Tuesday, May 31, 2005

More Anime: Samurai Champloo & Paranoia Agent

I've started watching Samurai Champloo, a new (at least in North America) "hip-hop samurai" anime series shown on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. I'm not sure if I like it yet, but I thought I'd give it a bit of time because it's by the same people as Cowboy Bebop. I missed the first episode, but caught the second and third. New shows play on Saturday night and I believe you can catch a repeat of the third this coming Thursday, which is the first of a two-parter. The Web site's episode guide can fill you in with the basic plot of the first two. But all you really need to know is that there are three characters, a woman Fuu who desperately needs to find the "sunflower samuari" (not sure if we know why), and that she's stumbled upon and has somehow convinced two samuari, Mugen (a self-taught unconvential warrior) and Jin (ideal samurai if samurai were tall, waif thin and looked slighly gothic-nerdy) to help her in her quest. Oh, Mugen and Jin seem to want to kill each other.

Also of note is Paranoia Agent, which started Saturday. I didn't realize it had come to American TV, but the first episode repeats Thursday, after Samurai Champloo. I know little about Paranoia Agent other than what I heard on NPR. It may have been piece run on Feb. 9, but I suspect what I heard was the May 5th review by John Powers on Fresh Air. Adult Swim's description reads: "A mysterious boy on rollerblades has been attacking people in Tokyo. Is he a real boy, a lie to cover up people's crimes, or a sinister phantom?"

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