I made a Sakuga MAD about this series last month. It was one of the first I made and it was way too long so I made another one.
I love the show and I’ve watched it all the way through twice. I love animation but I think I agree with Miyazaki about how a lot of anime seems disconnected from the human experience. Samurai Champloo feels very human though. It has an emotional resonance that makes it feel real despite the fact that it’s a samurai action series. It’s also just really cool: great soundtrack, aesthetic and characters.
Its animation is interesting. It was one of the first anime series I watched all the way through and when I saw it the first time I thought the fights were amazing. They feel intense and very fast. More raw than other sword fights in animation.
After watching shows like Cowboy Bebop and coming back to this it changed my outlook on it somewhat. Animators like Yutaka Nakamura who worked a lot on Cowboy Bebop are amazing at choreographing flashy, fluid fights. In contrast Samurai Champloo’s Kazuto Nakazawa and Nobutake Ito use a choppier, more jagged style. I think it makes characters move more powerfully, being more distorted makes the action feel more visceral. Cowboy Bebop has top quality animation, but the fights in this series are less flashy and more powerful.
The song is Beat Laments the World by Nujabes, the same artist who did the soundtrack for Samurai Champloo. It’s what the ending theme of the series, Shiki no Uta, is based on.