This may contain some spoilers.
Samurai Champloo is one of the best anime series I've ever watched. There was so much I did like about it, and so little I didn't.
The Good Points
- Good, strong plot. I thought the plot was easy to follow, and yet really interesting. I learned a bit about Japan and the attitude toward Christianity than I knew before. I also liked the way the story developed the three main characters, giving flashbacks into all of their pasts.
- Main characters that I cared about. While I can say Jin is my favorite, I liked Mugen and Fuu, too. Mugen reminds me of a slightly deranged Gojyo. Fuu had me cracking up with her bottomless stomach (and the scenes where she got fat were pretty funny). But it's Jin that I really took a shine to. He's the quietest of the trio, and I suspect the smartest. He's also got a dark past, which draws me to him very much.
I should note that several of the minor characters were very interesting, too. While Fuu is a pretty typical anime girl (meaning she gets teased by the guys and is the object of a few sexual jokes for comic relief), there were a couple really interesting women in the show, especially the blind woman musician.
- Terrific action scenes. I LOVED the sword fighting in this. It's not like any I've seen in other anime, probably because Mugen has such a cool style of his own. Jin's fights were excellent too. The difference between them was very interesting. Jin is a much more controlled character in everything, while Mugen is a ball of spastic energy.
- Overall series quirkyness. I really did enjoy the weird mix of silly and serious. This wasn't typical of the kind of shows I watch, and I think that added to my enjoyment. I liked the animation style, which reminded me at times of Cowboy Bebop and Wolf's Rain.
The Bad Points
- Filler episodes. I think the show could have finished up with just 24 episodes. The two fillers weren't bad, but they were pretty pointless as far as the plot goes. Oh, and the one was not flattering to Americans (not that it really bothers me). If they had been placed in the middle of the series, they wouldn't have stuck out so much with me. Being near the end, they seemed to slow the plot down right when it was getting close to the climax.
- Music. Okay, this is just my personal taste, and for some, this may be a good point rather than a bad one. ^_^ I don't really like the theme song to the series. It's a rap song and rap and I don't mix. I'm more the heavy metal type. I did like most of the rest of the music, except for the more traditional Japanese music. I haven't yet developed an ear for that. Maybe I'll eventually appreciate that (and opera).