This is going to sound weird, but one of things I particularly enjoyed about SAMURAI CHAMPLOO’s first episode was the variety of wonderfully twisted-and sometimes-grotesque facial expressions. There’s almost an almost political cartoon caricature quality to the wealth of wrinkled brows, hairy chins, warts and pocks marks lavished upon the faces of all the ronin and bandits in this anime -- real CHARACTER to their visages -- and I liked it a lot. I noticed it especially since Fuu’s face has the usual style of minimal rendering and huge, HUGE eyes. She’s just got to be such a cutie in this crowd of salty, realistically-rendered scoundrels.
I really hope the hip-hop beats and turn-table scratching scene descriptions weren’t edited in by whoever made the dub I watched. I’d really prefer to know that the original creators injected something new and fresh here, since this can be enjoyed as a fun accompanying piece to KILL BILL on the two-way street of East/West cross pollination. Like INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, for one, I really appreciated this anime’s flagrant disregard of historical accuracy in favor of some truly fun anachronisms. My attitude is that it’s all fantasy at the end of the day, so why not embrace the fantasy fully, because it’s so fun to see a breakdancing samurai like Mugen for once. Really… that whole attitude of pure entertainment extends throughout the entire production, even to the animation, which has a vibrancy that often reminded me of graffiti brought to life.
I was pleased to see this goof on some clichés of tough guy genre stories. The funniest one - - the one that made laugh out loud - - was, of course, the part where Fuu tries to charm her way into the prison but playing the noir vamp card of “Oh please, I’ll do anything.” And the guard actually calls her up on it and says, “Anything? Do you… do you mean sex?” HA! Finally somebody said!
A big domo arigato to daotherkenji for recommending this to me. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Everybody -- keep these recommendations coming! And, please, try to make sure they’re on Hulu, so it’s easier for me to watch and to link for all of you to view to, as I have 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.