Samurai Champloo

Why is it that all good Anime’s must end? I asked myself this question Wednesday night when Samurai Champloo (quite possibly one of the best Anime’s I’ve ever watched) came to a conclusion, but to my surprise the ending was quite good. It’s been my general experience that most shows end with some, if not all of the characters dying off, but this was different.

I was left with a dramatic battle that made me want more, more action, more violence, and especially more blood. For those of you that care to go on reading this post, check out the following warning:

Warning! Spoilers ahead!

Okay, now that that’s over with, let me tell you a bit about what happened. The show opened a little different, skipping the usual intro and going straight to a recap of Fuu, Mugen, and Jin’s current situations. The last we knew Jin was dead, killed by the master of his own technique and left at the bottom of the sea. Fuu was on her way to that one guy’s house, you know, the one that smells like Sunflowers (but they have no odor?!?), and Mugen was losing a battle against the man he had tormented many years earlier.

Now uninterupted, Fuu reached her destination, and to her dissapointment, her father was almost dead. They spoke briefly, only for the Sunflower Samurai to be finished off minutes later by the same guy that (supposedly) killed Jin. With no warning Kariya starts heading towards the defenseless girl standing behind him. Fuu runs, only to find herself trapped on a Cliff, looking at Mugen fight on below.

Now rewing a bit and change the view. When we last saw Mugen he was trapped in what resembles an abandoned shed. After killing off the first of the three brothers, the crazy one that gnaws on his hands to keep from killing people, he is left to fight the second of the brothers, who carries with him a modified scathe, which allows him to throw out and reel in the blade with a simple flick of the wrist. In a ditch effort Mugen, sans sword, pull sout a tiny knife and uses it as a distraction. Jumping quickly to his feet he grabs his sword fro the wall and starts off on a wild goose chase, leading the second brother around and around in circles. Eventually the building collapses and the battle is taken outside. After a few quick, intricate moves, Mugen manages to decapitate the second brother. Thinking he’s won the battle, he stands up in triumph, only to be shot in the back by the final, wheelchair bound brother. Upon approach the wheelchair explodes, and we are brought back to Fuu above.

About to realize her death, Fuu looks back on her journey, and the two brave men that have helped her along the way. Looking up from the ground Jin, nearly shitless and with a large scar on his side, appears behind Kariya, the assassin that had supposedly taken his life in the previous episode. In a final attempt to save Fuu, Jin attacks Kariya using a technique that leaves both warriors open for a final blow. Amazingly, Jin survives while Kariya bursts open in a pool of blood. Flash forward a few minutes and the two return to the ground below to find a barely living Mugen lying on the ground.

Before the episode ends, the two attempt to fight, only to break their swords against each other. In their weakened condition, both fall on top of each other, forming a yin-yang, a symbol representing the balance between them. On a happy note, the three of them go their separate ways, all on good terms.

Okay, the spoilers are over now…

All in all, I’m sad to see such a great show go, and I can only hope for something just as innovative in the future. Who would have thought that mixing hip-hop with Samurai culture and comedy would be a good idea? I certainly didn’t, but I’m happy I tuned to see all 26 episodes, and ca’t wait for the next big project from Shinichiro Watanabe to hit the States.

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Filed under Anime, Television

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