Samurai Champloo is an action [shonen] anime from 2004-2005. Based on the original manga, this story is an adventure combined with poignant drama and comedy that follows the heroine’s search for the “Samurai that smells of sunflowers.” We have some episodes available on DVD but the title is widely available over streaming sites. Ask your teen librarian!
The three main characters are Fuu, Mugen and Jin. Fuu is a teenage girl with a happy-go-lucky attitude and always seems to be hungry. She is searching for the famous samurai. Jin is a ronin [roaming samurai] with the classic stern character of the period. He wears glasses which were actually available at the time but his are modern and lend a stylish flare to his otherwise quiet character. He is of course, a master swordsman. Mugen is another great swordsman but of an unconventional style. He wears his hair in short crazy dreadlocks, and his sword is curved more like a scimitar with z shaped hilt. He has a chip on his shoulder and is always looking for a fight.
The art work is quite good with strong “brush lines” and solid earthy colors. The drawing style is slightly elongated with a linear quality that distinguishes it from other modern series such as Fairy Tail and Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. One great feature of this series is the inclusion of Hip Hop music and samples. The theme music is a hip hop song that viewers will probably want to listen to each episode. Hip hop culture and even Chinese kung fu are referenced several times during the series and at least once each with more focus in their own episode. These elements as well as a few other surprises add an entertaining enhancement to the ongoing story line and themes. Fight sequences are strong and dynamic, and character development is sensitive and engaging. Viewers will not be disappointed.