Anime: Samurai Champloo Volume 3 (UMD)

Chimaera

Volume 3 covers episodes 5 and 6, but for those readers who aren’t acquainted with Samurai Champloo in general, the predominant storyline is fairly straightforward: Mugen the brash warrior, Jin the ronin, and Fuu (the girl in the middle) are on a quest to find a mysterious samurai that “smells of sunflowers”.

Our trio has progressed in their travels inch by inch and the focus on this disc appears to be money – or lack of it. After surviving Fuu’s modeling job, a few sword fights, and not managing to kill each other, they arrive in the capital city, extremely starved. Hijinks and hilarity ensue.

The theme of Volume 3 also appears to be “beware of the company that you keep”.

Technical/Extras
Volume 3 sounds good, but the whole UMD format lends itself to a very pared down feel. For those following Volume 2’s review, I am sad to report whoever did the subtitles really needs to shape up a bit and improve things, especially with the spoken English/English subtitles. In future volumes and viewings I plan on keeping them off, personally.

Rating: 5, not as many extras and some of the previews were repeat titles, which is a bit of a let down.

Entertainment
Samurai Champloo is good fun. That said – this disc was a bit less entertaining than the last two, but it managed to keep moving without driving into the boring lane and making me wish for a fast exit. It also did progress the storyline, and that gives it points in my book.

Rating: 7

Overall
Its official – Lumina’s got the Champloo bug, and now she wants to see more. If you’ve gotten this far in the series, you really can forgive the occasional bump in the road on what appears to be a fairly long journey ahead. If you’re just running across this review and want to dive into the series, pick up the earlier discs and go in order. You don’t have to at this early part of the story, but the background is nice to have.

Rating: 7

Features: Quick start instructions for the PSP. Not so enthralling.

Episodes:
#5 Artistic Anarchy
#6 Stranger Searching

Extras: A fair list – Fafner, Tenjo Tenge, Gankutsuou, Girls Bravo, Kyo Kara Maoh!, Doki Doki School Hours, Saiyuki Reload, Starship Operators

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