[[quoteright:280:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/samuraichamploo1.gif]]
[[caption-width-right:280:'''Front:''' Mugen. '''Back:''' Fuu, Jin.]]

->[[ThisIsAWorkOfFiction This work of fiction]] [[AnachronismStew is not an accurate historical portrayal.]]\\
''[[RuleOfCool Like we care.]]'' \\
''[[MST3KMantra Now shut up and enjoy the show!]]''
-->-- '''Opening disclaimer'''

What {{Jazz}} music did for ''Anime/CowboyBebop'', GenreMotif/HipHop did for ''Samurai Champloo''.

''Samurai Champloo'' is an {{anime}} series created by ''Bebop'''s ShinichiroWatanabe and produced by Creator/{{Manglobe}} (it was their first series). The show is set in a SchizoTech version of Edo period Japan, featuring elements of action, adventure and comedy blended with an anachronistic, predominantly hip-hop soundtrack. The animation is ''extremely'' dynamic - several poor episodes excepted - and the action scenes are a joy to watch.

The show begins with three people [[YouAllMeetInAnInn who happen to meet during a bar brawl]]: a brash vagabond called Mugen, a stoic {{Ronin}} called Jin, and a young waitress named Fuu. Mugen and Jin are outstanding swordsmen who consider each other {{Worthy Opponent}}s and just want to duel it out, but Fuu manages to rope them into her own personal quest to find a mysterious samurai who "smells of sunflowers". And so the unlikely trio begin a journey across Japan, encountering dangerous enemies, dark secrets and extreme oddities along the way.

Like ''Cowboy Bebop'', the episodes are often self-contained, and the show has an extensive cast. Apart from the main trio, though, most characters only appear once or twice; rarely more than three times. Since the three main characters don't care about each other's lives in any meaningful way, they tend to remain entirely oblivious to each other's plotlines over the course of episodes and arcs -- often until it's too late.

The show is very nearly unique in that it matches traditional Japanese culture to HipHop music with a stylized form of samurai swordplay known as chambara, much in the same way ''Cowboy Bebop'' married ScienceFiction to {{blues}} and Jeet Kun Do. ''Champloo'''s score features hip-hop beats by Japanese hip hop artists such as the late {{Nujabes}}, Force of Nature, Tsutchie, and Fat Jon, among others. It also features many traditional Japanese songs, accompanied by shamisen music. For another, darker, take on this theme, see ''Anime/AfroSamurai''.

The world of ''Samurai Champloo'' is often anachronistic. Characters' costume design, attitudes and editing methods reflect heavily towards international hip-hop culture. Mugen fights in a style that resembles both Capoeira and break-dancing. Also, despite its alleged setting in the Edo period (though difficult to pinpoint due to a [[http://www.spookhouse.net/angelynx/comics/SC_dates.html mixture of historical events and anachronisms]]) many of the expressions used by the characters are modern slang or English-influenced.

The show's name comes from the Okinawan word "chanpurū" (e.g. goya champuru), which means to mix or blend. Thus, the title may be translated as "Samurai Remix" or "Samurai Mashup", keeping with the series' blended theme. (Indeed, even the time frame is mashed up, as episodes in the series will freely mention events 200 years apart as if both were current).

Most likely due to the popularity of ''Cowboy Bebop'', it was licensed for North American distribution nearly a year before it even aired in Japan. The show can now be viewed on [[http://www.hulu.com/samurai-champloo Hulu]], [[http://www.youtube.com/show/samuraichamploo Youtube]], and [[http://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/70213065 Netflix]]. (Rated TV-MA)

A two-volume manga debuted in Shōnen Ace on August 2004. Tokyopop licensed the manga in an English-language release in North America and Madman Entertainment lit for an English release in Australia and New Zealand.

----
!!This show provides examples of:

* ACupAngst: Fuu is noticeably frustrated when Jin and Mugen pay attention to a woman at a bar who is fairly well endowed.
* AccidentalAthlete
* AddedAlliterativeAppeal: English episode titles use this literary device, Japanese titles are in a traditional aphorism format.
* AirplaneArms: Mugen when trying to catch Yatsuha and get his money's worth.
** Made even more amusing when you think about the fact that Mugen is imitating a machine that didn't even exist during the era that the show takes place.
* AnachronismStew: There is, in fact, an [[http://www.spookhouse.net/angelynx/comics/anachronisms.html entire website]] devoted to cataloging anachronisms in this show.
* AnimalAthleteLoophole: In a baseball game against the {{Eagleland}} Navy, ninja Kagemaru is a little shorthanded. Even after conscripting Mugen, Jin and Fuu, he needs five more players. So he gets a really old man (who dies in his first at-bat), Fuu's pet flying squirrel Momo, and a dog. When one of the American sailors objects, the umpire consults a rulebook, and rules that "I can't find anything about dogs in the rulebook. He's good." [[note]]The American team was led by Alexander Joy Cartwright and his translator, Abner Doubleday. The former is the likely inventor of baseball, and the latter is its inventor in a widespread myth.[[/note]]
* AnimationBump: In one episode there is a dude with the Fred Flintstone beard trick to save money. Ten minutes later they cut the rain. Yeah.
