Anime Rewind: Samurai Champloo’s 5 Best Moments
In an eclectic tale of samurai blended with elements of historical Japan and modern hip-hop, Samurai Champloo stands among some of the best anime of all time. Though a little less known than its counterpart Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo is just as vital to anime culture!
Looking back at this unique anime, we decided to take a look at some of the best moments from the show. Without further ado, here are the five best moments in Samurai Champloo–and there are definitely spoilers ahead!
5. Mugen’s Trip (Episode 9)
When Mugen, Fuu and Jin attempt to cross the border with illegitimate travel passes, they are sentenced to death, though the warden makes a deal with Mugen to save his friends. But can Mugen deliver something through a forest full of bandits before time is up?
As Mugen struggles through setback after setback, we begin to despair that he won’t make it in time for his companions, even as they also begin to doubt. Eventually, Mugen is running desperately for his life through a field, only to accidentally light the entire crop of hallucinatory drugs on fire, giving himself and his pursuers the ultimate high! He may not have succeeded in his mission, but this episode was hilarious and quite memorable in its own right.
4. The Journey Begins (Episode 1)
Two rogue samurai who don’t get along and one girl with a dream who needs their help… The introduction of our three main characters and their unique personalities is another moment that won’t be soon forgotten by fans of this series!
Mugen stands for chaos and freedom, while Jin stands for justice and the order of the world. The only thing keeping them from slaughtering one another is Fuu, who is left with nothing but her dream of finding the Sunflower Samurai after she loses her job. She must hire the two strangers to help her on her journey. Though they obviously did not realize it at the time, their chance encounter would pave the way to a great adventure!
3. Jin’s Love Story (Episode 11)
Although Jin is pretty stoic and serious for most of Samurai Champloo, the episode where we really get to see into his heart comes when he falls in love with a woman and tries to save her from an entrapped marriage. Even though he leaves her in the end to continue with Mugen and Fuu, we always wonder if he went back to find her, as he promised he would when she is freed…
Jin remains a mystery for much of the series, and it is when we catch glimpses of his big heart and sad past that we grow more attached to him as a character. Whenever Jin is the focus of the scene, we can empathize with him a lot more—especially when we see how much he loves this woman and wants to help her!
2. Mugen’s Past (Episodes 13 and 14)
Mugen has made his way out from a terrible past, raised on an island of criminals with his friends. When he runs into them again, of course he falls back into the same old bad habits – though in the end, he is able to stand up to the manipulators from his childhood.
The most outrageous and unpredictable one of the trio, Mugen easily entertains in whatever he is doing, whether it is training a rhinoceros beetle to fight in underground rings or dealing revenge to his former compatriots. He shows off his skill and understanding of his enemies by leaving his friend alive, which to her is a far less desirable outcome than being killed. Though he still has an air of mystery around him, Mugen is far less intimidating than Jin and much easier to empathize with – which explains why his fulfillment in revenge is so satisfying!
1. Finding the Sunflower Samurai (Episodes 24 – 26)
While they have had plenty of dangerous moments and deadly battles along the way, it is in the culmination of Samurai Champloo that we see each character face some of their worst opponents, making us truly fear for their lives. Jin duels with the most powerful shogunate, Mugen faces off against three brothers holding a grudge and Fuu finally finds the Sunflower Samurai, being forced to confront her father and then watch as he is forced out of her life again.
A lot happens in the final few episodes and the gang is separated from each other once more, but when they return together victorious, it is a triumphant moment. Mugen and Jin finally realize that they must face off, with their tasks at an end, but their friendship has grown strong enough that they do not fight after all. And as the three go their separate ways along the trail, it is a bittersweet and hopeful ending, reminding us that everything must pass—but it is only the next leg of a great journey!
Samurai Champloo deserves its place as one of the best anime, and it is not just because of the moments on this list, as great as they are! A blend of many unique story threads, intricate characters and some amazing hip-hop music, this is an anime everyone should see.
What is your favorite moment from Samurai Champloo? Let us know your thoughts below!