Samurai Champloo is a confusion of era’s. When you think you know what time period it is, another thing makes you think differently. Set in an Edo background, the clothing and cars cry out modern times. The confusion is all part of the plot though.
The Plot of Samurai Champloo
Fuu is trying to find a samurai that smells of sunflowers. She puts up a sign to hire a bodyguard to go along with her on the journey. Mugen and Jin both reply to the sign. The two are constantly fighting one another by just bickering or actually sword fighting. Each chapter is set in a new town and each town has a a bad side. The three are always getting into to trouble and are therefore wanted by the government. Due to this reason they can not stay in a town to long. They help out the towns people in trouble by overthrowing a bad ruler or fighting a want-to-be samurai. The manga is really short and the main story is actually never finished.
The Characters of Samurai Champloo
Fuu is the main character and reason for the story of Samurai Champloo. She is a young adult and naive at times. She is always breaking up fights between the two boys. She will work for her food (and the boys) and she will work hard. She is an honest character and seems to have a sad story attached to her life. The manga never really goes into detail about it though. Mugen is a firecracker. He gets into to fights in every scene and even seeks them out. His fighting style is impossible to follow because he has no style. He loves food and only thinks about money and food. Jin is the calm collective of the three. He is intelligent looking with his glasses. He wears the samurai robe and carries the samurai sword. He is a respectable samurai. The other characters really never continue over to the next chapter in Samurai Champloo. Each town has different people in it from honest and hard working to conniving and lazy.
The Champloo in Samurai Champloo
Like I said, the setting cries Edo period while the clothing and style cries modern times. This was on purpose though. Champloo means a swirl or mixture of things. Each main character is also so named by their mannerism. Mugen means without limit. That is why his character is so random and spastic. Jin’s name derives from the Seven Samurai Virtues meaning “Benevolence”. Lastly, Fuu is the character for “wind” in Japanese writing. Her wandering around to find someone is much like the m=wind in constant motion.
Shinichiro Watanabe has yet again brought to life another great story. As if Cowboy Bebop was not enough, Samurai Champloo picks up in the entertainment area. Smashing time periods together was an ingenious idea and made for a great story. Leaving the manga unfinished makes for a great ending. Samurai Champloo is a great read.
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Overall Grade 8/10