* AnimeAccentAbsence: Averted. Both the Dutchman in Edo and the priest in episode 19 have very, very bad Japanese pronunciation.
** And delightfully, the other Dutchmen actually sound (southern) Dutch rather than German like many 'Dutch' characters in English works of fiction do.
* AntiVillain: Okuru, Sara, and arguably Kohza.
* ArrogantKungFuGuy: Shouryuu
* ArtisticAge: Mugen, Jin, and Fuu are respectively 19, 20, and 15. All of them look at least a few years older, although Fuu certainly acts 15.
** Justified, perhaps, in the case of Mugen, whose life experiences would probably leave him looking older than he actually is. Perhaps Jin as well, who certainly has the maturity of a much older man.
* AvengingTheVillain: Mariya's students.
* AwesomenessByAnalysis: Mugen, though not overly given to intellectual pursuits, can be an insanely quick study when he wants.
* AxeCrazy: The three brothers, especially Denkibou. And Mugen.
* BackToBackBadasses: In "Elegy of Entrapment (Verse 1 and 2)", both Jin and Mugen fight Sara with their backs against each other at one point.
** Likewise, in Mugen and Jin's first fight, Mugen does a flip over Jin's back that temporarily puts them back-to-back.
** Also, Jin and Mokuro.
* BadAss: Mugen, Jin, Kariya Kagetoki, Sara, etc.
* BalloonBelly: Mugen, on occasion. With Fuu, it's a case of Balloon Body.
* BaseballEpisode: NINJA BASEBALL!
* BelligerentSexualTension:
** How fans of Fuugen often justify the pairing; based primarily on their constant arguing/making fun of/insulting each other despite repeatedly rescuing (Mugen, moreso)/crying over (Fuu, obviously) each other. It also helps that there's this gem by WordOfGod:
--> '''Watanabe:''' "Spike and Mugen aren't very straightforward in expressing themselves. For example, even if there's a girl they like standing right in front of them, they don't pursue her directly - in fact, they do the opposite, they ignore her almost. I think that part is kind of like me. If I was to sum it up, it's kind of like being a little contradictory or rebellious."
** Entirely canonical example with Mugen and Yatsuha: Mugen spends the entire episode trying to have sex with her, she divides her time between manipulating him through this and [[AbuseIsOkayWhenItIsFemaleOnMale beating the crap out of him when he gets too forward]]. At the very end of the episode, however, she cheerfully tells her brother that she intends to marry Mugen once they're both finished with their respective quests.
* BetweenMyLegs: The shot when Mugen confronts Shoryuu.
* BigDamnHeroes: Happens often -- usually Mugen, Jin and/or Momo, given Fuu's [[DistressedDamsel outstanding tendency to get herself kidnapped or otherwise in trouble]].
** Jin is a particularly notable example in episode 25.
* BigEater: Arguably all three of them, but especially Mugen and Fuu (see BalloonBelly above).
* BigNo: From a minor character in a later episode
* BigOMG: The priest from episode 19 screams this when he is about to be crushed by, rather fittingly, a giant crucifix.
* BlindedByTheLight: Fuu uses a pair of fireworks to confuse and blind the guards at the execution site so Mugen and Jin can escape.
* BlindSeer: Sara shows some characteristics of this, especially when she defeats and nearly kills both Jin and Mugen with her spear skills.
* BlindWithoutEm: Subverted: It turns out Jin's glasses were just for show, much to Mugen's surprise. The fact that he's very attached to them probably led to this misunderstanding.
* BloodFromTheMouth: Countless times, and just about always fatal.
* BloodKnight: Mugen and Shōryū mainly, though Jin and Kariya Kagetoki also show traits.
* BloodstainedGlassWindows: Okay, so the church in episodes 25-26 doesn't have any glass windows, and the one in episode 19 has none at all, but they ''are'' churches, and people are fighting in them, so...
* BodyguardCrush: Fuu seems to idolize both Jin and Mugen at different points in the series. Jin is very protective of Fuu, but whether this is a romantic interest, a brotherly/fatherly interest or just yojimbo dutifulness is difficult to say. His emotional restraint makes this even more difficult to fathom, even though he seems to be more in tune with Fuu's emotions, as he's usually the one who notices when Fuu feels down or the one who runs after her when she leaves. On the other hand, brash Mugen is often argued to be in denial of a crush on Fuu; he rushes to her rescue very noticeably in numerous episodes while Jin engages a different enemy. This tends to make him a more popular choice for {{Shipping}} with Fuu than Jin.
* BornInTheWrongCentury: Kariya Kagetoki and Jin.
