2005年03月31日 木曜日

Samurai Champloo

by Mizuko Ito



The students in my Japanese Popular Culture class are trying to keep me up to date. My latest find, courtesy of Brendan Callum, is サムライチャンプルー. I know it is not exactly news to fans of Cowboy Bebop, but I am just now clueing in to what all the fuss is about.

What follows is an excerpt from Brendan's class essay that discusses the series.

A prime of example of popular culture that represents the compatibility of modern and traditional culture as well as the contrast created by domestication is an animated television series by the name of Samurai Champloo. The name itself is the first example of the cultural mixing present in the series. ‘Champloo’ is a fried dish with various different ingredients mixed in. Thus we can take the name to mean that ‘Samurai’ is the starting point or base for a mix of elements from past and present cultures. The story is nothing incredibly novel; two very different men are brought together by a promise to a girl, but the setting and over all style of the series are both fascinating. The series is very loosely set during the Edo period, Japan, probably around the late 1600’s to the early 1700’s. However, no strict time period is adhered to, and to quote from the front page of the official website, “This work of fiction is not an accurate historical portrayal…Now shut up and enjoy the show”. One of the most interesting aspects of the show, the use of anachronisms, draws from this acknowledged creative license taken with the time period. The viewer is bombarded with ‘modern’ and Western images (break-dancers, graffiti artists, bleached hair-styles) in an easily recognizable ‘pre-modern’ setting. However there is never any sense of incongruity, in fact the various elements work together like the ingredients in the dish from which the show takes its name. In the series Graffiti artists are portrayed as having a code of honor like samurai, dueling with their paintbrushes instead of swords, and there are charms dangling from one character’s sword that look like the charms you would see on a cell-phone or backpack today. The show seems to suggest that there does not have to be a binary relationship between traditional and modern and that elements from the two can co-exist.


Taking the analysis a step further, one could even say that what is represented by Samurai Champloo is an environment where both Western and Japanese culture have become exotic by contrast; a nebulous zone in which neither is the dominant paradigm. Thus the relevance of this representation lies in its opposition to the ‘modern’ versus ‘traditional’ image of Japan used by Orientalists and ‘save the dying Japanese culture’ supporters alike. It suggests that were the two opposites to coexist, ideologically, at least, the balance could be swung either way and either one could be made to seem exotic. With complex representations like this one as counterexamples, it becomes clear that the representation of Japan as a nation whose ‘traditional’ culture is being destroyed by ‘modernity’, has absolutely nothing to do with real cultural loss. While this is not entirely surprising in and of itself, some of the factors that have contributed to the popularity of this representation, namely Orientalism on the side of the West and latent nationalism from the Japanese, are quite interesting indeed. Delving into these various representations quickly gives one an idea of how this ‘modern’ versus ‘traditional’ representation could be useful to all parties concerned. The West has played no small part in perpetuating this representation. As Joseph Tobin writes, just as Westerners have often “played a key role” in deciding “what is authentically and importantly Japanese about Japan." In retrospect, this is part of a long-standing trend and should not really come as a surprise either, but the extent to which this trend is involved, even today, can catch one off guard. However it is possible that the younger generation of Japanese will be able to achieve some distance from this trend with their “newfound pride” in Japan’s increasingly international popular-culture. This popular-culture, with its complex representations of Japan and its ongoing process of domestication, may well prove to be a strong voice for change.

Thanks Brendan!

Posted by Mizuko Ito at 2005年03月31日 02:21

1- Kitty

Samurai Champloo
I thought that this show was so cool I couldn't stop talking about it after I saw the first

- kitty

2- Arashi

I love Samurai Champloo! Mugen is so hot and Fuu is so cute, they would make a great couple for sure! ^^

When I first seen Samurai Champloo there music is tight, I never in my life that I heard any rapping in Japanese shows,so I love this show and I going to watch it tonight ^v^.

