SAMURAI CHAMPLOO, the new series by COWBOY BEBOP director Watanabe Shinichiro, has finally launched and, oh my, it’s sizzling. From what I could see in the first episode, we’re getting a samurai story, but told in a modern way (like with the dialogue), and with a very strong hip-hop influence. Watanabe has not only managed to give the genre a new life by using hip-hop beats in the soundtrack, but the visuals also take a cue from scratch culture (cuts between scenes are “scratched”). It’s still way too early to tell if the storyline is going to live up up to the visuals and atmosphere of the show (we mostly get an intro to the characters in the first episode, mixed in with plenty of cool-looking fights), but I’m certainly excited by what I’ve seen. Don’t get me wrong, I still wouldn’t put it in the same league as PARANOIA AGENT, but as far as stylish action goes, this is by far the best I’ve seen in a while.
Oh, and regarding all the shows I mentioned in my new Spring anime posts last month (part 1 and 2), the only show I’m still following is MONSTER (and PANDA-Z too, but only because they’re shorts – don’t think I could stand much more).