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Samurai Champloo: The Complete Series [Blu-ray]

4.7 out of 5 stars 416 customer reviews

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(May 24, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Let’s break it down. Mugen’s a reckless sword-slinger with a style that’s more b-boy than Shaolin. He’s got a nasty streak that makes people want to stick a knife in his throat. Then there’s Jin, a deadbeat ronin who speaks softly but carries a big blade. He runs game old-school style, but he can make your blood spray with the quickness. When these roughnecks bring the ruckus, it ain’t good for anybody, especially them. Enter Fuu, the dizzy waitress who springs her new friends from a deadly jam. All she wants in return is help solving a riddle from her past. She and the boys are tracking the scent, but there’s ninety-nine ways to die between them and the sunflower samurai.

Shinichiro Watanabe's film noir-ish sci-fi adventure Cowboy Bebop set a new standard for cool in anime in 1998, and Samurai Champloo, an edgy mix of Edo-era martial arts and hip-hop irreverence, is a worthy follow-up. A string of coincidences brings together three misfits in a two-bit tea house: Mugen, a rebellious vagabond; Jin, a taciturn ronin; and Fuu, a nutty waitress. The sardonic Mugen lacks the polish that distinguishes a classic martial artist--he uses break dance spins and flips against his foes. Jin moves with a polish that approaches iciness: When he unsheathes his sword, he becomes a lethal work of art in motion. Fuu forces Jin and Mugen to help her find a mysterious samurai "who smells of sun flowers." As the ill-assorted trio wanders towards Nagasaki, Watanabe treats the audiences to a string of outrageous, anachronistic adventures. In Episode 18, Mugen belatedly learns to read at a smackdown elementary school, while Jin tries to settle the rivalry between the heirs to the dojo of his former sensei. The seemingly unrelated storylines collide in a no-holds-barred graffiti contest featuring Tokugawa rap lyrics, ink-brush tagging, Hiroshima homeboys, and a caricature of Andy Warhol. But Watanabe reveals the hidden significance of these nutty interludes when he brings his picaresque adventure-comedy to a close. Like Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo leaves the viewer wanting more. (Rated 16 and older: violence, violence against women, profanity, brief nudity, sexual situations, alcohol and tobacco use) --Charles Solomon

Special Features

Opening promo video - Battlecry

Teaser trailer

Image gallery - Samurai Champloo conceptual art

Textless opening song

Textless closing song


Product Details

  • Actors: Kari Wahlgren, Kirk Thornton, Daniel Andrews
  • Directors: Eric P. Sherman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Widescreen, Color, Box set
  • Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby TrueHD)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: Japanese, English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Funimation
  • DVD Release Date: May 24, 2011
  • Run Time: 650 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (416 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0049TC8C6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,502 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
This show has been reviewed in detailed lots of times so if you want a review of the content then you should look at the various reviews for the dvd version as the content of the 26 episodes is in fact the same. I'll concentrate on the blu-ray vs. dvd debate that is brewing up.

Now, I've been told that this show will never actually be in true hd because of the various CG(computer graphic) elements that were done in SD. In order for us to see this show in true hd they would have to go back and redo all of the CG elements that were originally done in SD. A lot of earlier shows have this problem, such as Cowboy Bebop which when this comes out in blu-ray will probably be an upscale as well. Thus, this is probably the best we will ever get. Older animation that was hand drawn was done completely on film which in fact has an infinite resolution. Computer graphics are limited to the actual resolution at which they were created at, but they can be upscaled such as in this tv show. Since this was a tv show that aired on SD originally, the computer graphics were done in SD, hence the need to redo the CG for a true HD resolution.

