to be a gem of an anime from 2004, Samurai Champloo (yes, a part of this is going to be explaining what the name means). Here we go!
Samurai Champloo answers the long unasked question: What if feudal Japanese culture and Hip Hop culture happened at the same time? In answering this question, this anime is able to both depict and comment on historical events and practices, as well as modern day issues and practices. The story follows two vagrant swordsmen, Mugen and Jin, and a teenage girl, Fuu, as the travel the countryside in search of “a samurai who smells of Sunflowers.”
While the plot of Samurai Champloo is somewhat lacking, as the majority of the story lines are episodic and their is not much of an overarching plot, the show more than makes up for it with its stunning animation and score. The animation in this program is reminiscent of the incredible anime, Cowboy Bebop. The animation may not always be of the highest quality, but it is still done in such a way accents the many elaborate fight scenes and perfectly sets the shows Hip Hop tone.
The music in this anime is arguably some of the best in the entire industry. You can easily tell that an incredible amount of effort went into creating the anime’s music, but also that the creator’s of said soundtrack had a deep appreciation and passion for what they were doing. On its own the music would be incredible, but when blended with Samurai Champloo’s stylistic animation it creates a truly unique and masterful experience.
The other big pull that this adult anime has going for it is how it beautifully mixes humor and action. A lot of shonen-esq anime tend to mix comedy and action in a fifty-fifty ratio. Samurai Champloo, however, is closer to seventy percent humor and thirty percent action. While this could be a problem for other anime, Samurai Champloo manages to pull off so many laughs due to its unique and enticing characters.
This also means that when the anime does choose to focus on action, it really is balls to the ball excellent and truly enthralls the viewer.
Samurai Champloo really is a great anime that succeeds at blending distinct and whole seperate cultural elements. This is even demonstrated in the series title, as the word “Champloo” is a corruption of the Japanese word for mix-up, and can be thought of as meaning mix tape. This signifies not only the blending of traditional Japanese culture with modern cultural influences, but also the series’ have focus on Hip Hop music. If you are looking for something to watch over winter break, I cannot recommend Samurai Champloo enough. It’s up for viewing on Hulu for free, so do yourself a favor and check out this anime original series.
Alright. That just about does it for this week’s installment of Manga (And Also Anime) Monday. If you enjoyed it, please leave a like and a comment down below, it’s really appreciated. If you want to stay up to date with this blog you can: subscribe in the upper right tab using your email, like the official BaddaBing BaddaBlog Faceboook Page, or follow me, @LucasDeRuyter, on Twitter. I hope all of you have a great week and be sure to come back to 4B on Wednesday for the next installment of Pop Culture Wednesday.