Samurai Champloo is a 26-episode, 24-minute anime television series that aired on Fuji TV in Japan from May 19, 2004 to March 19, 2005. This was the second series directed by Shin ‘ichirō Watanabe, after Cowboy Bebop. The name of the series comes from an Okinawan term for a Japanese dish: chanpurū. The anime mixes modern hip-hop with chambara, the same way Cowboy Bebop mixes sci-fi with jazz and blues. Moreover, many Japanese hip-hop artists participated in the production of the soundtrack. Samurai Champloo may not be a cult classic as Cowboy Bebop, but it is a great series and if you’ve liked it, in this article, we are going to bring you a list of the 15 best anime series you should also check out at some point.
1. Cowboy Bebop
Original Run: April 3, 1998 – June 26, 1998
Number of Episodes: 26
In the year 2071, the crew of the spaceship Bebop travels the solar system in search of bounties. In the slang of the time, these bounty hunters were called “cowboys”. Most episodes revolve around a bounty; however, the focus of the story concerns each character’s past and more general ancient events, which connect as the series progresses. The first story is that of Spike Spiegel, a former member of a criminal organization, the Red Dragons, who is haunted by a love triangle he experienced with his former teammate in the Red Dragons, Vicious, and a mysterious woman named Julia.
The second story revolves around Faye Valentine, an indebted and amnesiac gambler awakened from cryogenic sleep, whose past is a mystery. The other characters also have a past to explore: Jet Black, a former ISSP interplanetary police officer, and ship owner (the Bebop), Edward, a gifted and hyperactive young hacker, and Ein, a “data dog”. escaped from a lab, possessing superior intelligence but behaving most of the time like a normal dog.
2. Lupin the Third
Original Run: October 24, 1971 – present
Number of Episodes: 296
Arsène Lupin III, the grandson of the gentleman thief Arsène Lupin, is an internationally sought-after thief. His right arm is Daisuke Jigen, an infallible aiming shooter, capable of emptying the magazine on various targets in an instant.
They are joined by the beautiful Fujiko Mine, who often manipulates situations, and especially Lupin, in love with her, to his own advantage. After several battles with the samurai Goemon Ishikawa XIII, the latter joins the gang with his incredible speed in handling the trusty katana, named Zantetsuken. Lupin and his associates are constantly pursued by Interpol Inspector Koichi Zenigata, whose goal is to arrest them once and for all.
3. Ninja Scroll: The Series
Original Run: April 14, 2003 – July 15, 2003
Number of Episodes: 13
The series immerses us in feudal Japan, 14 years after the defeat of Himuro Genma the immortal warrior, showing the hidden and mystical world of the ninjas (also known as shinobi), the honorable and brave world of the samurai and rōnins, in which highlights the duels to the death and the camaraderie between rivals with a common goal.
In the story, there are two clans, the Hiruko and the Kimon that face each other. One of the members of the Hiruko (Roga) steals the sacred stone of the dragon from the clan and tries to find the princess of light, Shigure, to give it to her. However, during the escape, he is chased by the two clans who want to get hold of the stone and destroy the princess’s village.
When the Kimon clan destroys her, Jubei, the protagonist, defeats them while the princess escapes. The thief of the stone, Roga, entrusts it to Jubei before he dies, for him to give it to Shigure and protect her from it. During her journey, she must face multitudes of enemies from both clans, until they discover that the Hiruko really only wants to defend her and the stone and lead them into a new age. However, the ambition of the Kimon clan destroys the Hijoko clan and everyone who crosses their path.
4. Blade of the Immortal
Original Run: July 13, 2008 – December 28, 2008 / October 10, 2019 – March 25, 2020
Number of Episodes: 13 / 24
The story is set in Japan in the Edo era. The protagonist, Manji, is a warrior who has a great advantage over his rivals: no wound can kill him. In the past, he eliminated 100 other samurai, including his sister’s husband. An elderly nun, who is said to be 800 years old, grants him the gift of immortality through worms called kessenchū, which heal any wound and even restore limbs even though the loss happened hours ago.
The death of his sister leads him to accept the mission that will end his immortality: he must eliminate 1,000 evil men to redeem himself. Manji crosses paths with a young woman named Rin Asano and promises to help her avenge her family, who was brought down by a group of expert swordsmen led by Kagehisa Anotsu. Anotsu killed Rin’s father and her entire dōjō.
