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SAMURAI CHAMPLOO #2 -- Watch & Learn

We learn a lot of very important, very serious lessons in this one.

Ha! You know, a couple months ago, I was back home watching SPARTACUS on Blu-Ray with my Dad (it’s a classic! Go watch it) and the infamous “snails and oysters” attempted seduction scene came on. There’s not much to observe there (except to say that censorship actually encouraged screenwriters to be a lot more clever and subtle with their dialog back then,) but I bring it up because we basically get the firefly-variant of that analogy in this episode's hot bath scene - - and I chortled about it. It’s not every day you come across points linking an anime with a Kirk Douglas movie from the 60’s.

Actually, to bring up another pop cultural connection, I must say it warms my heart to see Sloth getting some work after THE GOONIES. Maybe he is kind of playing the same sort of role, but at least the locale’s drastically different and his samurai executioner get-up’s a far cry from that Mork-meets-Superman ensemble he had in that flick. Haha.

There’s not a ton to observe about the plot of this episode, either. Much less time than usual is spared before we get into a near constant streak of dueling on screen, with both of these swordsmen again giving us a double dose of what we usually look for out of a show like this.

However, as much as I appreciate chopping out exposition, I honestly had a tough time keeping track of how we went from some idle chatting in a bar to the unfurling of a couple pretty breathless vendettas. They could’ve maybe let the set-up breath a little more - - even if I did enjoy the cautionary messages about casual sex in the Okinawan countryside and how you should never, ever let a dangerous man-child live.

By the way - - a question to those more learned about Japanese culture. Is Okinawa basically the equivalent of the South or some such in Japan? I was reading some write-up about this series and they went out of their way to harp on the Okinawan setting as a point of distinction. What gives?

Watch this episode, "Redeye Reprisal” here and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of HYBRID BASTARDS! & UNIMAGINABLE. Order them on Amazon here & here. Follow him on Twitter: @tompinchuk

Lurkeroon July 7, 2012 at 10:32 a.m.

I have never asked a historian or Japanese person about this, but based on what I get from anime, Okinawa being in the south developed over time into a different culture - just like in the United States where the Northeast and Southeast cultures diverged.

After the civil war in the United States the cultures were influenced to join together, but many are resistant to accept the differences as normal. This may be the same in Japan where Northern citizens and Southern citizens are encouraged to get along, but people often like to bring up how different they are and make a big deal out of it instead of accepting integration of different cultures.

Username_Undefinedon July 7, 2012 at 11:11 a.m.

I gotta say, it was fun hearing Spike and Faye flirt and attempt to murder each other again.

takashichea moderator is online on July 7, 2012 at 1:47 p.m.

I need to rewatch this episode to comment. My brain is fried.

I thought Osaka was the "southern" equivalent to America's concept of south, but I'm wrong. I noticed the accents are different when someone speaks Kasai or Osaka just like how person from Texas, Boston, and California all have different accents.

lightblast18on July 7, 2012 at 10:05 p.m.


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