-In India: on Animax
-Followed by (in the sense that the anime inspired the manga, and not in the sense of sequels) a manga, licensed in English. Anime also licensed and dubbed in English.
As always, highlight to reader spoilers, and all fanfic recommendations are based purely on my own shipping preferences. Feel free to add any gems I may have missed.
Samurai Champloo focuses on the lives of three travellers – ex-waitress Fuu, the classically trained samurai Jin, and the rebellious Mugen – who are on a journey seemingly across Japan to find a ‘Sunflower Samurai’. Because Fuu needs to find him, and she saved Jin and Mugen’s lives, so now they owe her.
And perhaps because Jin and Mugen are bored. Perhaps.
L-R: Jin, Mugen and Fuu.
My thoughts, let me show you them
Little things like plot, timelines, authenticity, accuracy – and even genre – have nothing to do with Samurai Champloo, where both characters and creators seem to do whatever the hell they want – 17th century samurai play baseball against Americans, graffiti artists battle to outdo one another in tagging the Shogun’s palace, cultist monks grow weed and get high on it, zombies look for buried treasure – and most famously, hip-hop and record scratching accompany every segue into another segment or scene change.
But it works! Somehow, the show is enjoyable and funny and entertaining, despite the fact that the plot – and its big twist – was somewhat predictable.
The main characters in the show are Fuu, Jin and Mugen, with each episode slowly revealing their past and how and why they come to be on this journey, with cameos and walk on roles from people from each of their pasts and several recurring minor roles.
Coming to the soundtrack, while I enjoyed the opening theme and the different ending ones, I liked the regular ED the best of all.
OP: Battlecry by Nujabes and Shing02 (26 episodes)
ED (primary ED theme):Shiki no Uta – Song of Four Seasons – by Minmi
ED (episode 12): Who’s Theme by Minmi
ED (episode 17): You by Kazami
ED (episode 23): Fly by Azuma Riki
ED (episode 26): San Francisco by Midicronica
Why You Should Watch It
One word: Jin.
He is so, so pretty it hurts to watch him when you know there aren’t any real men like this, dammit. And he wears glasses.
The plot itself wasn’t very unique or twisty, but the show made me laugh, and it was something I looked forward to every week, which makes it a winner in my book. =)
I am a Jin/Fuu shipper, so here you go, have at them:
Nenju by 3Jane
Ship: Fuu/Mugen/Jin, 36 chapters, complete
Rated: M, Genre: Action/Adventure/Romance
Summary: Where do happiness and ever after intersect? Post series, complete.
A wonderful look at how Fuu might choose between Jin and Mugen, with very real-world consequences for all their actions over the course of the series.
Kitsune in Koshu by SevenSamCham
Ship: Jin/Fuu, Rating: M, 39 chapters so far, Work in Progress
Summary: Jin, Fuu, Mugen assist ‘Manzou the Saw’ on a case, and an adventure ensues. It’s a time of political transition, which will have life-changing consequences for the trio. Historical mystery/romance novel with a touch of supernatural/science-fiction elements.
This is quite an intriguing story, and I’m quite enjoying how it’s playing out. The central focus isn’t romantic, but the main ship is Jin/Fuu.
As Lovers Go by Arabesque05
Rated: T, Words: 8,087, Complete
Summary: There is no perfect love story. But he tells her, whimsical and smiling, they would have what happily ever after there exists because this is easy as lovers go. Or something like that.
A believable look at how Jin and Fuu might end up together – without bypassing Mugen.
Playing Pretend by Youkai no Yume
Rated: M – English, Words: 11,124
Ship: Jin/Fuu, Complete
Summary: There were very simple rules to their game. As long as they followed them, they could both keep pretending and nobody would get hurt. But when Jin finds himself breaking all of the rules, he realizes he has much more to lose than a game.
Slightly sappy, but good. =)
[music| Sounds of the TV - 'Bones' S5]