Because Samurai Champloo is such a singular and beloved show, fans of the manga and anime will find plenty to love in these sequels.
Even 15 years after its release, Samurai Champloo is still a beloved anime series thanks to its impressive animation and endearing characters. Fuu, Mugen, and Jin, three people who don’t get along, embark on a quest to track down a samurai who has the distinct odor of sunflowers—a relic from Fuu’s past.
Mugen and Jin engage in kinetic, high-energy samurai sword battles, while Fuu finds herself in and out of sticky situations, all while slowly developing a friendship and reliance on one another. These ten additional anime series are a must-see for fans of Samurai Champloo and its cast.
10. Ping Pong
Table tennis is the focus of the anime series Ping Pong. There’s a lot of focus on two table tennis-playing friends with vastly different personalities, but who share an intense rivalry because of their skill.
Samurai Champloo’s rivalry between Mugen and Jin, as well as the vast differences between the two characters’ approaches to the world, is reminiscent of Ping Pong.
9. Space Dandy
In addition to creating Samurai Champloo, Shinichiro Watanabe directed and co-wrote Space Dandy. Dandy, a bounty hunter who travels the galaxy in search of aliens to bring back for a reward, is the focus of this space opera.
It’s not a coincidence if this reminds you of Cowboy Bebop. Despite this, Space Dandy is a more absurd series than Cowboy Bebop, and as a result, the tone is closer to that of Samurai Champloo, which is more lighthearted and less concerned with maintaining a sense of continuity.
Beck follows a band of up-and-coming musicians as they strive to break into the music industry. As a band, they go through a lot of growth pains, and the show follows their rise (and fall) as they try to stay together long enough to realize their dreams.
Samurai Champloo is known for its emphasis on music, so fans who are interested in that aspect of the series may want to check out Beck as well.
7. Lupin III
The Lupin series, which culminated in Lupin III, is a fan favorite. It’s been around for a long time, and new shows and movies are always being made about the lovable thief. The schemes and plots of Lupin and his friends, like those of Mugen, Jin, and Fuu, frequently land him and his companions in hot water.
However, this doesn’t deter viewers from adoring his antics and wanting to see him get away with various crimes, even though he doesn’t commit murder.
6. Ninja Resurrection
Ninja Resurrection takes place during the Tokugawa period, during which Christians in Japan were persecuted. Since a Christian leader’s spirit is murdered and then returns to avenge those who died because they were Christians, the story has a supernatural bent.
As with Samurai Champloo, a major plot point in the series revolves around Christianity in Japan, so anyone interested in these themes should give it a look.
5. Cowboy Bebop
The most obvious choice on this list is, of course, Cowboy Bebop. Cowboy Bebop, Shinichiro Watanabe’s best-known and most beloved work, was inspired by his work on Samurai Champloo.
Both shows feature a ragtag crew of misfits who constantly find themselves in sticky situations and never have enough money to get out of them. Samurai Champloo uses hip hop to examine Edo Japan, whereas Cowboy Bebop uses jazz to set the mood for its cyberpunk future.
4. Rurouni Kenshin
Like Samurai Champloo, Rurouni Kenshin follows a samurai who must face his past.
Throughout the series, Mugen and Jin have done things that have followed them around like being bad people. When it comes to Kenshin, he is haunted by the fact that he was directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of soldiers during a war.
3. Afro Samurai
As previously stated, hip hop is heavily emphasized throughout Samurai Champloo’s narrative. For example, the game’s intro is an old school hip hop beat and trope, like record scratches and funky synth sounds.
Similarly, hip hop music informs and inspires Afro Samurai, which features a black lead character but is set in Japan. A lot of Samurai Champloo’s design decisions are inspired by this series.
2. Ninja Scroll
Ninja Scroll is set in Edo Japan, so there are parallels between the way the world works in that time period and how it works now. Ninja Scroll, on the other hand, is about ninjas.
With a darker tone and a more serious attitude than Samurai Champloo, this series definitely has supernatural elements. However, fans of historical fiction set in Japan who enjoy sword fights should not miss this one.
1. Kids On The Slope
Another film from Watanabe’s filmography concludes this entry. the Slope follows an 18-year-old moving in with relatives after being kicked out of his home town. He doesn’t have many friends, but he quickly befriends a classmate who is dreaded by his peers for being a bully.
Many of Watanabe’s works, such as Samurai Champloo and the jazz motif in the series, are reminiscent of the friendship between two very different and unlikely classmates.