Director: Shinichiro Watanabe
Genre: Anime
Studio: Geneon Entertainment   Release date:   Rated:
Summary: Viewers eagerly awaited director Shinichiro Watanabe's first broadcast series since Cowboy Bebop, and this quirky, violent period adventure was worth the wait. In contrast to the jazz-inflected disillusionment of Bebop, Champloo offers an edgy mix of martial arts combat and hip-hop irreverence. A string of coincidences brings together three misfits in Meiji-era Japan: Mugen, a rebellious vagabond; Jin, a taciturn ronin; and Fuu, a nutty waitress. Mugen, whose sardonic posture recalls Spike Spiegel, is a formidable swordsman, but he lacks the polish of a great martial artist. His movements, which incorporate break dance spins and flips, reflect his undisciplined nature. Jin is cool to the point of iciness: When he unsheathes his sword, he becomes a deadly work of art in motion. After helping them escape execution, Fuu demands Jin and Mugen stop fighting until they've helped her find an unnamed samurai "who smells of sun flowers." Predictably, chaos ensues. (Rated 16 and older: violence, profanity, brief nudity, sexual situations, alcohol and tobacco use) --Charles Solomon

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