Samurai Champloo

Common Sense Media says

Sex, alcohol, swearing, fights = anime for adults.

Age(i)

2
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4
5
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7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Distinct degradation of women as unintelligent, incapable, sexual beings. The three central characters struggle in their abilities to cooperate as a team.

Violence

Sword scenes with killing, pain, blood, and fear. Both male and female characters are kidnapped and tied up. Central 15-year-old female character fears forced sex.

Sex

Male characters seek sex; female 15-year-old flirts with men; visuals of male/female and male/male pairs in sexual positions in Ukiyo-e woodblock prints.

Language

Words like "hell," "dumb ass," "bitch," "hooters," "mook," "idiot," and "bastard" are typical.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

References to pot smoking and drinking alcohol to the point of passing out.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the three central characters in this mature anime series (which is set during Japan's Edo period) deal with plenty of sex, alcohol, and violent, bloody fights. The main character is a 15-year-old girl who is fearful of physical and sexual abuse, is seen taking baths (nothing crucial is revealed), and always has to keep one step ahead of her two male Samurai bodyguards. One of them frequently refers to her as "bitch." The series is geared toward older viewers who can appreciate its production values and the characteristics that set it apart from other shows in the genre.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

SAMURAI CHAMPLOO has a huge following with adult anime fans. That's partly due to its unique blending of visuals and characters based on Japan's historic Edo period with modern-day music (mostly hip-hop) and lingo. The main characters (who are on a journey to locate the "samurai with a scent of a sunflower") are also an interesting mix of personalities: a crafty 15-year-old girl, a strong-silent-type samurai, and another who's impatient, obnoxious, and fights in a style that mixes break dancing and martial arts.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The show's contemporary edge may draw young viewers -- but parents need to know that it's chock full of profanity, sex, drinking to the point of belligerence, violence, fear, and degradation of women. But despite these red flags, certain elements of the show separate it from others in the genre. The Edo period is a fascinating backdrop and actually meshes remarkably well with modern-day personality types, music, and lingo. Plus, the historic setting offers the opportunity for some cultural exposure. In one episode, for example, 15-year-old Fuu (voiced by Kari Wahlgren) is attracted to an Ukiyo-e (a kind of Japanese woodblock painting) artist, and many images of real woodblock prints (most depicting sex scenes...) are shown.

Director Shinichiro Watanabe's use of real Japanese hip-hop artists for the score complements the show's fighting style and the protagonists' personalities. But there's a reason the show is part of Cartoon Network's Adult Swim lineup: The main messages about working together as a team and learning from your journey toward a goal are lost amid all the profanity, violence, and sex.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the series' high levels of violence, sex, and alcohol. Do these elements enhance or distract from the main plot and messages? Families can also discuss how the three very different main characters work together (albeit sometimes grudgingly) as a team. Despite her fear, how is Fuu portrayed as a strong female character? What does she have in common with other female anime characters? What sets her apart? Parents can also talk to kids about the Edo period of Japanese history. What characterizes it? Why does it make a colorful backdrop for an anime series?

TV details

Cast:Kari Wahlgren, Kirk Thornton
Network:Cartoon Network
Genre:Science Fiction
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:DVD

This review of Samurai Champloo was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 3 year old Written byjojovonjo December 4, 2010
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

every one watch it

This show was great. I watched it every night with my 2 year old when it was on Adult Swim. This show had great role models as well as having some great moments to teach my kids about drugs and pimping. Both of these things will be something he will need to know in my home town.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byyankee01 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

cool

a cool show but way violent for young.younger anime fans whould like naruto,prince of tennis,and inuyasha.
Teen, 17 years old Written byqwerty keyboard December 31, 2012
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Best show ever!!!!

Amazing show, great plot, great humor, and great ending. I will never forget this show. It is amazing in all directions. I'm glad they didn't make any more newer episodes to ruin the show like they did with Spongebob. Everyone, I am impressed. WATCH IT!!!!

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