Samurai Champloo

Samurai Champloo

Samurai Champloo Cover Art
Samurai Champloo Cover Art


Samurai Champloo was made by at least some of the same creators as the legendary Cowboy Bebop. Because of this, I feel I need to state from the start that I actually prefer Champloo over Bebop. I know, Bebop is a “classic” and so everyone loves it, but Champloo is simply better.

Samurai Champloo is a mixture of Edo period Japan and a more modern-day Japan with things like hip hop music and break-dancing. A classic Edo setting with a modern twist, if you will.

The story follows three characters, Fuu, Mugen, and Jin, as they search for the Samurai who smells of Sunflowers. This search takes the trio all across Japan with Mugen and Jin getting into fights all along the way.


Fuu is the main character of the anime. She was originally a waitress, but when the restaurant she worked at burned down thanks to Mugen and Jin, she decides to start off on an adventure to find the Samurai who smells of Sunflowers. She also gets Mugen and Jin to come with her as her bodyguards on her journey in part as compensation for destroying her workplace.

Mugen is a rogue swordsman who uses a fighting style based off breakdancing. He travels around Japan searching for the strongest opponents so he can fight and defeat them. He is hot-tempered and gets into fights with anyone easily.

Jin is the opposite of Mugen. He is a wandering samurai who left his dojo, but still carries himself with honor and fights in the traditional style of the samurai. He is more laid back than his counterpart, but is still ready to fight when needed.

Silhouettes of Mugen (left) and Jin (right)
Mugen (left) and Jin (right)


Like Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo is a mostly episodic anime with an overarching plot. It doesn’t really start following the main plot strictly until the end of the series. Until then, it’s simply a compilation of all the things that happened to the trio along their adventure.

Some episodes are serious, but others are pure comedy such as one where an American Navy ship comes to Japan and our trio plays them in Baseball. I’m not quite sure if I should call it a serious anime with lighthearted undertones, or a lighthearted anime with serious undertones. It walks the line between both.

It’s a well written story, and we even get to see the back stories for Mugen and Jin which was something I originally thought they were going to gloss over. It’s always nice when there are good storylines explaining why characters are the way they are or what their reasoning for doing things is.

I really liked Samurai Champloo as a whole, maybe because I’m a sucker for sword fights in anime. Either way, I give Samurai Champloo an 8/10.

Finally, I’m going to start to (or at least try to) include links to the OPs of the anime I’m reviewing more regularly. So to start this off, the Samurai Champloo opening can be found here. *This video is no longer available.

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