Anime, like any medium, is full of different approaches and ideas. But there are some common strengths you'll find throughout the best examples -- mixing charming characters with exciting action and strong animation. Shinichirō Watanabe, the creator behind the seminal Cowboy Bebop, was very experienced in all those strengths when he brought the action comedy-drama Samurai Champloo to audiences. Fifteen years ago, Samurai Champloo ended its original run on television in Japan. Even by then, it has already proved to be a perfect representation of what anime can be at it's best, a legacy that remains to this day. WRITE FOR US! Do you have a proven online publishing experience? Click HERE and join our team! What Is Samurai Champloo? Set during the Edo period of Japanese history, Samurai Champloo centers on three people from three different paths who run into each other by happenstance and end up entangled in each other's lives: The vagabond warrior, Mugen, the stoic ronin, Jin, and the clever lonner, Fuu. Both Mugen and Jin dispatch dangerous killers across the town for their own reasons (Jin does it to protect a defenseless man while Mugen just wants dumplings Fuu promises as payment for saving her), and upon seeing how skilled the other is with a sword decide to have a duel to the death. But the two are knocked out in a fire and promptly captured by the vengeful governor, with his forces preparing to execute the pair.
Fuu is able to create a big enough of a diversion for the trio to escape. As thanks for saving their lives, she demands they put off their duel at least until the two samurai can help Fuu make her way across the country and find a mysterious samurai who smells of sunflowers. Mugen and Jin reluctantly agree, and the three soon start making their way across Japan in pursuit of the samurai -- developing a bond as they cross the nation and are forced to deal with numerous threats, including each other's personal demons and dramas. The show primarily plays out episodically, with very few characters outside of the core three appearing in many episodes. This episodic nature helps give the series strong pacing that runs across a lean 26 episodes. For this reason, the show doesn't waste any time -- working hard consistently through its limited run and ending with a strong, character-based climax. The trio's journey across a bygone era of Japan serves ends up being a pure, non-stop adventure with lots of unique quests, shifting in tone from tense to comedic to dramatic at the drop of a hat. This puts more focus on the central three characters, and luckily, they're all fleshed out and well-written enough to carry this weight. All of them prove to be charming subversions of their assorted archetypes: Mugen is softer hearted than he'd like to let on, especially considering his dangerous upbringing, and Jin's dedication to honor is shown to have impacted his life in tragic ways. Fuu, henceforth, proves to be a charming inversion of the typical anime damsel role.
Beyond the character writing, the actual animation and action are frequently fantastic.
She's given far more slapstick and character depth than most of the women who fill similar roles in other shows, and is essentially the protagonist of the show even when she can't fight like Mugen or Jin. It balances the characters well against the world around them and lets them find connections where they can. The world around the characters is beautifully fleshed out, finding the quiet chaos of this period of history. New ideas and technologies are slowly coming to Japan, and the cast has to not only contend with that but also try to adjust to it as well. The show reflects actual historical elements, such as the spread of Christianity throughout Japan and the changing political sphere of the nation. Jin and Fuu both have a particular connection with the modern times that Samurai Champloo is set in, dealing with ideas of honor and faith and how they would have probably done better if they were born in a different era. Beyond the character writing, the actual animation and action are frequently fantastic. While the clumsier minions are unrefined in their movements, impressive warriors like Mugen and Jin are given their own unique ways of fighting.
39;t typically the core driver of the action.
Mugen, in particular, utilizes a fighting style that's almost reminiscent of breakdancing. It's a clever and engrossing style of combat, and the fluid animation makes each fight scene flow with a better sense of movement. Watanabe's eye for action on Cowboy Bebop was always on point, but those beats weren't typically the core driver of the action. Cowboy Bebop usually relied on drawing out conflict and building tension to elevate the action when it did appear. With Samurai Champloo, the characters are skilled enough to engage in actual fights right from the get-go, leading to some of the best sword combat to ever appear in an anime. Samurai Champloo is the perfect union of strong writing, fleshed-out characters and impressive animation. It subverts usual expectations of the medium and delivers a top-tier series that is exactly as ambitious as it wants to be, while still finding time for episodes dealing with things as strange and varied as zombies and baseball. Samurai Champloo is everything right with anime, and it's well worth revisiting 15 years later.
