Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Samurai Champloo Review

Series: Samurai Champloo
Genre: Action
Summary:  Mugen's a buck wild warrior - violent, thoughtless and womanizing. Jin is a vagrant ronin - mysterious, traditional, well-mannered and very strong as well. These two fiercely independent warriors can`t be any more different from one another, yet their paths cross when Fuu, a ditzy waitress, saves them from being executed when they are arrested after a violent swordfight. Fuu convinces the two vagrant young men to help her find a mysterious samurai "who smells of sunflowers." And their journey begins. This is a story about love, friendship and courage... NOT!

What initially attracted me to Samurai Champloo was the fact that Nujabes had composed most of the OST. But when from the moment I watched the first episode of Samurai Champloo, I knew that it was different, a very good kind of different. From the funky hip hop thematics to the fluid, thick, black line animation, Samurai Champloo became more to me than an anime with a good soundtrack.

Story: 8.9/10 
Here we have three strangers in the Edo time period setting off on a journey to find a "samurai that smells of sunflowers." Samurai Champloo focuses on these three... But at the same time it doesn't. Most of the episodes are of the trio getting themselves into trouble and trying to get out of it, but it's these situations that subtlety ties the whole storyline together. Through every problem that Fuu, Mugen, and Jin get themselves into, the more they rely more on one another until the final episode when they realize how much they care about each other. The small morals about courage, loyalty, and friendship are really pleasant as well, even though the anime insists that it's nothing about that. Although it didn't give me that life changing impact by the end of the show, Samurai Champloo will still stick out to me for it's unique presentation of story. 

Characters: 8.5/10 
The thing I like about our main characters is how different they are from one another yet they fit each other so well, like Yin and Yang. The total opposition in personalities that they all have balances out and creates a trio that makes Samurai Champloo filled with excitement, humor, and drama. Additionally, each one has a hidden past that creates more interest. Mugen, rash and straightforward, relies on instinct rather than intellect. Jin, conserved and traditional, uses his bright mind and level headed-ness to get him through situations. Fuu, ditzy and demanding, keeps the two in check all the time. These three start out as distant strangers in the beginning, but we can notice an unbreakable bond form between them as the story carries on, which makes Samurai Champloo even more precious.

Sound: 9.5/10
The sounds of Samurai Champloo stuck out to me very much. What we have here is a mix of funky hip hop beats with traditional Japanese Edo era music. It exemplifies the counter-culture feel even more throughout the series. The opening and ending are both unique and amazing songs. Nujabes, shing02, fat jon, and Minmi used their talent to create an OST for Samurai Champloo to remember. 

Animation: 9/10 
Samurai Champloo's animation was another huge factor that made the anime unique from all others that I've watched. The thick-lines of the people and the beautifully fluid animation from the fight scenes made Samurai Champloo incredibly fun and easy to watch. Considering how it was made in the early 2000's, the animation is definitely impressive. However, there are some scenes that seemed like the animators slacked off and didn't put as much effort. Nonetheless, I adore the fluidness of Samurai Champloo.

Overall: 9/10
Samurai Champloo has ranked itself among the list of anime never forgotten in my mind. I truly believe that it's considered a milestone in anime history, considering its unique presentation, music, animation, and subtle yet sweet story line. Any type of fan could easily get themselves into this show. Everyone should consider watching Samurai Champloo, it won't be something that you'd regret! 

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