Secret Santa 2012 – Samurai Champloo

As you’ll have seen from the 2010 and 2011 offerings, this is the Reverse Thieves‘ annual Secret Santa project, where the only gift you need to give is the gift of a great series your pick hasn’t had the pleasure of seeing yet. In this year’s post to the blog, I’m looking at a series that I’m sure many people have watched already, given it’s already been licensed. It’s Samurai Champloo, a hip-hop infused sword-fest by Manglobe, following our three main characters as they skulk around Japan looking for a smelly samurai.

If there’s one thing that I value in anime above all else, more than piffling things like character development and story, it’s style. Style over substance any day, I say. Luckily, this show has it in droves. Samurai Champloo is dripping in a strange concoction of American hip-hop and Edo period Japanese chivalry. On paper, these two styles are really like oil and water, but all you have to do is watch and see the two mix together surprisingly well, not least helped along by the effortlessly cool soundtrack by Nujabes who, much like the style of the show, merges the hard edge of hip-hop with more ambient melodies in his offering.

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Otakon 2012^H^H^H^H2011

So here’s a post I’ve been meaning to make for exactly one year. Last year I attended Otakon, the annual anime convention held in Baltimore. It was my first time in the north-west of the USA, and it was the first time I’d really went to a proper anime convention, let alone one in the USA. I wrote up some thoughts on the whole experience. Here are those slightly belated thoughts. It’s probably too late to help people with hotel advice, but I hope that attendees can pick some other helpful tips at the very least.

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