Anotsu’s mission is for his dōjō, the Ittō-ryū, based more on individual skill than technique, to unify all fencing schools in the country, and he has already begun to take or destroy other fencing schools. In addition, another group called Mugai-ryū is created and opposed to Ittō-ryū. His true leadership and motivation are a mystery, but his methods (any tactics that lead to victory) resemble those of the Ittō-ryū.
5. Gin Tama
Original Run: April 4, 2006 – March 25, 2010
Number of Episodes: 201
Gintama is set in the Edo era when Japan was invaded by aliens called Amanto, creatures of various shapes, but all more or less humanoid. These manage to defeat the samurai after long fights. From then on, a radical futurition cut with the classic decoration of Japan is set up and the Amanto forbid the wearing of the saber in public. Despite everything, there are still some who prefer to keep their bushido. In this completely anachronistic Japan, there are still people who refuse to give up their saber.
Among them is Gintoki Sakata, an eccentric former samurai who helps a teenager named Shinpachi Shimura, save his sister Tae from a group of aliens who want her to join a brothel. Impressed by Gintoki, Shinpachi becomes his apprentice and works with him as a handyman with the goal of paying Gintoki’s rent.
6. Rurouni Kenshin
Original Run: January 10, 1996 – September 8, 1998
Number of Episodes: 95
The story of Rurouni Kenshin takes place in 1878 in Tokyo. Kenshin Himura, a former assassin nicknamed Battôsaï, literally “master in drawing the sword”, during the time of the Tokugawa reign, hides a very heavy past. Having become a wanderer since the establishment of the Meiji era, he travels the country armed with his sword with an inverted blade, with the desire not to kill anymore.
He meets a young girl who seeks to protect her dōjō, Kaoru Kamiya and ends up moving into her home after helping her. Little by little, they will meet their future companions: Yahiko Myôjin, a boy from the samurai class who becomes Kaoru’s disciple, and Sanosuke Sagara, a street brawler. Despite his desire not to kill anymore, Kenshin gets caught up in his past and the government often needs him.
Indeed, even if peace is restored in Japan, some men are still seeking their place in this new, far from perfect society. Also, despite Kenshin’s new place alongside Kaoru, a dark and painful thought lingers inside him. The first fight that will really mobilize all the forces of the Kenshin gang is the one against Aoshi Shinomori and the Oniwaban group.
Then, Japan is coveted by Shishio Makoto, also a former assassin, whom the Meiji government tried to eliminate when he no longer needed it, and who keeps burns all over his body as after-effects. Kenshin must then go to Kyoto, it seems that it is difficult for him not to break his vow not to kill again. But Kenshin wins. Sometime later, a man named Enishi Yukishiro seeks particular revenge for Battôsaï. Indeed, he is the brother of the late wife of Kenshin Himura, Tomoe, who died at the hands of the Battosai by accident.
7. Ninja Resurrection
Original Run: February 27, 1997 – March 27, 1998
Number of Episodes: 2 (OVA)
Around the year 1600, the Tokugawa clan prohibited the practice of Christianity in Japan, fearing a possible cultural invasion. This practice has since been secretly led by the son of God, Amakusa Shirō. His death is the goal of the Tokugawa, who send the ninja Jubei Yagyu to assassinate him. But according to a legend, if anyone gets in the way of the son of God, he will reincarnate as Satan for total destruction.
8. Kids on the Slope
Original Run: April 12, 2012 – June 28, 2012
Number of Episodes: 12
Kaoru Nishimi has to move from Yokosuka to Sasebo in Kyushu to his paternal aunt in the summer of 1966 due to his father’s work situation. There he meets, among others, the energetic Sentarō Kawabuchi and his childhood friend Ritsuko Mukae. When Sentarō learns that Kaoru can play the piano, he urges the rather reclusive Kaoru to play jazz with him in the basement of Ritsuko’s father’s record store.
At first, Kaoru didn’t really like this idea, because up to this point in time he saw school education as his purpose in life, and jazz was considered barbaric. However, over the course of time, Kaoru gets more and more into jazz and becomes friends with Sentarō, among others, and falls in love with Ritsuko. However, she rejects him because she is in love with Sentarō.
9. Terror in Resonance
Original Run: July 10, 2014 – September 25, 2014
Number of Episodes: 11
After the spectacular theft of plutonium from a processing plant in northern Japan, the police are groping in the dark. One of the perpetrators was able to smuggle himself in as a worker, and another broke through the barriers with his snowmobile and escaped again with his accomplice and the loot. They left a “VON” spray-painted on the floor.
