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Samurai Champloo

"Some people die in the name of the sacrifice."

Samurai Champloo premiered on [adult swim] last Saturday. The boys from Williams Street promised that you wouldn't even have to like samurai stuff or anime; the show rocked that much. I wouldn't know, but I liked it anyway.

The show is stylized out the wing-wang[no pun intended]. Every line, though traditionally drawn, has the loose feel of Shinichiro Watanabe's 'Sketchyvision' which first appeared in Animatrix:Kid's Story. Then later in the Linkin Park video for "Breakin' the Habit". The animation itself is akin to the 'Tower of Fear' shorts with LeBron James made for Nike. The music is straight-up, old-school, hiphop. The opening theme song being sung by Fat Joe with Forces of Nature1, which is something of a first. Yes, an anime series being licensed with US music. Be shocked. Be even more shocked that it's actually appropriate. The hip-hop theme permeates the show to such an extent that some of the scene transitions are even presented as video remixes. During fight scenes, the camera goes all shaky cam, and a low key background beat comes up, like the rhythm of a rap song. Speaking of the fights: for a show that starts off with a disclaimer stating that it's a work of fiction and not an accurate historical portrayal, the swordfighting is some of the most realistic I've ever seen. Samurai weren't trained for speech-attack-block-attack-dodge-get-hit-use-special-technique-win2 swordfights. They were supposed to kill lightly- to non-armoured enemies as quickly as possible.

1. I think. I don't read Japaneese, and am writing this offline.
2. Ruroni Kenshin who?

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