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"), as the bizarre plot involves the gang playing baseball against a bunch of Americans intending to invade.
    • Episode 9 ("Beatbox Bandits") at least towards the end, where all conflict is resolved... by a burning field of weed, which gets the anatagonists all chummy with each other while completely forgetting about whatever they were supposed to do.
  • 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's nonsensical style of fighting works perfectly for him and is pretty damn impressive to watch.
  • 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: Several characters are quite popular despite their brief appearances and are prone to frequent appearances in fanfiction. This includes Sara (due to her intense arc), Yatsuha (due to her hilarious appearance and manipulation of Mugen whom she's shipped with), Yukimaru (a significant figure from Jin's life, also often shipped), and Shino (due bringing out Jin's softer and more romantic side in her bittersweet appearance, again frequently shipped).
  • Evil Is Sexy: Hotaru, a very attractive antagonist who successfully gets Mugen's attention and nearly manages to poison him by seducing him.
  • Fandom Berserk Button: "Hey Gaiz, who would win in a fight, Mugen or Jin?" Cue intense arguments all around.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Actually played straight (no pun intended) by the Dutchman, who comes from a sect who believes that enlightenment can be obtained through homosexuality.
    • 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, he appears to be emotionally affected by Yukimaru's reappearance, who is essentially upset because Jin didn't take him with him.
    • Mugen and Jin, bordering on Foe Yay. One such example is the very first episode when Mugen dreams of Jin being naked in a bathtub during their fight, and he doesn't fail to point out "his dong hanging out" when he recalls the dream to him.
  • 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:
    • Mugen, who is rude a good chunk of the time. Despite that, he doesn't remember having any parents and appears to have lead a life of crime since young. In particular is him being once tricked into a life of piracy in the past by Mukuro who betrayed him.
  • Fuu (if not just The Woobie). As bossy as she may be, her mother died the year before and the two were abandoned by her father aka the sunflower samurai, hence why she's so desperate to find him. And by the end of the series, said father's sick, revealed to have left in order to save his family from Christian persecution, and dies at the hands of Kariya, leaving Fuu overwhelmed.
  • Stoic Woobie: The ever so stoic Jin, who killed his kendo master (his one parental figure) prior to the story.
  • 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.