4- Shini

Dude, that was deep but uber true! I love the show, been hooked since I first watched it. Fuu is gorgeous in a cute, girlish way and Mugen is hot in that "I'm a badboy now get the f*ck out of my way" way. But I would die for a night with Jin! He is mega sexy in a tall, dark, handsome, traditionally refined, sweep you off your feet kinda way!

Lotta love from the Preistess of Death. And remember that even if the show never took place in reality, it gives us a sense that if we just tried, we could harmonize tradition and new culture. After all, I've done it for the past 3 years!

5- Alex

Samurai Champloo is now officially one of my favorite anime shows of all time! Each episode used a some-what of a historical topic that sculpted our cultures from different themes. For example, the episode that Fuu was painted and her picture of her and sunflowers is the picture that insipred Van Gogh. Which many of his paintings were themed with sunflowers. It seems that cultures of countries are made by the little things that people like Fuu, Mugen and Jin create out of accidents and such that make the little things you do to inspire big things in life.

6- Complex

This is easily one of my all time favorite shows, not mention an insanely kick-ass successor to Cowboy Bebop. The mixture of modern hip-hop and jazz, wanton gore and violence, and a pretty good story line makes this something worth mentioning to friends who have not become familiar with this genre.

7- Sakura_Sagara

I love Samurai Champloo! It has all the elements of a great anime, especially with it being set in way older times, somewhere between Inuyasha and Rurouni Kenshin, and the characters! Ah! To die for! Mugen, Jin, and Fuu all have such contrasting personalities that its just hilarious to watch them try to get money for food. I love this show!

8- Terra-San

Samurai Champloo is off the hook^-^!!!!!!! I'm so glad I saw
it on Adult Swim!!! I'm so addicted 2 it!!! I want 2 see
more!!! As 4 Mugen.....DAMN HE'S SOOOO HOT!!!! That's what I
call a bad ass!!! I love his fighting style!!! I also like
the music they have on there. It's awesome!! 1 more thing.......MUGEN'S MINE!!!!!

9- Katara

I love this show. I never expected for it to be set to hip hop, but I just love it. And the characters are to die for. Mugen is rude, crude, and has the whole "bad-boy" thing going for him. Fuu is so much like the modern girl, that it's hilarious. The way they drew her is pretty cute too. And Jin. Ahhhhh Jin. Stoic and handsome, if I ever meet a guy like that, I'm never letting him go!

10- andrew mayo jr

SAMURAI CHAMPLOO IS THE SHIT MAN!!!!!!!!!! Mugen is my favorite character. Well it's a tie. i'm like Mugen and Jin together. I love the way Mugen moves when fightin' and the was he talks to his opponets. I also have to give love to Fuu. She is SO SO SO SO SO SO SO HOT. (for a cartoon) And i really have to give lots and lots and lots of respect to "Fat Jon", "Tsutchie", "Nujabes", and "Force of Nature" for layin' down dem hot ass tracks for da show. Exspecailly the theme song and closin' song. Samurai Champloo is #1!!!!!!!!!!!!
p.s. whe can i get the cd from?

11- Jin'sdarkone

i couldnt stop talking bout the show after the very 1st time i seen it! AND NO!!!! MUGEN AND FUU DONT LOOK GOOD TOGETHER SHE IS freaks out to easly and she is so bubbly all the time!!!...but i love the music i dont think i would ever imagin that rap would go with a anime show! i fell in love with this show from the first 5mins of the frickn show its so great! mugen is so frickn hott to but he aint better then Jin omg Jin is so hot!!! yall may say that Mugen is the best but he isnt better than Jin. Almost like Fuu Mugen talks a little to much but he isnt as bad as Fuu she is unbarable,and a incompatent fool who doesnt know when to shut her mouth! but that is my opion. Jin is the frickn hottest cartoon in the frickn world!! he so quite and mysterious calm and man do i frickn love him!!!!!!!!!!!

12- minmay

i know ARASHI!!!!i as reading all of ur guys post...and u guys ROCK....i love cowboy bebop...and now i love samuarai champloo too!!!i just wished Fuu and Muegen...would be together..i guess not...i hope there will b a second season and stuff..and Fuu and Muegen develops..dang i so HOPED.....i LOVE the SEXY scenes...so ok...LABS u guys..!!!!!!!!

and oh ya...Mugen reminds me of SPIKE....and i eanted Faye and Spike....

