Samurai Champloo Makes it to my Top List

Topic started by djotaku on June 24, 2011. Last post by wayintothe7thart 3 years ago.
Post by djotaku (0 posts) See mini bio Level 5
Anime and I have had an interesting relationship.  I watched a lot of the old stuff on TV when I was a kid - Speed Racer reruns, Voltron, Robotech.  I discovered it as separate art form in Middle School, but the Anime Renaissance hadn't happened yet so it was very hard and expensive to get access to anime in the USA.  I got into Ranma and Bubble Gum Crisis.  By the time I got to college, Anime was everywhere but because the demand for anime was so high, crap was coming in.  And it was just too expensive to buy these crappy series since DVDs can't be returned.
 
But I eventually discovered two great series that weren't bubble-gum, semi-hentai bullshit (apologies if that's the type of anime you're into): Trigun and Cowboy Bebop.  Cowboy Bebop especially struck a chord.  It had everything I loved, mature characters, the full range of humor (not just slapstick), space, the whole A-Team/Nightrider thing where they go from town to town.  It was essentially an anime Firefly and I loved it.  One of the best parts of the series was Watanabe's use of great music and matching it so well to the action.  
 
Thanks to Netflix I've been able to affordably try some different anime series, but they've all been huge disappointments.  When I saw Samurai Champloo it was only Watanabe's name that drew me to give it a chance.  And lighting has struck twice.  This series is a great evolution on Cowboy Bebop.  It takes place in Edo-Period Japan instead of in Space, but it seems to follow a similar format.  I've only seen the first disc, but I am hooked.  This time he's gone for a more hip hop inspired soundtrack and it works very well.  Especially the intro episode where he uses scratches to go between scenes.  The characters are compelling.  Interestingly, for a series that seems to be so similar to Cowboy Bebop, rather than have a Spike character and a Jet character, both of the main characters seem like two halves of the Spike character.  One is the introspective one and the other is impulsive.  But they are both quick to fight each other and love a challenge.  In fact, in one of the episodes, one of the guys comes back to where all the bad guys are because he had expected to be chased and no one was attacking him.
 
It's so good that my wife, who'd sworn off anime after a bunch of corny anime series really turned her off to the genre, is really into it and enjoying watching it with me.  If you enjoyed Cowboy Bebop, definitely check it out.  If you're tired of the same old slapstick anime with the girls with anatomically impossible breasts, definitely check it out.  I think you'll be pleased.
Post by wayintothe7thart (1,079 posts) See mini bio Level 9
@djotaku: Nice review djotaku. I hope to hear your opinion where you finish the series.
Post by Panpipe (0 posts) See mini bio Level 2
Completely agree. I really like both of those series. Has anybody got any recommendations for similar stuff?

Personally I also enjoyed Monster, which had a nice mature tone (compared to a lot of anime) and no magic or boobs.

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