Samurai Champloo Volume 1
Edo period Japan: the Shogunate has become a bloated parody of what it once was; samurai are now bureaucrats; the people starve from high taxation and poor government; and a new Image 1 of 7. Click to enlarge
Image 1 of 7. Click to enlarge
Now theses three then move on across Japan in search of this elusive samurai who smells of sunflowers. They continually get into dangerous situations, and live on the brink of starvation, scrounging for food. In fact, much like the lifestyles of the crew of the good ship Bebop! The action scenes have a vitality that really brings the screen to life. The Image 2 of 7. Click to enlarge
Image 2 of 7. Click to enlarge
Of course mention must go to the soundtrack for this show. Unlike the sublime soundtrack for Bebop that had the fortunate benefit of being under the direction of the uber-talented Yoko Kanno, the soundtrack for Champloo does not have the breadth of diversity that Bebop had. Focussing instead upon the single genre of hip-hop this show mixes the soundtrack almost seamlessly with the show. One of the most obvious examples of this would be the use of the break-beat tracks when Mugen is fighting. A perfect marriage of audio beats with visual action, is just one example of how well this show uses hip-hop to its advantage. Whilst it may seem like a Image 3 of 7. Click to enlarge
Image 3 of 7. Click to enlarge
So what is actually wrong with this show? Well, at the moment I’m hard-pressed to find any flaw with it. These first four episodes provide all the excitement and action I look for in samurai titles, with its own brand of comedy mixed in for good measure. It does not stand next to the quality of shows such as Full Metal Alchemist, Haibane Renmei or R.O.D. The TV Series, but certainly shows the potential for sitting up there with such high class shows currently on release. It still waits to be seen though as to whether Samurai Champloo can possibly define a new generation of anime fans, as Cowbcoy Bebop did so many years ago.
Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok, The“
If the reviewing of manga and anime has a particular mantra to keep in mind it’s this… always start your reviews from the FIRST VOLUME of the series! That failing of mine comes back to haunt me in thi...
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