Samurai Champloo: The Complete Collection
2009 TV Series (episodes 1-26). Director: Kazuto Nakazawa. 650 minutes. DVD, bilingual, $69.98. Distributor: Funimation.
Arguably one of the best anime in the last five years, Samurai Champloo is a road trip for which Hollywood should be chomping at the bit! After all, you’ve got the uncouth warrior Mugen, the laconic ronin Jin, the cute and comically naïve Fu, and a hip-hop nature that makes this anime simply too damn cool. Add their common search for the sunflower scented samurai, which is laden with assassins – let alone the fact the Mugen and Jin would very much like to kill each other –, and you’ve got a recipe for a sumptuous visual feast.
Who is the sunflower samurai? Well, you need to join Mugen, Jin, and Fu as three strangers are driven together by the fate of one violent afternoon.
For a series that lasts only twenty-six episodes, Samurai Champloo’s blend of character development and action is pure genius. The anticipation to see the next fight, to learn more about the individual pasts of this unlikely band, and to finally unravel the secret of the sunflower samurai commands your attention. Trust me, much to the annoyance of your significant other – or someone at least –, you’ll gladly consume an entire day on the couch. And with an unexpectedly brutal, action-packed finale, this tale of friendship and redemption will leave you with that certain melancholy feeling.
Samurai Champloo is simply a must have.