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SAMURAI CHAMPLOO #5 -- Watch & Learn

Let the guy with the finger portrait tell you about the history of erotica.

Well, AX 2012 is just providing a whole gamut of experiences I can link to the anime I'm watching.

I didn’t actually go to the panel, myself, but one of my pals went to a “History of Hentai” and came out feeling truly educated. Edified, even. As you’d figure, part of the presentation brought up the notion that the infamous “Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife” print was what started the whole tradition of tentacle hentai in Japanese pop art (a legacy that could very well be traced all the way up to shit like OVERFIEND.)

Sure enough, this episode briefly alludes to that specific painting as part a lightly-amusing overall send-up of historical erotica in Japan. So far, this has bee0n the quality I’ve enjoyed the most about this show. Not the sexiness (there actually isn’t a lot of it. Nah, I’m talking about the sort of… learned flippancy about the genre. It’s not an outright farce, and it’s not even that tongue-in-cheek. It’s more like these guys have done the historical research, obviously, but they’re not nearly as stuffy about the subjects as other shows in the genre would be.

I’m actually kind-of curious, now, about how true this revelation about a white slavery trade with Holland is. The linkage to van Gogh’s art style makes for an interesting story, but it could very easily be something they just made up and subsequently snickered about anybody who took it at face value.

This over-eager secret policemen character needs to be a regular part of the cast. “Well, blow me down!” indeed. He’s a hilarious foil for this Fuu-Mugen-Jin outlaw triangle that’s getting into its own good groove finally.

Watch this episode, "Artistic Anarchy” here 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 13, 2012 at 11:13 a.m.

There are a few episodes of Champloo with ambiguous historical context, but the writers are so nonchalant about it that it doesn't matter much. There are a couple particular episodes near the end where you will see much more odd history added in.

takashichea moderator on July 13, 2012 at 11:38 a.m.

@Lurkero:

I loved how they included the history especially the latter episodes where Jin helps a woman. (Not to spoil anyone. It was my 2nd favorite episode.) It reveals how human trafficking is horrible in those times. The anime is much more mature than its manga counterpart. That's what I love about this anime how it gets funny and serious.

Fat_Magnumon July 13, 2012 at 6:17 p.m.

If I recall correctly, the police dude appears a few more times here and there, though not in any major way. I heart this show.

zaldaron July 13, 2012 at 10:48 p.m.

pretty much no one though appears in a serious way as the anime is anything but serious...the white slave trade I am pretty sure was made up for this episode as was the artistic stuff. As the show said itself..not an accurate depiction...

Elfenlied1012on July 14, 2012 at 9:19 a.m.

having done a little research on my own there is a bit of truth behind their historical mumbo jumbo but a good portion of it is "this is true so lets, for lack of relevant knowledge, lets say this is true too cuz its not strictly false just not known to be true either."

Count_Zeroon July 15, 2012 at 11:07 p.m.

@Rockingham said:

If I recall correctly, the police dude appears a few more times here and there, though not in any major way. I heart this show.

Yeah. The character is based on the main character of a whole bunch of chambara films - Hanzo The Razor. Several of these films, IIRC, are on Hulu, under the Criterion Collection section. The creators put a bunch of other little nods here and there to various period chambara films and comics, so having a little basic knowledge of Zatoichi, Lone Wolf & Cub, Lady Snowblood, and so on probably wouldn't hurt. You don't need it to enjoy the show, but there are some little references that are made for fans of the genre in the show.

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