Starring: Samurai Champloo
Genre: Anime & Manga
Studio: Geneon [Pioneer]   Release date: 2005   Rated: NR
Summary: The outrageous comedy-adventure "Samurai Champloo" reaches new heights of absurdity in episode 18, a showcase for creator Shinichiro Watanabe's interest in hip-hop culture. While Mugen belatedly learns to read in a smackdown elementary school, Jin tries to settle the rivalry between two brothers who inherited the dojo of a former sensei. The two seemingly unrelated storylines collide in a hilarious, no-holds-barred anachronistic graffiti contest that features Tokugawa-era rap lyrics, gang signs, ink-brush tagging, Hiroshima homeboys, and a designer-connoisseur who's a caricature of Andy Warhol. Only Watanabe could pull off these anachronistic high jinks so effortlessly. In the darker episode 19, Jin and Mugen learn a bit more about the mysterious "samurai who smells of sunflowers," the curious skull-shaped charm he left behind, and why Fuu is so determined to find him. The mismatched trio also encounters a group of hidden Christians, who were persecuted by the Shoguns, in part for their links to gunrunners. (Rated 16 and older: violence, profanity, brief nudity, sexual situations, alcohol and tobacco use) "--Charles Solomon"

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