* BoundAndGagged: Happens to Fuu a few times.
* BreakTheCutie: Koza in "Misguided Miscreants" is [[BrokenBird already broken]] before the episode begins, because she's been living on a destitute island all her life with no family or friends, only sticking around Mukuro because there was nobody else, and she knows she can't survive on her own. This trope is kicked UpToEleven as her situation [[FromBadToWorse only gets worse.]]
* BrickJoke: At the end of the last episode, Fuu reveals that the coin she had flipped had actually landed on heads, meaning Mugen and Jin had been free to fight each other the whole time.
* BrokeEpisode: One of the three major episode situations of ''Samurai Champloo''. Usually the responsibility for getting money/food/other necessary items fell on Jin; Mugen and Fuu forced him to pawn his swords at least twice, and his glasses once.
** But in episode 11 Jin borrows at least one Ryō from Mugen (won it on beetle sumo wrestling) to "buy a woman", so it might be warranted in the rest of the series.
* ButForMeItWasTuesday: Mugen doesn't remember many of the people who come after him in the series in a rare heroic (sort of) example of this trope.
-->'''One Armed Man''': I'm not going to let you say you forgot about this arm.\\
'''Mugen''': Sorry...''who are you?''
* {{Cameo}}/TakeThat: Mugen admits he killed some "weird old guy", who happens to be [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mito_komon Mito Komon]]. Hilarious, if you know the context. [[note]]The man Mugen killed was Mito Komon, the star of the longest-running TV show in Japanese history. Though a fictional character, Komon is based on a real person, Tokugawa Ieyasu's grandson Tokugawa Mitsukuni (1628-1700). His fictional counterpart travels the country in the guise of a retired merchant, giving him regular reasons to right wrongs and aid the oppressed. The signature moment of every episode comes near the end, when in the middle of a violent struggle with the villain of the week, Komon's attendants interrupt to flash in the evil-doer's face their master's inro - a lacquered case bearing the Tokugawa crest (just as happens in the story Mugen recounts) - and proclaim that the man he's fighting is none other than the current Shogun's uncle, Lord Mitsukuni of Mito. ("Down! Can you not see this emblem?") - Normally, the villains realize they're in deep trouble and surrender at once. But not Mugen...[[/note]]
* CarryingTheAntidote: The deranged, revenge-driven Ryujiro in episode two.
* CharacterDevelopment: Most prominent in the last arc where it shows how much Mugen, Jin, and Fuu changed since their meeting.
* ChromaticArrangement: The three random rappers.
* ClipShow: Disorder Diaries is about half clip show, with a bit of character development and a bunch of MANZOU THE SAW!
* CluelessDetective: Manzo the Saw.
* TheComicallySerious: Jin
* CoolGuns: While the show is set around the time firearms were introduced to Japan they were muskets not the [[AnachronismStew modern semi automatic pistols]] that appear in the show.
* CreativeClosingCredits: Ep 17 and 26 which eschews the usual credits for different images and songs.
* CreditsGag: The zombie episode. The closing credit start as usual but then the music suddenly slows to a crawl and stops before being replaced by a very eerie tone as the pictures continue to roll. Until it suddenly reaches a grave stone and hand suddenly pops out of it before going full screen to show the lead zombie of the episode pulling himself out and roaring at the camera. A fitting way to end such a bizarre episode.
* CutlassBetweenTheTeeth: Mugen in one scene when climbing a cliff.
* DanceBattler: Mugen may very well be the ultimate example.
* DeathIsTheOnlyOption: Jin uses a move that abandons defense and allows the enemy to stab him in order to get close enough to stab the enemy.
* DefectiveDetective: Manzou the Saw.
* DelayedNarratorIntroduction: Manzou does this where he introduces who he is after he'd already been the voice narrating.
* DeliberateInjuryGambit: That's how Jin finally manages to defeat Kariya Kagetoki. As Jin's sensei explained, this is the only way to injure an opponent much stronger than yourself.
* {{Determinator}}: Mugen, but only when enticed by hot ninja nookie. Jin as well in the very last episode. Okuru definitely counts in Episode 17. He [[spoiler:is shot twice by ''flaming'' arrows, but instead of falling over and dying, he pulls one of the arrows out of his chest and stabs a soldier to death with it before jumping off a cliff into the waterfall basin. Mugen is convinced he's still alive.]]
** Not just when enticed by hot ninja nookie: Mugen survives being stabbed, falling of a cliff, and getting shot and blown up, all at about the same time! And then he pretty much ''comes back from the dead'' afterward.
*** That's not even the first time he's shown straddling the line between life and death, and it's implied he does so on a regular basis. It's gotten to the point that instead of showing fear or curiosity concerning the afterlife, he's just annoyed he might not make it to the next fight.