The thieves, two teenagers who call each other “Nine” and “Twelve”, attend the school that the girl Lisa Mishima goes to the following summer. She is bullied by her classmates, but the two new classmates seem to want to protect her. Shortly thereafter, the two use a school trip to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building to first set a fire and then bombs that cause one of the two towers to collapse. L
10. The Twelve Kingdoms
Original Run: April 9, 2002 – August 30, 2003
Number of Episodes: 45
The story takes place in the parallel world of the Twelve Kingdoms, a series of islands divided into twelve kingdoms, whose society is comparable to that of ancient China. Each kingdom is ruled by a king or queen, chosen by the kirin, a sacred animal sent from Heaven, and assigned to a particular kingdom. During major hurricane-like natural disasters, shoku, this world, and ours interact, and out-of-control exchanges between the two occur. And if the inhabitants of this world vaguely know the existence of ours, the reverse turns out to be inaccurate.
Original Run: July 19, 2007 – October 12, 2007
Number of Episodes: 12
The sword style of the ruthless master Kogan Iwamoto is renowned for its invincibility: all the daring who have challenged the school have in fact lost their lives or been marred. However, Kogan is now elderly, and the day is approaching when he will appoint among his disciples the one who will succeed him and will marry his daughter.
Gennosuke and Seigen are the two best samurai in the dojo, but nothing else unites them. Indeed, the two are divided by a burning rivalry, and ambition and greed will lead to the ruin of one of them, whose revenge will drag the entire school of Kogan into the abyss. Shigurui is a scabrous tale that tells the dark side of the samurai, in an era of excesses, sadisms, military rigor, madness, and mysticism.
12. ΛFΓO SΛMUΓΛI
Original Release: January 4, 2007 – February 1, 2007
Number of Episodes: 5
In a futuristic Japan with the feudal system still in force, it is said that the one who wields the armband called Number 1 will be the proudest fighter in the world and will have in his hands a power equal to that of the gods. The only way to get this armband is to challenge the current owner to a fight.
Original Run: April 12, 2005 – September 20, 2005 / January 8, 2018 – June 18, 2018
Number of Episodes: 24 / 24
When the feudal lord Ieyasu Tokugawa finds himself unable to decide which of his two sons should replace him at the head of the empire, his adviser suggests an atypical contest. Just let the Emperor’s two ninja clans (one from Iga province and the other from Kōga province) fight, with 10 ninja masters from each clan fighting for one or the other of his sons.
The winning clan will determine who will succeed to the throne. Ieyasu accepts this competition, stating that the Iga clan will represent his eldest son Takechiyo, and the Koga clan his second son Kunichiyo. The leaders of both clans happily accept the fight, having been in a Cold War situation for generations until then. Finally freed from the non-aggression pact forged by leader Hattori Hanzō, the members of the Iga and Koga clans immediately begin the contest.
However, to complicate matters a bit, the heirs of each clan – Gennosuke of Koga and Oboro of Iga – are deeply in love with each other. Thus begins a cruel war in which two lovers are turned against each other, forced to confront their loyalties, and meet on the battlefield.
Original Run: April 1, 1998 – September 30, 1998
Number of Episodes: 26
The Trigun anime takes place in the distant future where humans have exhausted all of Earth’s natural resources and have been forced to emigrate to a hostile planet scorched by the rays of two suns.
The context of the series: the environment and the way of life of the characters hark back to the time of the conquest of the West. The remains of advanced technology, a vestige of another era, contrast with the way of life of the population. As the new world unfolds, a name associated with the destruction of July, a city of over a million people, makes everyone’s lips and triggers tremble.
It’s from Vash the Stampede. Referred to as the humanoid typhoon because of the extent of the damage caused by each of its passages, no one seems to really know what it is or its purpose.
Original Run: January 4, 2014 – September 28, 2014
Number of Episodes: 26
In this anime, we follow the adventures of Dandy, an Alien hunter, a fan of the BooBies restaurant chain, and wanted by Dr. Gel. He is joined by Meow, a cat-like alien, and QT, a multi-tasking robot. They roam the galaxy in search of rare Aliens they could capture in order to take them to the Registration Center and hit the jackpot. However, capturing an unreferenced Alien is not as easy as it sounds.