A young woman named Foo has just had her stay in a quiet village ended when two egotistical ronin samurai burn down her day job. She confronts them and forces them to accompany her as repayment for destroying her life as she searches for the mythical samurai who smells of sunflowers. Jin, a traditional but disgraced samurai who carries two swords is quiet and reserved, willing to do what it takes to uphold his honor and warrior creed. Mugen on the other hand is bold, brash, and dangerous to be around. Together the three of them travel across Japan, making stops in Edo and Nagasaki to experience a host of misadventures all in order to track down the sunflower samurai.
Samurai Champloo is a repeat hit from legendary creator Shin’ichirô Watanabe who is also responsible for the story which became a genre unto itself, Cowboy BeBop. I’ve made it clear on several podcasts that I think that Death Note, Cowboy BeBop, and Neon Genesis are the holy trinity of animated series. Every trinity needs a disciple and Samurai Champloo is just the thing to fulfill that role. There are many similarities between Champloo and Bebop, aside from the creator and Steve Blum (Spike and Mugen). The mortality of each of the characters and the lifestyle choices are very similar, as well as a killer soundtrack. However, there are enough differences that make Champloo still feel wholly unique and thoroughly entertaining.
I’ve mentioned a few times that I prefer dub over sub but to each their own. I personally multitask or watch series to fall asleep so it makes more sense for my situation. I think Steve Blum is a generational talent, on par with Dee Bradley Baker as one of the best voice actors currently in the game and putting him back into a character created by Watanabe makes perfect sense. If you want to try out an animated action-adventure series that is easy to follow, I highly recommend this one.
Samurai Champloo is available to stream on Hulu, in both sub and dub.