* DeusExMachina: In Episode 9 Mugen and The Unnamed Government Official attempt to escape from Tengu by starting a fire and escaping as they attempt to put it out. They get caught anyway, but during the fight the Tengu's marijuana crops burn up and everyone gets high off the smoke, and by sheer luck, the smoke crosses over to the checkpoint where Jin and Fuu are about to be executed, allowing them to escape.
** Usually avoided with Momo-san. Although the critter ''could'' be a DeusExMachina in a lot of situations, it tends to just sit there or run away scared. It only really helps out twice or thrice.
* DisabilitySuperpower: Sara. With the exception of Kagetoki, she is easily the most dangerous fighter in the series.
* DistressedDamsel: Fuu. Given how often she gets in trouble (often being BoundAndGagged) she comes off as rather sensible for hiring two capable body guards.
** TruthInTelevision. In Edo period Japan it was not only incredebly dangerous, but actually illegal for teenage girl to travel without some sort of legal guardian like Fuu does. She would be stopped and questioned by law enforcement on sight. Unless brothel "recruiters" got her first (like one of the episodes shows).
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: In his introductory episode, there are a couple of scenes where it looks/sounds like Manzo the Saw is masturbating, but it turns out to be something innocent (i.e. exercising with his unique weapon). This is probably because he's a parody of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanzo_the_razor Hanzo the Razor]], who engaged in some...unique sexual practices.
* DoubleEntendre: A conversation during Isaac Kitching's (aka, the guy from Holland's) last scenes goes a little something like this:
--> '''Isaac''': Maybe one day, I will be able to return to this country, when the people are not so tight-assed!\\
'''Mugen''': As if anyone's ass is safe with you around!
** Now, normally, it wouldn't sound so bad, but then you [[StraightGay remember why Isaac came to Japan in the first place]] and it takes on a whole new meaning.
* TheDulcineaEffect: Zigzagged throughout the series.
** In the first episode, Mugen offers, unprompted, to help Fuu with her teahouse's thug problem... [[SubvertedTrope in exchange for food]]. When said thugs actually threaten to cut off her fingers, Mugen lounges on his table until Fuu promises him an absurd amount of dumplings to save her.
** However, as early as the second episode, Mugen [[DoubleSubversion nearly verges]] into AlwaysSaveTheGirl status, barely reacting to the woman who poisoned him until she mentions that Fuu is in danger and killing anyone who gets in between himself and Fuu (including Oniwakamaru, who would have surrendered).
** Played perfectly straight in the episode eleven with Shino, whom Jin immediately [[LoveAtFirstSight falls in love]] with.
* {{Eagleland}}: The baseball episode. The Americans, which include the people who invented the sport, are portrayed as blatantly cheating, violent, murderous thugs who consider the Japanese team to be ignorant savages. When the game dissolves into a beaning match which ends with Mugen as the last man standing, he then yells "Go back to your own damn country!" The narrator then helpfully adds that the Americans went home in shame, with a profound fear of the Japanese people.
** [[BlatantLies It's a fond, borne-out-of-mutual-love-and-admiration]] [[CaptainObvious Type Two variation, in case you were wondering.]]
* EarnYourHappyEnding: [[spoiler:Fuu finally meets her father, in time to see him killed by Kariya, who is in turn killed by Jin. While recovering from their injuries, Mugen admits that he doesn't want to kill Jin anymore, and Jin admits that after spending years as a loner, he was glad to have friends to travel with. Fuu suggests they should meet again sometime, and they all go their separate ways.]] This is a threeway CrowningMomentOfAwesome, CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming, and TearJerker.
** Should probably mention that they earned their happy ending by [[spoiler:the fact that Fuu was kidnapped and actually BEATEN UP a bit (only time in the show she's injured), Jin nearly dies by severe stab/slash wounds stalling Kariya, and Mugen nearly dies after fighting the three brothers and getting repeatedly stabbed, then shot, then BLOWN UP.]] They kinda deserved it at that point.
* EnthusiasmVersusStoicism: Mugen vs Jin
* EvasiveFightThreadEpisode: Played straight or subverted, depending on the episode.
* EverythingsDeaderWithZombies: An episode, which, funny enough, focuses on ''mushrooms''.
* EvilColonialist: "Francisco Xavier", who claims to be a descendant of the original (eventually Saint) Francis Xavier, the Portugese monk who brought Christianity to Japan. His constant condescension and firearms that are impressive by ''today'''s standards mark him as a Western-style villain... [[spoiler:until it's revealed that he's actually a Japanese guy who was taking advantage of the Christian underground for his own profit.]]
* EvilCounterpart: Mukuro and Kariya Kagetoki, for Mugen and Jin respectively.
* ExpositoryHairstyleChange: An example that requires knowledge of Edo-era fashion: Jin's very long bangs/sideburns plus long ponytail are a strange hairstyle for a samurai. Most other samurai in the series either have the short bangs plus ponytail style suitable for teenagers and apprentices or the tonsured style favored by older men, especially bureaucrats. When we start seeing Jin's backstory flashbacks, it becomes clear that he used to have the apprentice style, but stopped cutting it after he became a ronin. His bangs have gone from above his eyebrows to his jawline, suggesting that the time between the flashbacks and the main series timeline is about 3-6 months.
