The samurai who smells like sunflowers

Posted: August 10, 2011 in anime, reviews
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First off, I must apologize for the lack of posting over the last week or two. I’ve been interviewing at a company to be a web designer, and they had me create a website from the ground up as part of the process. Though I thoroughly enjoyed sinking my teeth back into the wonderful world of CSS and wordpress manipulation, I’m glad to be back to spending my free time writing and watching anime. I’ve also seemed to have run the well dry on Criminal Minds episodes.

Mugen, Fuu, and Jin

Mugen, Fuu, and Jin

I started watching Samurai Champloo tonight while hanging out with a friend of mine on our day off. For some reason, I either forgot about this anime, or I subconsciously ignored that I knew about it. Samurai Champloo was the ultimate favorite anime of one of my best friends who passed away in 2008. Perhaps, for that reason it took me so long to get into it. I’d also venture to guess that it’s due in part to the airing of it on Cartoon Network, and therefore, I’ve only seen a few, random episodes. I tend to not get into anime in which that happens… ie. Cowboy Bebop, Kekkeishi,  Inuyasha, and Ruoni Kenshin to name a few. Thanks Cartoon Network!

My friend Lena and I decided on Samurai Champloo after perusing the various anime on her Netflix (I’m convinced I need Netflix now), and we were riveted from episode 1. I was surprised that it was only 26 episodes, as I had been convinced it was one of those anime that seems to go on forever. So far, we made it through to episode 15 in one sitting, and this is my reaction to what we’ve seen so far.

First of all, we’re half way through, and I find it COMPLETELY bizarre that the character who talks the most (Fuu) is the one that we know the least about. Weird, right? And the whole objective of the plot is Mugen and Jin helping her to find the samurai who smells like sunflowers. We’re at the middle of the series and know absolutely nothing about who this guy is, what he means to her, and why she wants to find him. My best guess is that it’s her father, considering she mentioned that he left a long time ago, and her mother passed away just about a year prior to episode 1.

Jin, who will have his own Megane Danshi post in the future, is almost even with Fuu on how much we know about him. He generally does not say a whole lot, but it is known at this point that someone betrayed the dojo, and Jin himself killed his own master. Again, I can venture a guess, and I think Jin is above blatant murder for no reason, so the guy must have had it coming to him. I’m thinking the master was the rogue.

And Mugen, his entire backstory was revealed in episodes 14-15, and that was probably the most powerful thing I’ve seen in awhile, when Mugen leaves his childhood friend alive after killing everyone she depended on. And by awhile, I mean since episode 7 when Fuu witnesses the unnecessary murder of a new friend who was just trying to make enough money to help his sick and dying mother.

I think this anime has all the makings for a very intense and sad ending. All three of them seem to revolve heavily on their secret pasts, and I’m insanely curious as to what they’ve all got hiding, especially Fuu. I wouldn’t be surprised if either Mugen or Jin bites the dust at the end, for some reason I don’t see that happening to Fuu. Those two seem to have much to atone for in their lives, even though they’re still extremely young, and Fuu seems to have been innocent in her upbringing.

I can see why my friend loved this anime so much. The main characters are interesting, and their dynamics play off each other extremely well. Their secret pasts keep you glued to find out how it unravels. And this mysterious samurai who smells like sunflowers is driving me crazy. We still don’t know anything about him. I look forward to having all of these questions answered and secrets revealed, and I hope I don’t need a full box of tissues.

Comments
  1. NinjaM says:

    Eventhough there are some odd looking episodes overall I think it’s awesome. I feel bad though for Nujabes’ family, knowing that he died in an accident 2 years ago…man ;(… One thing i’ll never forget are the beats that set the boundaries for a legend as SC. Rest In Peace Seba Jun. Anyway, moving on, of course as the blog says: Japanese culture, it does in a sense have that rustic feel of medeival Japan mashed together with modern western culture (clothing, music, etc.) Personally I can’t argue that Samurai Champloo ended up in the top spot 6-7 years ago cuz it truly is a legend/ classic. :D

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