13- mika

samurai champloo is the PIMP!!!!!!!!! Dude if you do not like samurai champloo you are a nerd or just gay. samurai champloo is cool because it has 2 great things samurai's and pimpin old school beats. the charachters are great to mugen is so pimp with his bad ass attitude gin has a cool good guy attitude and foo has a sexy clunsy attitude BUT THE MAIN POINT IS if you havent seen it yet watch it youll like it ...OR ELSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

14- Abbie

this show has some of the best animation that i have ever seen in my life, i belive its even better than the CowboyBebop, although i never really got in to the cowboys story, this is interesting and makes a great kind of friction that makes you want to watch EVERY episode, i appreciate the animation so much cause i want to work for anime when i get older, well, i guess thats just about it, see ya!

15- Kitten-Sagara

Yo This Show is off the hook!! Awsome Muzic And Sexy son-of-a-gun men (or boys depends) And as for you Katara, MUGEN IS SO MINE!!!!! So Back off. And Shini Your right, Jin is sexy, but more in the mysteris kinda way, but still sexy!!%)
Though the time line is so close, the Kenshin-gumi could run right into reach other!

16- LaFlaga

Watanabe has done it again, that brilliant dude has created magic once more with Samurai Champloo. This show is awsome and it brings grace everytime I watch it. What really amazes me and burns an image into my eyes is the battle animation, that is sick.

17- 4t0m1c_N1nj4

Mwahaha, Samurai Champloo is one of the best Anime's I have seen...And I've seen alot of Anime's. Fuu is all uber-cute and stuff, and Mugen is all Uber-Badass. Along with Jin...He's...A quieter badass, but bad ass none the less. I too think Mugen reminds me of an angrier Spike, though I have to say. I think Mugen might beat Spike in a fight, hand to hand. Ah well, that's enough to keep me from prattling like a School Girl about it, Ta Ta..Nyahahaha

18- Tito

Show's kick ass ever since I saw the first episode I've been addicted and the beats are bumpin. I have the opening on a disk and I'm listening to it right now. It blends traditional Japanese culture with an urban flavor. A street culture y'know. Hell they got a B-boy Samurai the show's music is done with turntables and I've heared that Mugen's shirt on the outside is supposed to have 3 stripes like Adidas. Show's kick ass nothin else can be said about it it's pretty damn genious the people who made it have a great idea here

19- jamie looper

i agree this show is so farking awesome it is not even funny.
IM: FiraDrakon

20- Nick the Quick

I Love Fuu....that's all

21- Luna-Star

I love Samuari Champloo!Mugen is fire hot!He's #1 on my hot anime guy list!Jin's okay but I find him boring because he's so calm!

PS:Kitten-Sagara and Katara, MUGENS MINE JACK ASSES!

22- dancerchick396

i really think this show is amazing! the art is so complex thats why i watch it and the story lines good. i think mugen is cool and so is his fighting style. Gene is really complex as a person and a good fighter also, mugen does remind you of a more pissed-off spike(cowboy bee bop is awesome) i LOVE this show! and nothing beats anime!

Wow, so many comments T_T ...even if most of them are just "OMG MUGEN IS SO HAWT!!!" Haha I can't complain. I'm glad there are so many Champloo fans out there!

24- Abe

Samurai Champloo is one of the best animes ive seen.Fuu is so cute and bubbly, but doesnt have that outgoing attitude (and she talks too much).Muegen is "real bad man" and loves too kick ass, but he falls for women too much and nearly got his ass killed.Jin is the calm and quiet type, nothing gets to jin and he's hardly ever taken by surprise. you guys need to stop frieking out over the characters. IT'S JUST A CARTOON!!


