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SAMURAI CHAMPLOO #13 -- Watch & Learn

Ooooooh... you rotten bastard with your big gun.

Well, we’ve got a lot more invested in these characters by this point, don’t we?

Doing this column, I end up thinking a lot about the plus and minuses of serialized arcs and episodic one-offs. I still contend that the “mythology” episodes of COWBOY BEBOP - - everything with Vicious, in other words - - were the worst part of that show. Watanabe seems to have learned some lessons from that here, though. The first two-parter was all right, but I don’t think it hit me as hard because I just didn’t know the characters that well, yet.

This one, though? Now, we’ve had plenty of fun with Mugen, Fuu and Jin already and gotten a real feel for their rhythm as a group. Now, I’m genuinely surprised about Mugen’s horrific back-story, and I'm genuinely invested in how his past is coming back to mess his life up. Hell, he practically gets a superhero origin here with the revelation of how he grew up on some “Hell on Earth” prison island and the fact he's now facing down his own arch nemesis.

And this pirate bad guy’s a good villain, he is. The kind you legitimately hate. The kind you want see get his bloody comeuppance as soon as possible.

Obligatory historical question - - was this island actually real? At first, I thought that this girl’s who holding such a candle for Mugen (and that he’s being such a jerk toward, of course) was a gypsy on account of the design of her outfit. Was there a lot more cultural diversity in the island s of Japan before the country presumably got more homogenous with onset of modernity?

Maybe the next episode will actually give me a phat-beat history lesson on the subject?

Watch this episode, "Misguided Miscreants, Part 1” below and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

Lurkeroon July 31, 2012 at 2:27 p.m.

You're right. I guess I didn't pay attention to her dress as being culturally different from the typical Japanese attire at the time.

kwyrton Aug. 1, 2012 at 7:20 a.m.

Interesting tidbit: Samurai Champloo is up to #20 on InstantWatcher.com's list of "Most Popular in the Last 24 Hours". Coincidence?

No_name_here staff on Aug. 2, 2012 at 3:06 a.m.

@kwyrt said:

Interesting tidbit: Samurai Champloo is up to #20 on InstantWatcher.com's list of "Most Popular in the Last 24 Hours". Coincidence?

Not. One. Bit.

takashichea moderator on Aug. 8, 2012 at 8:15 p.m.

I see this island like Taiwan where they call themselves Chinese. I can't remember this episode or Japanese history, and I think they are indigenous people who were pushed back to the island after the Japanese took over the homeland. Japan has another group similar to Mugen's people, Ainu (indigenous people who live in Hokkaido, Kuril Islands, and Sakhalin).

I need to re watch this series.

Dig Deeper into Samurai Champloo

Two samurai's and a girl go on an adventure in search of a Samurai smelling of Sunflowers. Along their adventure they keep running into trouble every inch of the way.

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