* {{Expy}}:
** Mugen is an obvious homage to [[Anime/CowboyBebop Spike Spiegel]], right down to the hairstyle and nihilistic viewpoint. They're also both voiced by SteveBlum in the English dub.
** Sara is a homage to the blind swordsman {{Zatoichi}}.
** Fuu is based on Ai Hayakawa from the character designer's previous work, ''FinalFantasyUnlimited'' -- right down to the hair bun/ponytail hybrid.
* FieldOfBlades: Seen in the opening sequence.
* {{Fingore}}: How Mugen [[{{Squick}} counts on the fingers]] of the daimyo's son in the first episode.
* FlashStep: Kariya, and briefly Jin. In both cases they're less "almost teleporting" and more "[[ComicBook/{{X-Men}} Kitty Pride-ing]]".
* {{Gainaxing}}: Fuu gets a moment of this (and a good chunk of MaleGaze) when she [[VictoriasSecretCompartment smuggles two bombs in the front of her kimono]].
* GangstaStyle: Mukuro
* GenocideFromTheInside: The samurai that Mugen interrogates about Okuru believes that Okuru killed his own clan before attacking other samurai from the Matsumae clan. [[spoiler:It's not true. Okuru's clan was wiped out by disease, and he attacked the samurai in the middle of a HeroicBSOD when he saw them destroying and setting fire to his village to contain the epidemic rather than try to help survivors.]]
* GenreBusting: Not to the extent of ''CowboyBebop'', but it features at least elements of many genres.
* {{Gonk}}: Once in a while, especially the guy who hits on Fuu while she's making scary faces.
* GovernmentConspiracy: Although it isn't discussed much, the driving force behind the series is essentially the shogunate's attempts to drive the Christians, of whom Fuu's father is the leader, out of Japan.
* GratuitousEnglish: The song in the closing credits of ep. 26.
** Hell, even the American baseball players in episode 23. Complete with gratuitous profanity and racial slurs.
* GratuitousItalian: A single example in the manga. Immediately lampshaded by Fuu.
* TheGrotesque: Oniwakamaru
* HeavyVoice: Fuu gets one whenever she gorges herself to bloatation.
* {{Henohenomoheji}}: The baseball catcher doll in episode 23 "Baseball Blues" has a Henohenomeheji on its face.
* HeroicComedicSociopath: Mugen.
* HighDiveEscape: An early episode has an assassin dueling with Jin. After Mugen kills his employer, he tells Jin that there's now no need for him to kill, and gives a WeWillMeetAgain before calmly walking away.
** Mugen possibly qualifies for this as well, in a flashback scene where he escaped a justifiable execution by leaping backward off the cliff to fall into the ocean below, complete with manic wide-eyed grin all the way down. However, this might have been more of an attempted suicide than escape - it ''was'' a high cliff - given the speech just before when he claimed he didn't accept help from anyone, least of all into his grave. That he survived was apparently just a lucky coincidence.
* HighPressureBlood
* HollywoodHealing: Jin, and especially Mugen numerous times get very deep cuts, bruised, cough up copious amounts of blood, lose teeth and usually in one episodes' time are just fine. Their numerous injuries are never mentioned or seen in the following episode.
** Somewhat justifiable, given that they're making a long journey on foot, and some time may be presumed to pass between one episode and the next.
* {{Honorifics}}: Seen in the third episode between a Yakuza boss and his former employee.
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: The original Japanese titles are all ''yojijukugo'', four-kanji idioms that have to be translated as a single unit (ex: Episode 24 is ''Seishiryuten'', which translates most closely as "The Circle of Transmigration"). The closest English literary device would be a cliche idiom like "the sound and the fury", but that really misses out on the classically poetic connotations of ''yojijukugo''. The English episode titles try to get some of that poetic mojo back with full-on Beowulf-style alliteration, one of the oldest poetic forms in the English language (ex: Episode 24 becomes "Evanescent Encounter").
* ImplausibleFencingPowers: But they're used tastefully.
* IncestSubtext: ''Totally'' one-sided, thankfully. At one point in "Misguided Miscreants", Mukuro caresses Koza's face. The implication that the two are NotBloodSiblings does little to allay the {{squick}}.
* InformedAttribute: Mugen is frequently referred to as ''physically'' ugly and unattractive, but he sure doesn't look it ([[DependingOnTheArtist most of the time]]).
* InstrumentOfMurder: In the first part of "Hellhounds for Hire", Jin is disguised as a woman carrying a shamisen (a traditional Japanese instrument similar to a guitar). When asked to play a song on it, he pulls his katana from the neck, and reveals that he is actually a samurai. He also happened to have smoke bombs hidden in the body of the instrument. Sara's shamisen is a slightly more traditional example of this trope, with a spear serving as the neck and the tuning heads doubling as throwing darts.