25- Victoria

Hey I love Cowboy Bebop and when I first saw the commercials for Samurai Champloo I could already tell that it was going to be a KICK ASS SHOW! Mugen sooo reminds me of spike (angry) and Jin of jet and Fuu of faye. All of you are right about the animations and the music they rock.(It's catchy)

I personally like Jin myself because there is something about him that makes him sooo cute. Like that one episode when he talked to that girl that was going to jump off the bridge then they ran into eachother at the fried eel stand, and he feel in love with her.

ps.does anybody think the opening song reminds you of JIN?

26- Nailil

I am a huge Samurai Champloo fan. I watch it as much as possible. Really, I do. Jin is the best. The best. Oh, and victoria, yes. I think the opening song is like Jin. It is the best show. Really. Im addicted. Hooked. The music. The people. Adult Swim did well. Finally, a good show. Not a screw up.

27- HiPhOp SaMuRaI

Yo straight up Samurai Champloo is the shit I dont do nothing but watch that then start to train on my swords manship I love the show the beats the characters everything. Ima become an Urban samurai Ive been working on alot of moves from Samurai Champloo along with Samurai X another awesome Anime. BUt none the less Samurai Champloo rocks the beats are hardcore and go great with the fight scenes and the characters have kick ass personalitys.

28- Me

Actually, Keshin-gumi and the Samurai Champloo gang couldn't possibly run into each other cuz they're 200 years apart. Sengoku Jidai is the time period when Inuyasha takes place and it ends in the early 1600s (ive done my reserach lol :) ). Edo Period (samurai champloo takes place during that era) comes right after Singoku Jidai, therefore it must be taking place around 1600-1700s...and Rurouni Keshin is happenin during the 19th century Meiji era (or w.e) lol yea i know im a nerd...I LOVE SAMURAI CHAMPLOO THOUGH!!! (and i also love inuyasha and rurouni keshin-THEY ROCK!)

29- Stephanie

This anime is amazing to sum it all up. I was bummed when they took Cowboy Bebop off of the air, but this has definitely replaced it! At first I thought it sounded so dumb, but I watched it with a friend one night, and I was totally addicted!

To "Me" - Actually, I don't think the creators of Samurai Champloo would care so much about the differences in historical periods. Like it says on the official site: "This work of fiction is not an accurate historical portrayal. Like we care. Now shut up and enjoy the show."
I think it would be pretty funny if they had a Kenshin cameo hehe... Good job doing your homework though :D

31- Ash

Samurai Champloo is AWESOME. Mugen is so hot. It's definetly my favorite show.


OMG LOL!!!! Episode 16-when Mugen talks about "the sunflower samurai"-THAT has got to the funniest thing I've ever seen in ANY anime series. WE WANT MORE SAMURAI CHAMPLOO!!! Right, guys? :D

33- Irish Crow

When i saw the show ... i friggin loved everything about it, primarily because its the cowboy bebop of the samurai age ... Samurai Champloo FTW!

34- springchild74

i love the show ... kind of like "rush hour" anime version but with a swingin style. man this is how a japanese girl fall in love with a cartoon character avoiding real men in real world. mugen is damn hot, exactly cause of his unrealness. he's living the cool. mugen, jin, fuu all of them reresent what people want to become in the degree of their individual freedom. i love it, love it, love it.

35- do

lol, i really love the fifteenth episode, the one where they find counterfeit money, its funnier than Rurouni Kenshin, but RuroKen has better moves. Balance

36- Elijiah

Samuria champloo is the best sho in the world. It has the best animation and alot of actoin. I hope it doesn't get shut down.

37- Elijiah

If samurai champloo wasn't my favorite sho I wouldn'n have bought every episode

38- Elijiah

Jin is the best!

39- GovZ

素晴らしい!(great!) Sorry got carried away ... i watched all the episodes of samurai champloo and i feel so bad kara-san died and Mugen lost his love interest. As for Jin, he's the main sword in my opinion and Fuu damn if she were only real ... Nice to know a lot of us love samurai champloo!

