Director: Shinichirô Watanabe
Genre: Anime & Manga
Studio: Geneon [Pioneer]   Release date: 2005   Rated: NR
Summary: The mayhem and imagination never flag in director Shinchiro Watanabe's first series since "Cowboy Bebop". Fuu poses for a "Ukiyo-e" (woodblock print) artist, only to discover he's tied to a criminal ring that traffics in young girls. She joins Mugen and Jin to escort gay Dutch trader Izaak Titsingh on a tour of Edo. Izaak tries to pass himself off as Japanese--despite an Ahnold-esque accent. The clever, well-researched visuals in these episodes play off Van Gogh's paintings, "shunga" (erotic) prints, Kabuki costumes, and the 17th-century anthology "The Great Mirror of Male Love". "The Art of Altercation" reveals just enough of Jinn's past to explain why the taciturn swordsman has so many enemies. All four episodes offer plenty of the outrageous mixture of traditional martial arts and cutting-edge hip-hop moves that have made "Samurai Champloo" a fan favorite. (Rated 16 and older: violence, profanity, brief nudity, sexual situations, alcohol and tobacco use) "--Charles Solomon"

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