YMMV / Samurai Champloo

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
  • Awesome Music: The soundtrack, and with Nujabes' involvement, it's no surprise. There's also the haunting song that Sara sings as part of her traveling performer act and the one that plays over Mugen's flashbacks to his youth with Koza and Mukuro.
  • Bizarro Episode:
    • The zombie episode ("Cosmic Collisions"). It starts off with Jin and Mugen eating rare mushrooms, and ends with a nuclear explosion and the villain leaping out of his grave, and it is never mentioned again. The operative word here is mushroom.
    • The Baseball episode ("Baseball Blues") also counts.
    • Episode 9 ("Beatbox Bandits") may count as well, at least toward the end.
  • Complete Monster: Mukuro is the Evil Counterpart to the Anti-Hero Mugen. A particularly bloodthirsty pirate, Mukuro is first seen leading an attack on a ship for its gold, killing the sailors onboard and shoving a lit grenade into the mouth of a subdued man who was begging for mercy. Through flashbacks it's revealed that Mukuro was the one who talked Mugen into piracy, and used him as muscle to kill the guards of a sugar shipment only to leave Mugen to die once he'd stolen the cargo. In present day we discover that Mukuro and his band slaughtered nearly an entire village, including the women and children. The only ones who were spared were the young men that could be used as muscle for his biggest heist yet: a raid on a government ship carrying 60,000 ryu in gold coins. He talks Mugen into joining up with him again, but it's only another setup. Using his crew as canon fodder to lure the government security onto the pirate ship, Mukuro then uses a mass of explosives in an attempt to kill everyone, his own crew included, just so he can keep the gold for himself. Mukuro also proves to care little for his "sister" Kohza, either, since he's spent his life controlling her, murdered her mother, and expresses an unreciprocated sexual interest in her. A sadist with a propensity for betraying everyone he knows and leaving no survivors from his attacks, Mukuro knows exactly what a bastard he is and relishes the darkness within his soul.
  • Crazy Awesome: Mugen.
  • Ear Worm: Several. Nujabes' "battlecry" (the opening theme), MINMI's "Shiki no Uta" (the closing theme), tsutchie's "pretending to…" and "sincerely", Nujabes' "mystline" and FORCE OF NATURE's "vagrancy" are some select choices. Nujabes' "Counting Stars", which concludes "Gamblers and Gallantry", appears only on a compilation for his record label and not on the soundtracks, making it one of the most sought after songs of the show. Many Champloo fans have even stated that they thought the worst of hip hop music before this series came along and changed their minds about the entire genre.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Sara. Also, Yatsuha and Yukimaru make an appearance in a lot of fanfics for such a relatively small fandom. Probably for shipping reasons, but still...
    • Speaking of Shipping reasons, there's also Shino.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Hotaru.
  • Fandom Berserk Button: "Hey Gaiz, who would win in a fight, Mugen or Jin?"
  • Hollywood Homely: Shino and Yuri.
  • Ho Yay: Actually played straight (no pun intended). The Dutchman comes from a sect who believes that enlightenment can be obtained through homosexuality. There's also the Jin/Yukimaru subtext, even though Jin has sex with women on multiple occasions and actually falls in love with a brothel worker in one episode. Mugen and Jin arguably count as Foe Yay.
  • Iron Woobie: Mugen. The Misguided Miscreants two-parter revealing his backstory gives him plenty of reasons to feel sorry for himself, on top of being betrayed by his childhood friend/possible love interest and nearly dying. But at any point does he let it get him down? No. He lets it make him angry. The man simply does not give a fuck.
    Mugen: "I don't give a rat's ass about going to hell. I guess it's because I feel like I'm already there."
  • Jerkass Woobie:
  • Moral Event Horizon: Umanosuke chased down Fuu, molested her, knocked her out, then tied her to a cross and beat her in the last episode.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The zombie episode, especially the credit ending. Also, the way the counterfeiter was going to torture the secret police in episode 15 ("Bogus Booty"). It involved molten gold and a funnel. Truth in Television in case you were wondering.
  • Nightmare Retardant: The zombie episode, while still frightening, loses a fair bit of its edge when you realize that they were most likely just having a very, very bad trip.
  • One True Threesome: The main three.
  • Reconstruction: There are those who see Samurai Champloo as a reconstruction of the Jidai Geki genre.
  • The Scrappy: Kawara Sosuke
  • Stoic Woobie: Jin.
  • Superlative Dubbing: The English and French dubs have been very well received, the latter being considered the best French anime dub EVER, especially considering France's history of dubbing anime in general REALLY BADLY.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Hellhounds for Hire involves a Yakuza gang trying to take over a town by cheating the residents at dice. While the gang is Obviously Evil, it's kind of hard to feel bad when all the residents know that they're cheating, and all they have to do to stop their take over is to NOT GAMBLE WITH THEM!
  • What an Idiot: Mugen will be called an idiot and a fool by many viewers for actually trusting Mukuro again.