40- samwai-jin

1st time i saw it woz ep 5, i went nuts and couldn't sleep untill i finshed readin and findin more info about it. its funny, sad, emotional, and its like the anime version of fight club and snatch. i never loved any music like i loved this music. this anime did every thin that woz in my head for years, fightin choreography wise. as for my fav character its a half half; jin for how mysterious he is and strongly silent yet extremly dangerous. i love mugen for his thugness and free style fightin, as well as his rough looks. fuu is a joka gal, but she is 15 u sickos!!!!!!! but she makes me laugh my ass off.

41- Ayeka

i love samurai champloo it's the best show ever i think mugen and jin are soooo sexy, but i don't think mugen and fuu should go together it just doesn't seem right to me. other than that i love the show and the music that goes with it

42- Poetess X-chan

Hey There,

I've been a bebop fan for some time now and now to finally get champloo after all the hub on adultswim.com I'm so glad to have it! I really like the marriage of eastern philosphy, martial arts, and hip hop! I got hooked on a lot of the music from when I was living in the ATL. I listened to a GSU(Album 88) radioshow called Nippon Music Champ hosted by B-chan. She always had the lastest in Jrock/Jpop/Jrap and often featured listener request from various anime! Sufficed to say, I'm hooked on Champloo! And yeah, Mugen and Jin are quite hot anime guys. It would be easy for a girl to fall for the REAL embodiment of these two drawn hotties! Anyways just like Bebop I'm the stories are awesome with a good balance of comedy, romance and action! looking foward to more of the same good stuff! So i think I've said a healthy amount about this ! I pass it on to the next!

Much Love! Poetess X-chan

43- shaheem

this is the best show i wach it ever weeken and if u got a prob with fuch off

44- shaheem

this is the best show i wach it ever weeken and if u got a prob with fuch off

45- Chibi Neko

Samurai Champloo is super!! Mugen and Fuu - sooooo cute together. Which it good, it leaves Jin for me!!

46- g0dzirr4

Great show, the animation is flawless. And the music is great. Not as good as Cowboy Bebop, but its still awesome.

47- Jenny Ramos

So awasome i love to what and see this show because it gets me real excited.

48- Nanashi

It is truly an amazing series. I'm so glad that you can still find great animation artpieces like SAMURAI CHAMPLOO. It's definately my favorite, forever. And Fuu-chan PAWNS!!! :B

49- Bianca

Mugen is soooo HOTnSexy I f I met a gut just like him I would go nuts!

50- rebecca

Samurai Champloo.......Rocks!Jin's the shit....
I Have 27 pics of him on my website ...
not to mention ALL the pics I draw of him @ school!

51- Charles Age:21

This is rated TV-MA to be viewed only by ADULTS. VERY GRAPHIC CONTENT CONTAINED.

man samuria champloo is the crunkest show out there I would have to say my favorite character is jin cause hes a lonewof and thats how i find myself to be and I wish i could just be a samurai and go on a crunk journey like mugen jin and fuu I would have a cool samurai sword


i luv the show I've seen the show so many times its awsome!!!! i love the charactor GIN.Can't wait 4 more!!!!!!peace

the show is awsome first time i saw it i loved it!! the show had the excitement and sad things that keep you hooked on it I never missed an episode and i love the charators mostly mugan and gin there hot and on fire!!!!i wish to live in the time and be there with them and that would be happiest days of my life!! man if only it was real!!

gotta go
laterzzzzz and peace

55- GOKU#1


56- Faye

Samurai Champloo's okay...I love the music but the storyline is boring. Also, the episodes, although they're great, are just too random.

57- javier jimenez

samurai champloo is the best the music and every single thing you have seen

58- valentines royal heart

I love samurai champloo I watch it every wednesday night.I really love it I always be mad at myself if I don't get to watch it.I really love Jin he is totally cute, I would die for him. He is a hulk, sweet hulk.

59- Jin and mugen's girlfriend

Fu soooo doesn't deserve Jin or mugen! when i first whacted this show i had dreams that rocked my world! its hard to choose between mugen and jin i mean really? Jin's quite and sensitive, and mugen's like one of those hot bad boys......I CANT CHOOSE!!!!