I've seen pictures from an upscaled DVD and from this Blu-ray and overall the Blu-ray looks better in my opinion. If you look carefully at still shots you will notice that the dnr filter used removes some of the detail in the picture. So looking closely, the DVD has just a tad more detail in certain parts. You have to remember though, that the animation style does not have a ton of detail to begin with so you will have to look really hard to see the difference in detail. The ONLY time I could really tell that the DVD had more detail was on scenes were there were large pieces of wood paneling.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Mugen is a cocky, rebellious, bandy-legged fighter who incorporates break-dancing techniques into his unorthodox fighting style. Jin is more your typically calm and stoic samurai (or ronin, to be more precise), steeped in martial tradition, who finds satisfaction in the perfect execution of his warrior craft. Mugen and Jin aren't friends - in fact, they are contentious and want to test their skills against each other - yet they find themselves joining forces, thanks to Fuu, an insistent and kinda quirky waitress who inveigles the two into helping her search for the Samurai Who Smells Like Sunflowers. For 26 episodes, the discordant trio undergo many adventures, some serious, some hilarious, some just plain out weird. The only constants are the bickerings amongst the three, the scrounging for food, and the intrusion of modern day sensibilities. Oh, and the rampant butt kicking as done by Mugen and Jin.

On the heels of his popular Cowboy Bebop anime series, Shinichiro Watanabe decided to put a new spin on the samurai anime with his irreverent, hip Samurai Shamploo. Shamploo means "stir fry" or a mix, and this is certainly what this series is about, as it fuses the traditional samurai credo and decorum with the unexpected modern day incursions of hip hop attitudes, beatboxing, street tagging, and baseball. The episodes are supported by cool Japanese hip hop music soundtracks and blazing hip hop scratches for scene segues. Watanabe also makes beautiful use of visual metaphors, thereby adding more depth to the shenanigans. The ripping animation and dynamically constructed fight scenes are guaranteed not to disappoint.

Kudos, too, to the voice actors, especially Steven Jay Blum (aka Daniel Andrews, who also voiced Cowboy Bebop's Spike) as the bestial Mugen.
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3 Comments 77 of 81 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
If there ever was an anime series that will leave you saying "that was outstanding," this is it.

There are so many components to this story that make it so.

The artwork is gorgeous; the backdrops themselves seem to be characters in the story.

The music, which is a mash-up of house, hip-hop, blues and jazz, adds so much depth to each episode that you may feel compelled to buy one of the series' four soundtracks just as I did.

And then, there's the story itself: two rogue warriors - one who can barely control his emotions [Mugen] and another who is nearly emotionless -- the cipher (seemingly) without a soul [Jin] -- attempt to help a befuddled teenage girl [Fu] in her quest to find the "samurai who smells like sunflowers."

Yes, similar stories have been told in many different formats for generations, but this version seems so fresh. During the 26 episode arc, you will find yourself caring about the main characters and trying to understand why it's so important for each of them to complete this ill-defined (and potentially hopeless) journey to find the samurai.

At the end of the series, you will already miss these wonderful characters. (Years after viewing the entire series, there are still episodes I will watch from time-to-time for that very reason.)

Like its futuristic companion, Cowboy Beebop, this is Anime with brass knuckles and a heart ...

In its quiet and quirky way, it's breathtakingly cool.
2 Comments 90 of 98 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I won't go into detail about the series because this is a review of this particular release. The last Blu-ray release of this series was poorly upscaled, but it appears Funimation has fixed the problem and re-upscaled the video for this set. Since the show was animated in standard definition it will never look spectacular, but this new upscale is probably the best we will see. Unlike the last set, the film grain remains intact with very few visual flaws from the upscale. If you already have the DVDs there is no real need to upgrade, but if you are on the fence about buying either the DVD or the Blu-ray, get this Blu-ray release.
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Topic From this Discussion
This set's encode is different from the original release's encode. It keeps the intentional grain and loses the smearing that the first release had. It's still an upconvert though, no getting around that since I don't believe it was actually animated in HD.
Jun 7, 2011 by Nozomi |  See all 8 posts
Blu-ray skipping
I had a simmular problem with mine. The 1st disk kept on freezing and crashing. No scratches or anything on the disk at all but it kept on crashing so the whole 1st disk was a total loss
Sep 21, 2015 by Honest Reviewer |  See all 2 posts
what is the difference between the complete series and the complete...
Nothing much.
Apr 1, 2013 by Jason Williams |  See all 2 posts
dvd vs bluray
From what I've gathered, you're right. The Bluray is just an upscaled version of the DVD.
Jul 19, 2011 by Kevin |  See all 2 posts
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Samurai Champloo: The Complete Series [Blu-ray]
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