A young woman named Fuu is working as a waitress in a tea shop when she is harassed by a band of samurai. She is saved by Mugen, a mysterious rogue, and Jin, a young ronin. Mugen attacks Jin after he proves to be a worthy opponent and they begin fighting one another and inadvertently cause the death of Shibui Tomonoshina, the magistrate's son. For this crime they are to be executed. With help from Fuu, they escape, though Fuu insists that they travel with her to find "the samurai who smells of sunflowers." They agree to join her, with Fuu setting the condition that they are not to duel one another until the journey is done.
Setting and StyleEdit
Samurai Champloo employs a blend of historical Edo period backdrops with modern styles and references. The show relies on factual events of Edo-era Japan, such as the Shimabara Rebellion ("Unholy Union;" "Evanescent Encounter, Part I"), Dutch exclusivity in an era in which an edict restricted Japanese foreign relations ("Stranger Searching"), Ukiyo-e paintings ("Artistic Anarchy"), and fictionalized versions of real-life Edo personalities like Mariya Enshirou and Miyamoto Musashi ("Elegy of Entrapment, Verse 2").
Incorporated within this scheme are signature elements of modernity, especially hip hop culture, such as rapping ("Lullabies of the Lost, Verse 1"), bandits behaving like "gangstas" (both parts of "Misguided Miscreants"), censorship bleeps replaced with record scratching, and much of Mugen's character design. Samurai Champloo's musical score predominantly features hip hop music produced by Tsutchie, Nujabes, Fat Jon, and FORCE OF NATURE. Shing02 and MINMI are also featured in the opening and ending themes, respectively