is the follow up to Shinichiro Watanabe's much revered Cowboy Bebop. Champloo, roughly translated as "mix" in Okinawa, takes a step outside of the usual and frankly stale samurai genre. Infusing an awesome hip-hop soundtrack to back up classic Edo era back drops.
The action sequences are arguably some of the best that I have seen in a series full stop. The animation itself is vibrant, crisp and down right incredible. I applaud Watanabe's decision to steer clear of Gonzo-esque CG sequences. This decision made way for some of the best and most beautiful classically animated sequences and in particular back grounds of recent years. Certain shots of water at night time are amazing.
Character designs are exceptional and varied with supporting characters receiving just as much attention from their conceptual designers and animators as our three main protagonists Mugen, Fuu and Jin. While the story itself is strong, strengthening from the first quarter onwards before tying up all loose ends for the finale, something rarely achieved by most anime series.
History buffs may very well turn up their noses at the historical inconsistencies abounding from Champloo. Just keep in mind, it's an animated TV show, not a documentary. Taking artistic liberty is easily forgiven for a series that rivals, but not quite outshines, its predecessor Cowboy Bebop.
Champloo is available across 7 individual discs or in a perfect box set from the Comic Shop.