Friday, September 11, 2009

Samurai Champloo

Starting fairly recently, I've started to watch anime. Most of the ones I watch, though, are the subtitled ones, both because I like getting the original language and actors and because I don't mind reading. Plus, it's gotten to the point where I am actually able to recognize certain words or phrases that I can pick out at any given time. Sure, I've seen different Miyazaki movies as released by Disney (aka with dubbing by American actors and actresses) and seen NGE in dubs, but for the most part I'd prefer to watch the subtitles. With Samurai Champloo, I actually wanted to watch the dub, mostly because I liked Steven Blum's voice in Hulk vs. Wolverine, and he voices Mugen in Samurai Champloo. Funimation has, on their site, a lot of different episodes of a lot of different anime, including the entire Samurai Champloo series (26 episodes, a simple, small series), which I started watching, and am now almost done with.

Basically, it is set in the Edo period in Japan, although in an alternative version of the period, which has a lot of changes, such as hip hop. For some reason, there is hip hop and breakdancing in the show. The basic plot is this: Jin and Mugen are two expert swordfighters who fight, succumb to the smoke of the burning building they're in, then get freed by Fuu, a waitress who wants their help to find a samurai who smells of sunflowers. Jin has a very traditional fighting style and is very calm and relaxed, wearing glasses, and just does everything as politely and traditionally as possible, whereas Mugen is very untraditional, incorporating lots of things into his style, including swordfighting, breakdancing, and other people's moves, and is very rash and just wants to fight everyone he can. The general plot of the series is them looking for the samurai who smells of sunflowers, but that usually plays only a minor role in the stories. While the main reason they go to the places is to search for leads on the SWSoS, the stories themselves are standalone. You could watch pretty much any episode, and not be lost, except for the various two part episodes, of which there aren't many. It doesn't really take itself seriously, which is good, as it is a ridiculous show with lots of silliness involved. Basically, Jin and Mugen are ridiculously good swordfighters who are better than almost everybody else in the show (except for maybe like two people). In one-on-one combat, neither is often defeated, but they sometimes get overpowered by sheer force and strength in numbers, or being tricked or ambushed. The show mostly is amusing, and fun to watch. Being only 26 episodes long, if you want, you could spend a weekend watching the entire show, or just watch as you want and still would be fun.

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