* JidaiGeki
* JumpScare: Happens in [[spoiler:"Cosmic Collisions"]], right at the end of the closing credits.
* KiAttacks: With a twist: the main characters don't use them (save for Mugen on one single, lucky occasion), and your garden-variety bad guy doesn't, either. Only a handful of villains have them, and they're the toughest mofos in the ''Champloo'' universe.
* KnightKnaveAndSquire: Jin is The Knight, a Ronin Samurai who was taught swordsmanship in a dojo, he is chivalrous and only battles worthy opponents considering everyone else beneath his notice. Mugen is The Knave, and is completely self taught, with a battle style that is all over the place, he's a CombatPragmatist and has a bad attitude, he'll pretty much fight with anyone. Fuu is The Squire, she has pretty much no fighting abilities and often ends up being a DistressedDamsel.
* LargeHam: Bundai and Manzou the Saw.
* TheLastDJ: Jin
* LemonyNarrator: Several episodes have one who makes anachronistic references to the future; all of those narrated by Manzou definitely count.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: ''Seventy-three'' named characters. Many of them only appear once, while the rest crop up in, at most, five episodes.
* LockedOutOfTheLoop: Jin and Mugen spend 99% of the series without a clue what Fuu is really looking for. Jin just doesn't care, and Mugen can't bring himself to pay attention. They eventually steal Fuu's diary to get a better idea of what's going on, but that plan fails fairly quickly. Mugen doesn't even realize that Fuu has a pet squirrel until halfway through season 2.
* LookBehindYou
* MadeOfIron: Jin and Mugen are pretty damn persistent. While they can't entirely shrug off serious injury, Mugen survives being stabbed, falling of a cliff and getting shot. Jin should have drowned twice and survives a freakin' suicide technique.
* MamaBear: Sara once was one.
* MarijuanaIsLSD: In "Beatbox Bandits", Mugen's fight scene with the warrior priests is quite colorful and non-euclidean.
* MistakenForGay: At one point, an old man comes across Jin in a {{hot spring|sEpisode}}. They have a (largely one sided) conversation about fireflies, until the stranger gives a suggestive smile and comments that sometimes the male fireflies can attract ''other'' male fireflies instead of females. Jin promptly excuses himself.
* MotivationalLie: Yatsuha gets Mugen to help her battle ninjas by promising to have sex with him, afterwards she knocks him out.
* MrFanservice: Jin, [[http://img44.imageshack.us/img44/461/1210399367796750file.jpg when his hair is loose]][[http://img836.imageshack.us/img836/3426/jin42.jpg and he is not wearing glasses]].
** Or, you know, even when [[http://oneirosia.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/samurai-champloo-samurai-champloo-0000000-0000-000.jpg he is]].
* {{Mukokuseki}}: Thoroughly averted. Several characters' ''eyebrows'' even look Japanese.
* MundaneMadeAwesome:
** Learning to read and "Beetle Sumo". While the latter at least sounds weird, it's really just two bugs on a rock trying to push each other off. But, you throw in mood lighting and sparks when they push against each other...
** Painting Graffiti.
** Eating Contest. Complete with commentators and asking important existential questions.
* MushroomSamba: An incident involving a burning field of pot, and maybe the episode where they ate mushrooms and were attacked by zombies, died, and got hit with a nuke. Maybe, because so far no-one has a concrete explanation for what the hell happened. Most believe the mushrooms they ate were bad. It's worth noting that Fuu didn't eat any of the mushrooms.
** Also, the assassin Hotaru passes a poisonous mushroom to Mugen via kiss - it's called "the single night mushroom" because that's how long you're expected to last if you eat it with sake.
* MyLifeFlashedBeforeMyEyes: In Episode 14, as Mugen is drowning, he has flashbacks of his hellish childhood in Ryuukyuu, and of Kohza and Mukuro, while a [[TearJerker tear jerkingly]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGNZi65KuHM&feature=related beautiful song]] plays in the background. Though technically he ''does'' die at this point, he comes back to life through sheer [[{{Determinator}} force of will]].
* MyMasterRightOrWrong: Many unnamed characters. In a variation, they don't seem sickened by the evilness of their actions. Nevertheless they ''justify'' their actions on the basis that a samurai must always follow orders. Jin calls them out on it in the first episode.
* MythArc: Trio's search for samurai who smells of sunflowers.
* {{Narrator}}: Detective Manzou - a.k.a. "The Saw" - in three episodes.
* NegativeContinuity: The two episodes right before the 3-part finale show everyone getting either severely injured or possibly killed while the finale shows everyone in perfect health.
* NeverFoundTheBody: Repeatedly. On several occasions, the opponent was GenreSavvy enough not to fall for it either. Oddly enough, it seems to be inversely proportional to actual combat strength. The more powerful enemies seemed to completely fall for it, while relatively weak ones did not.
