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What the F@#$ Did I Just Watch?! SAMURAI X Episode #1

An Anime N00B's take...


Oh… Kendo.  As a martial arts practitioner, I was pleased to see this discipline dramatized in this first episode of SAMURAI X.  I’m sure that, even though I haven’t seen any, there are probably thousands of anime about Kendo, but from my perspective, it was nice and novel to see it featured here instead of, say, Karate or Judo. Especially since people so often underestimate how dangerous a wooden weapon can be, don’t they? Having practiced the Filipino stick-fighting discipline, Eskrima, I can vouch for how painful a good THWACK with a stick can be.

On another digression, I feel like I played a SAMURAI X video game at some point in my misspent youth in Asia.  Lord knows I played everything Capcom, Konami, Neo-Geo, Sega and SNK put out in arcades between 1987 and 1997. For some reason - - perhaps their commonality of pretty boy samurais with brightly colored hair - - I was getting a serious SAMURAI SHOWDOWN (or SAMURAI SPIRITS, depending on what side of the pond your on) vibe from the first part of this show. Swap Ukyo’s color palette and give him a cheek scar, and he’d look a bit like Himura Kenshin.

Again, I’m sure there’s probably thousands of anime set in the Meiji period that I’m not aware of, but it was a welcome novelty to see this toon set during the twilight of the samurai. Role inversions seemed to be pretty common in this episode. You had a girl wearing a man’s kimono, a deadly assassin pretending to be klutzy fop and a massive masked man who’d make the worst, least-stealthy ninja in history. Seriously, that guy couldn’t sneak up on a deaf blindman.  But I suppose the answer to the implicit question is why sneak up on somebody when you can bash them to death with a shinai, right?

Domo arigato to kwyrt for the recommendation. Keep these suggestions coming, people. I challenge you! I will watch anything you name (as long as I can watch it online). In the meantime, everybody in the good ol’ US of A can watch the episode I just checked out below...
 

-- Tom Pinchuk is the writer of UNIMAGINABLE for Arcana Comics and HYBRID BASTARDS! for Archaia Comics.   Watch out for the HYBRID BASTARDS! hardcover collection this March - - available for pre-order now on Amazon.com.

metalsnakezeroon March 17, 2010 at 7:39 p.m.
Rurouni Kenshin is a great series and the show that got me started in to watching anime. Now for funny take on Kendo watch Bamboo blade which is also on Hulu.
tehkeion March 17, 2010 at 7:55 p.m.
 too bad the version on hulu is a really badly dubbed  version. I would recommend you go watch a different version of the anime. Rurouni Kenshin is a great series. but If I would have watched this version of the anime when I first started watching it, I would have stopped. check out the Anime Works version for a much better dub and translation.
Whiskeyjackon March 17, 2010 at 7:55 p.m.
Having Kenshin referred to by its ADV name of Samurai X still makes me cringe after all these years. As for video games that remind me of Kenshin.. that'd have to be SNK's Last Blade 1 and 2. It was set in the late Tokugawa Shogunate, and heck, even had a Shinsengumi fighter that was rather fond of horizontal strikes if I recall.
Liminalityon March 17, 2010 at 8:15 p.m.
This anime one part of me, and my favourite.
Mikenon March 17, 2010 at 8:21 p.m.
Rurouni Kenshin is one of the shows that got me really into anime and was the first manga series that I started collecting. Though when I tried to go back and watch the Hulu stream, I was saddened to find that it was the dub wasn't the one I grew up with...I do suppose it's high time I went and bought myself the box sets of the first two seasons. -_-;;
 
In the meantime, it's time to go reread the manga again.
daotherkenjion March 17, 2010 at 9:43 p.m.
  @tehkei: I know i was like thrown off by this dub. Ive seen the other dub and i liked it better. This show was one of the best things on toonami back when cartoon network was still respectable and showed anime more often. Some suggestions:
Chruncyroll has Shugo Chara, Eyeshield 21, and Skip Beat which are all good shows. Hulu has Fruits Basket, xxxHolic, and Heroic Age. And another good Kendo Show I would recommend is Bamboo Blade on the official funimation youtube channel.
jamdownon March 17, 2010 at 9:45 p.m.

greatest anime ever
Sigueon March 18, 2010 at 12:46 a.m.
I think Hulu has Mushishi up. You might want to try an episode of that. It's slower paced, but the atmosphere the show creates is phenomenal.
constanzadellarosaon March 18, 2010 at 2:20 p.m.
This is one of my all time favorites. I still have to buy some tankoubons to complete it...
forty316on May 30, 2011 at 7:04 a.m.
find the one that come out from anime works because this version got suck-ass voices

Dig Deeper into Rurouni Kenshin

A young wanderer, Kenshin Himura, meanders about Meiji-era Japan until he meets Kaoru Kamiya, who allows him to stay at her dojo. But his past as a noted assassin catches up with him.

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