60- Jersey Brawler


61- dark goddess

first time i watched samuria champloo i was addicted and i bought all the eposides...sorry cant spell...fuu is cute and mugen is a bad boy..gotta luv him..but my fav is jin...man i would do anything for one wonderful night..i like them pale and quiet..lol..love the show...hate it was only one season

62- T.O.M

now this series is not only the best anime series of all time its the best story line, animation and character selection personly my favourite character is jin his fucking amazing, and hes so funny hehe and mugen is i think one of the best characters ever thought of and fuu well fuu is just fuu hehe, i would have to say my favourite episode of samurai champloo would have to be when they all get high lmao that is episode amazing, and if you're wondering what episode that one is i belive its episode 10, oh yeah and btw SAMURAI CHAMPLOO IS THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.............P.S.......EVERYONE THAT COMES ON TO THIS SITE HAS TO READ THIS!!!!!!!

63- Jadsia

Greetings from Sweden!
I looooooooooooooooove SC. I used to watched every wednesday but "this" swedish channel dared to cancel it in the middle of everything (chapter 11) and now they show Paranoia Agent instead. I will buy the DVD's to know what is gonna happen with Fuu & Co.

64- kagome

Gin is soooo hot!!!! for a samurai he's the perfect gentleman..... thats the guy im looking for.. *sigh* oops... i hope inuyasha doesn't read this :x

-Kagome Higurashi

65- otaku_hunnie

oh my god!!! this show is the shit!!! i bought the box set and i cant stop watching it and the sound track be rockin so hard. my fave song is sincerely. i even wrote a fanfiction about samurai champloo. i wrote myself in it though as mugens love interest. he is so hot!!! he's the gangsta of anime a go hard mutha fuckah!!! he a straight up g... jin also but he the chill type dude. i wish samurai champloo didn't have to end.... but all great things come to an end. maybe a movie or reunion might be made but i doubt that. sorry sesshomaru.... i'm leaving you 4 mugen, boo.

66- gambit

Mix Cowboy Bebop , Samurai X. Take out all the crap that these 2 series talk put a cool beat and alot of more action and plus a little dumb girl that in fact is not dumb. Put alot of action and you got the best series in the whole world any place any where. champloo is the best.

P.S. Fuu is not dumb.

67- Rouge

hahaha Wow lots of posts for one show. But Me, myself was sucked into the awsomeness of the show ^^
Yeah, and i too think that Jin is the sexiest man alive , probably along with all the other fans and junk.
Mugen, well.. Mugen just reminds me of the brother, relly mean lol =D
Fuu is cool , she's awsome to.
But i think that she was coming onto Jin towards the end.
i think it was the second to the last episode, she hugged jin. Which i hope they make a second seasion and make her and jin togather. ^^ But that's my opinion.

68- Rouge

Oh yeah, and Jin actaully looks exactly like one of my char's i made by myself. His Name is Siskishio, and jin is pretty much a clone of siskishio. ...or the other way around. Siskishio is a scientist, and a vampire.
So i kinda watch SC and see one of my favorate char's come to life. so cool ^^
And i created Siskishio before the show came out.
So it was like... wow!! THAT'S SISKISHIO YAY!! ^^;
but otherwise, Siskishio/Jin are twins and they are hot beyond all reason. =D
and i love the ending song. im listening to it right now.

P.S. - oh and i made this new other char, "the Rouge samurai" in inspiration from SC.

69- sanjiandnami12

man...i love this show.AN I ALSO LOVE FUU AN MUGEN. i ont why but i can always see them making a really cute couple.:)they are SO meant to be together

70- Sarah

Samurai Champloo..................
After watchin Naruto hearD bout it nd a so lovd it.
Mugen is like naruto............ dumb but his kul nd his fightin is MAD!!!! jin is way 2 quiet but i love him.................. Fuu talks 2 much!!!
I watchd it from the first to the last nd a loved the whole thin........... SAMURAI CHAMPLOO R.O.C.K.S !!!!

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