Moon Breathing (月 (つき) (こ) (きゅう), Tsuki no kokyū?) is a Breathing Style derived from the Sun Breathing used by Upper Rank One, Kokushibō, who was one of the first Demon Slayers who utilized breathing techniques. The techique allows the user to create many "chaotic blades" when slashing that varies in length and size. It is known that Kokushibō continued to develop and add techniques to the Breathing Style over the centuries as an immortal Demon. At this point in the story, it is the only known Breathing Style to possess at least 20 different techniques, easily surpassing the other Breathing Styles. It has been revealed that, like all of the other original breathing styles, the Moon Breathing also branched out of the Sun Breathing. When its creator, Michikatsu Tsugikuni, attempted to learn the Sun Breathing from his twin brother, Yoriichi Tsugikuni, he discovered he was unable to master the breathing style and so was instead trained in an alternate Breathing Style. Yoriichi created it fit and cover his individual strengths and weaknesses, and Michikatsu then continued to train and develop this breathing until it eventually evolved into its own unique Breathing Style, which he named the Moon Breathing.
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First Form: Dark Moon, Evening Palace (壹 (いち) (かた) (やみ) (づき) (よい) (みや), Ichi no kata: Yamidzuki - Yoi no Miya?) - Kokushibō draws his sword and slashes swiftly in a single motion; like with all Moon Breathing techniques, numerous chaotic blades originate from the slash. This technique resembles Iaijutsu. Second Form: Pearl Flower Moongazing (貳 (に) (かた) (しゅ) (か) (ろう) (げつ), Ni no kata: Shuka no Rōgetsu?) - Kokushibō performs several slashes while sending a barrage of chaotic blades forward. Third Form: Loathsome Moon, Chains (參 (さん) (かた) (えん) (き) (づき) (つが), San no kata: Enkizuki - Tsugari?) - Kokushibō swings his sword rapidly in two gigantic crescents slashes, from which a storm of smaller crescents spread.
39; yō Rakuen?) - Kokushibō spins his blade slicing through the ground and ripping it out.
This technique causes huge destruction in a small area. Fourth Form: Solar Rings, Frostmoon (肆 (し) (かた) (たい) (よう) (りん) (しも) (づき), Shi no kata: Taiyōrin - Shimodzuki?) - Kokushibō performs a circular small cyclone slashes of chaotic blades straight towards his opponent. Fourth Form: Improved, Red Sun over Paradise (肆 (し) (かた) (かい) (あっき) (よう) (らく) (えん), Shi no kata kai: Akk' yō Rakuen?) - Kokushibō spins his blade slicing through the ground and ripping it out. Causing multiple 180 slashes across the area to be sented towards his opponents as chaotic blades appear when near the enemy slicing into their body. As the circular slashes spin grinding into the enemys skin.
Fifth Form: Moon Spirit Calamitous Eddy (伍 (ご) (かた) (げっ) (ぱく) (さい) (か), Go no kata: Geppaku Saika?) - Kokushibō makes multiple curved slashes layered over one another, resembling a rising vortex. Numerous chaotic blades originate from these slashes. Kokushibō performed this attack without swinging his blade. Sixth Form: Perpetual Night, Lonely Moon - Incessant (陸 (ろく) (かた) (とこ) (よ) (こ) (げつ) (む) (けん), Roku no kata: Tokoyo Kogetsu - Muken?) - Kokushib releases a wild storm of slashes in multiple directions. This technique was powerful enough to not only slice up multiple Hashira around him but also overwhelm the Wind Hashira Sanemi Shinazugawa.
Seventh Form: Mirror of Misfortune, Moonlit (漆 (しち) (かた) (やっ) (きょう) (づき) (ば), Shichi no kata: Yakkyō - Dzukibae?) - Kokushibō swings his sword in a powerful frontal slash that then creates a multi directional frontal assault, powerful enough to create several deep gouges in the ground and push back two Hashira. Eighth Form: Moon-Dragon Ringtail (捌 (はち) (かた) (げつ) (りゆう) (りん) (び), Hachi no kata: Getsuryū Rinbi?) - Kokushibō triples the range of his normal attack radius and creates a singular gigantic slash that slowly decreases in size.
Ninth Form: Waning Moonswaths (玖 (く) (かた) (くだ) (づき) (れん) (めん), Ku no kata: Kudaridzuki - Renmen?) - Kokushibō creates a seemingly endless stream of claw-like vertical and horizontal slashes, capable of cutting down his intended target from a long range. Tenth Form: Drilling Slashes, Moon Through Bamboo Leaves (拾 (じゅう) (かた) (せん) (めん) (ざん) (ら) (げつ), Jū no kata: Senmenzan - Ragetsu?) - Kokushibō creates a triple-layered slash twister, capable of mowing down his targets into three clean pieces.