* NeverLearnedToRead: Mugen. Until he did.
* {{Ninja}}: Yatsuha and Kagemaru.
* NonHumanSidekick: Momo the flying squirrel.
* NoOneCouldSurviveThat: Said word for word after the RopeBridge incident. Probably implied elsewhere.
* NotSoDifferent: Jin and Mugen, who are both morally ambiguous [[BloodKnight Blood Knights]]. Although at first glance Jin appears to be the [[TheHero Standard Good Guy]] and Mugen appears to be the TokenEvilTeammate, the series quickly establishes that Jin is also cold, irritable, and arrogant (esp. in regards to Mugen) despite his noble bearing and fine words, while by the second episode Mugen is already showing some heroic tendencies and concern for Fuu despite his claims of being a loner and hating everyone. Additionally, both Jin and Mugen enjoy the company of prostitutes, both Jin and Mugen love to fight and never back down from a challenge, both Jin and Mugen become better people as a result of Fuu's quest... the list goes on.
* TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou: Jin and Mugen, mutually.
* OhCrap: Mugen, involves explosives. Twice.
* {{Otaku}}: Isaac
* ParentalAbandonment: All three in various ways: Fuu, literally her parents; Jin, his master; and Mugen, his whole family.
* PercussivePickpocket: Shinsuke steals from Fuu in this manner at the beginning of "A Risky Racket".
* PermaStubble: Mugen
* {{Pirate}}: Mugen, formerly. Mukuro and Kohza as well.
* PlatonicProstitution: Played straight and later subverted in the same scene, in that Jin pays for time with a prostitute and then declines her attempt to initiate intimacy because he really just came to sit and talk with her. But then she tries again, and he doesn't turn her down the second time.
* PluckyGirl: Fuu
* PowerTrio: Mugen's the Id; Jin's the Superego; Fuu's the Ego.
* PrettyFlyForAWhiteGuy: Isaac
* ProgressiveEraMontage: The first one does it ''backwards'' as a gag, as the "three days earlier" scene first mistakenly shows a bustling modern city, then "rewinds" through 200-odd years of development and urbanization, until finally arriving at a sleepy post-town of the mid-to-late Edo Period.
* PsychoForHire: Ryujiro Sasaki; the Three Brothers; Mugen.
* PurelyAestheticEra: The series opens with a title card declaring that it is not historically accurate. It then gleefully throws everything it can get its hands on, from hip-hop to baseball, into the Edo period of Japan.
* PurelyAestheticGlasses: Jin
* TheQuietOne: Jin
* RainAura
* ReadingIsCoolAesop: Mugen learns to read in ''War of the Words'' and uses his new knowledge to [[spoiler: win ''a graffiti battle''.]]
* RecapEpisode: Episode 12
* RedLightDistrict: This series will tell you more about Edo-period brothels than you ever expected to know.
* RedOniBlueOni: Mugen and Jin are classic examples. Mugen is red, Jin is blue--this color-coding extends even to their character flashbacks, with Jin's tinted cool blue and Mugen's burning orange (Fuu's flashbacks are gold or green-tinted). Mugen is associated with fire, Jin is associated with water. In the opening sequence, [[AnimalMotifs Mugen is associated with the rooster, Jin is associated with fish]].
* RetCon: When the context of Jin's fight with his master is finally given in episode 25, the scene plays out differently than we've seen it in previous flashbacks.
* RidiculouslyCuteCritter: Momo the flying squirrel.
* RockPaperScissors: It's the samurai way of doing things!!
* RocksFallEveryoneDies: The ending of the completely random zombie episode.
* {{Ronin}}: Jin
* RopeBridge: Episode 21
* RuleOfCool: A lot of the things going on subscribe to this. It. Is. Awesome.
* {{Samurai}}
* SchizoTech: Pretty much the entire premise, really.
* SeriousBusiness: Baseball.
** And learning to read, [[ReadingIsCoolAesop although justified.]]
* ShirtlessScene: Several, but Jin's in the last episode is especially memorable.
* ShoutOut: Lots of 'em.
** The opening sequence of episode 18 features [[MysteryScienceTheater3000 silhouettes of the main trio sitting in front of a movie screen]].
* ShownTheirWork: Despite the AnachronismStew, several parts of the show, including everything mentioned about the Shimabara Rebellion, are historically accurate. More can be found under the Trivia tab.
* ShroudedInMyth: The Ghost of Yoshitsune. Sort of. It all turned out to be a combination of rumors about AntiVillain Okuru and Jin (including one about [[HoYay how]] [[FoeYay handsome]] he is), deliberately spread by Yukimaru.
* SingleStrokeBattle
* SinisterScythe: Umanosuke, leader of the three brothers.
* {{Snapback}}: All three of the main characters ''die in an explosion'' at the end of Episode 22, complete with a resolute "The End." In the remaining four episodes of the series, this is never mentioned again. The general consensus is that they ate bad mushrooms and the whole episode was a hallucination.
