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SAMURAI CHAMPLOO #23 -- Watch & Learn

See, this is just what baseball SHOULD be like...

For a brief and careless moment, I thought “Wait a minute - - baseball definitely wasn’t around for that long before Commodore Perry’s arrival!” and I started picking apart the historical consistencies of this episode. Then… I smacked myself upside the head for getting that stuffy about this show, of all shows. Who gives a shit if they fudge the timing by a decade or five?

This one was another gut buster. Oh, absolutely. Watching this makes me want to finally get around to watching that absurdly over-the-top BATTLEFIELD BASEBALL cult flick… just to find out which one was more ridiculous.

I don’t have the completest urge some have that will compel them to re-watch a show just to compare and contrast the dub with the sub. However, given the hilarious stereotypical American accents and clichés that are spouted off by the bad guys in this episode, I can’t but be curious about how much farther the dub team took the gag. At the very least, I’m sure there had to be some discussion about how to best portray the portions where the sailors are supposed to just be mangling the Japanese language.

Speaking of translation issues, I feel like I’m missing some big in-joke with the likeness of Kagemusha San here. Yeah, I know he’s a legendary ninja (and the notion of a deep cover baseball ninja who meet an honorable ends by getting impaled by wooden bat chips is a hoot, certainly) but his face and mannerisms seem way too unique to not be based on some real life person.

Were I to hazard a guess, I’d wager that he’s probably modeled after some comedian doing a guest spot in this episode. They more or less did that already with Andy Warhol’s “cameo,” so it doesn’t seem too far out of the question. Am I getting warm here?

Watch this episode, "Baseball Blues” 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 Aug. 20, 2012 at 8:23 a.m.

The mannerisms of the umpire were funny, and the kookiness of the situation was okay, but I wasn't sure what the purpose of this episode was. Perhaps the animators just wanted to have some fun? Felt like this episode should have taken place sometime in the middle and not towards the end of the series when things are about to get serious.

Count_Zeroon Aug. 20, 2012 at 10:09 a.m.

If you're thinking of the character I think you're thinking about* then you might be referring to Manzo the Saw, who is turn a parody of the Jidaigeki film character of Hanzo the Razor. (All 3 films are currently up on Hulu, if you really want to decend into the crazy that is that series.)

*(Gee, Brain, I dunno...)

sickVisionz moderator on Aug. 20, 2012 at 11:28 a.m.
Then… I smacked myself upside the head for getting that stuffy about this show, of all shows. Who gives a shit if they fudge the timing by a decade or five?

You should go back and do this for every clear cut undeniably by no means is this trying to be realistic in any way, shape, or form, nor is it spinning itself as a 100% accurate representation of real world history show that you've slammed for not being 100% historically accurate in it's portrayal of something.

zaldaron Aug. 20, 2012 at 6:48 p.m.

@Lurkero: you see you are now getting to why I dislike this show so much..it is all about the random and never really does get all that serious. This episode I did find funny though, but really you could watch these episodes out of order and get as much out of it as by watching them in order...

Lurkeroon Aug. 20, 2012 at 8:33 p.m.

@zaldar said:

@Lurkero: you see you are now getting to why I dislike this show so much..it is all about the random and never really does get all that serious. This episode I did find funny though, but really you could watch these episodes out of order and get as much out of it as by watching them in order...

I would never disagree that the episodes of Champloo could be put in random order and the series would be the same. The only episodes that really matter are the first one and the last three. Everything between is for character development or randomness. There is a "plot" but it's so loose that it didn't weigh the series down. I would say the same for Cowboy Bebop.

The only thing that matters for the overall plot is that the crew keep traveling and find info on the samurai that smells of sunflowers. That could be 5 seconds of every episode until they get to him.

FoxxFireArt moderator is online on Aug. 21, 2012 at 1:29 a.m.

The dub is actually really great in this series.

It's pretty funny that you were actually parsing the history of this episode. Let alone an episode of this series. This is just an incredibly fun anime series that plays with history. There are shows you analyze, then their are shows you just enjoy and go with it.

And who's to say something such as this couldn't happen? It's told as an unwritten tale of history. They come up with a plausible-enough story conceit. A guy who was a ninja spied on other countries and took a liking to baseball while there. What more do you need?

zaldaron Aug. 21, 2012 at 7:32 a.m.

@FoxxFireArt: quite a lot really...@Lurkero: which is why I didn't like this show much honestly and I would say even the last three episodes don't do much for a plot. Cowboy bebop had more of a plot but not much more..and if you remember as I have said before I consider bebop not to be nearly as good as everyone says it is.

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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