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SAMURAI CHAMPLOO #25 -- Watch & Learn

One of the most visceral anime episodes I've ever reviewed.

Legitimate tension is real hard to come by in shows about nigh-unstoppable asskickers. No matter how scary the bad guys look, you can be rest assured that the good guys are going to eventually beat ‘em. And no matter how certain the deaths facing the good guys seem, you can feel confident in expecting them to find some way out.

This time, though? There was some real uncertainty about whether Fuu, Mugen or Jin were going to escape with their lives. And, man, it was exhilarating. Countless shonen fighters will devote entire episodes to fights, but it takes skilled hands to make you feel every blow, block, step and parry the way this did. There was just a startling authenticity to the messiness of these fights - - especially when Mugen’s fight with the claw assassin gets so frenzied in the water.

(Speaking of that devil - - I need to find out what the name of that particular ninja weapons was, because all I want to do is compare him to the squirrely, midget-sized Freddy Krueger from King of the Fighters… and that feels inadequate.)

Not all the tension even centers on the fighting, either. I love all the teasing the show’s doing about whether this mysterious and cold-hearted assassin is actually Fuu’s father. The quest for this guy has already taking on some Quixotic, almost DARK TOWER obsessive dimensions at this point… there’s a fittingly allegorical irony to this trio searching for the Samurai Who Smells of Sunflowers just so he can kill them, isn’t there?

Watch this episode, "Evanescent Encounter, Part 2” below and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

YotaruVegetaon Aug. 24, 2012 at 7:38 a.m.

I believe the claw weapon is called a shuko

Lurkeroon Aug. 24, 2012 at 8:59 a.m.

The fight at the docks was one of the best I have ever seen. I like how there is a slight supernatural presence to the samurai's attacks and how the movement of the characters is accented with not full frames of arms moving, but with dashing lines going across the screen. It's stylish, but it also gets across how quickly they are moving.

It's funny how Mugen was getting criticized for his wild fighting style. The whole series has shown him as very capable of fighting despite his untrained style, but then when it came to fighting an expert his limitations were shown and a trained master was able to take him down.

The scene when Jin killed his master is one of my favorites. I liked it so much I made a gif animation from it. In a typical shonen show, fighting your master would probably be a minimum of 2 episodes but here Jin does it in less than 3 seconds and it looks really cool.

TopHaZZardon Aug. 24, 2012 at 9:29 a.m.

I have always enjoyed the pace at which fights are resolved in this anime. In reality, fights were two guys are swinging sharp pieces of steel tend to rap up pretty quickly .

jj_jacksonon Aug. 24, 2012 at 12:40 p.m.

@Lurkero hey guy you kinda are a little bit confused about one thing that guy is frm t he goverment hes not the sunflower samurai.

i happen to enjoy the ending of this anime and yes it kept me on the edge of my seat i loved it. one of my favs because you never know what is gnna happen! wish there was a movie though(sigh)

Lurkeroon Aug. 24, 2012 at 2:16 p.m.

@jj_jackson said:

@Lurkero hey guy you kinda are a little bit confused about one thing that guy is frm t he goverment hes not the sunflower samurai.

I always get that mixed up.

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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