* SpiritualSuccessor: Of Anime/CowboyBebop. Created by much of the same production team, stylistically the shows aren't too far removed. The fluid animation, episodic nature, the DarkAndTroubledPast of each character and the way the music is integrated into the story makes these shows practically siblings. Casting SteveBlum as Mugen in the English version helps even more.
* StealthPun: When the illiterate Mugen learns to write, he writes his name with the ∞ symbol. His name means "Infinity" in Japanese.
* TheStinger: Shige rising from the grave during the end credits of Episode 22.
* TheStoic: Jin. Sara too, enough to give Jin a run for his money [[IncrediblyLamePun and his life]]. The Kawara boss as well. The two engage themselves in a very charming conversation in the fourth episode.
* SurprisinglyGoodEnglish:
** The baseball episode (at least for the commanding officers) and the opening song "Battlecry".
** The commanders in the baseball episode sound like native speakers of American English (or close enough; no worse than a lot of dubs). The one who can speak Japanese does so correctly, but with a hilariously heavy American accent.
** Also Surprisingly Good Dutch: Though red-haired foreigner Isaac is played by a Japanese voice actor, his lines in Dutch are grammatically correct. The other Dutchmen in the episode are played by native (southern) Dutchmen delivering lines in their own language. (Including a [[ShownTheirWork smart bit of research]] - Isaac is addressed as ''opperhoofd'', a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opperhoofd historical gubernatorial title]] for the CEO of a Dutch overseas trading post.)
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: Fuu.
-->'''Mugen:''' You're jealous, aren'tcha?
-->'''Fuu:''' Huh?! Of ''course'' I'm not jealous! What in the world would lead you to believe I'm jealous?! Nope! Lone wolf wannabes like Jin with that far-off look of theirs, the kind that doesn't let you know at all what they're thinking, are ''so'' not my type. (Mugen rolls over, asleep and snoring, and she grimaces and snaps) ''[[ShipTease And]] [[OT3 they]] [[NotSoDifferent snore!!]]''
* SwipeYourBladeOff
* SwordBeam: Shoryuu
* SwordFight: [[CaptainObvious Inevitably]], up to and including many of its subtropes.
** {{Flynning}} was notably averted. It's the speed of the action that adds excitement to the fight scenes, not the amount of movements. The movements used were often very carefully choreographed into the script, making each fight scene very different and unique.
** BarehandedBladeBlock: A subversion, in the 25th episode [[spoiler:Mugen kills the first of the three brothers by allowing his claws to go through Mugen's hand in order to deliver the killing blow.]]
* TallDarkAndSnarky: Both Jin and Mugen.
* {{Tengu}}: The crazed mountain-priests in episode 9 disguise themselves as tengu.
* ThematicThemeTune
* ThemeTuneRap: And it's in perfect English.
* ThickLineAnimation: [[ArtShift At times.]]
* TheThingThatGoesDoink is seen in a few places.
* ToplessnessFromTheBack: The artist who wants to draw Fuu asks her to lower her kimono collar, invoking this.
* TrueArtIsIncomprehensible: In-universe example: Fuu meets a struggling artist named Hishikawa Moronobu (an actual historical figure who helped make the Ukiyo-e art style famous), who can't seem to find a good inspiration for his works. He sees Fuu, and is inspired to create a famous painting called "Backwards Beauty". Fuu said she liked the painting because he gave her very large breasts.
--> '''Mugen and Jin''': "He did?"
* TrueCompanions: The main trio of Jin, Mugen, and Fuu. In some ways, they seem to ''hate'' each other. But underneath it all, they're steadfast companions.
* VictoriasSecretCompartment: Fuu has a pet flying squirrel named Momo who lives in her kimono.
* VitriolicBestBuds: The main trio fit pretty comfortably in the Type 2 category, especially Mugen and Jin.
* VomitIndiscretionShot: Some of the loser of the Edo eating contest.
* WhamLine: [[spoiler: Jin to Mugen: ''"Take care of Fuu"'']] leaves Mugen completely blank for a second.
** Mugen's [[spoiler: ''"I have lived through every form of misery you can imagine; I have nothing to learn from you"'']] to the middle brother makes him cut all the semantics and finally snap.
** Fuu's final line of dialogue in the last episode also applies.
* WreckedWeapon: [[spoiler: A double instance is the result of Mugen and Jin finally having their to-the-death duel in Ep. 26. It's a somewhat unusual use of the trope, since instead of magnifying their rage, this gives both guys an honorable exit pass from a promise they now recognize as foolish and destructive.]]
* YouSquared: Done repeatedly between Jin and Mugen.
* YouWouldMakeAGreatModel: Subverted. The artist that approaches Fuu in this way is attracted to Fuu but turns out to be harmless. Doubly subverted. NotSoHarmless.
* ZombieApocalypse: AllJustADream... we think.
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