The Complete Guide to Anachronisms in Samurai Champloo--
A Risky Racket/Surrounded on All Sides
Episode 7: A Risky Racket/Surrounded on All Sides
Tunde Olusanya thinks this: "The Gangster, who originally had the opium (the bad guy for the day) was to me an unmistakable reference to a satire of Bugsy Malone and the gangsters of his time, an example of this satire is present in the old Bugs Bunny cartoons (yeah I obviously watch a lot of cartoons....I'm 22 :)) [where he typically] went by either Mugsy or Rocky, always followed by a bulky but quite stupid goon. This character Mugsy is a classic mobster from the early gangster years of Chicago. Thick black eyebrows, dark skin balding with the remaining hair thick and black, always chewing on a lit cuban even when talking......The badguy in this Champloo episode had all these characteristics: very short, thick black eyebrows along with the trademark furious face, short-tempered, always chewing the large cuban looking cigar (come to think of it did they smoke those kind of cigars in the 1600's?) [Tunde is seeing things here: Kogoro smokes a pipe, not a cigar], fully equipped with two goons, even had the classical shot of him yelling at his goons on two instances."
Anachronisms Occurring Only in the English Dub:
Tristan Bradshaw noted this to me: Mugen says he'll make Jin "cry Uncle". Very old, but probably not known to the Japanese.
From the absolutely wonderful word-detective.com site:
"Checking other sources for the origins of "cry uncle" does provide support for the interesting assertions that childhood games and rituals
are often hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of years old. It seems that while "crying uncle" is today regarded as
an Americanism, its origins go all the way back to the Roman Empire. Roman children, when beset by a bully, would be
forced to say "Patrue, mi Patruissimo," or "Uncle, my best Uncle," in order to surrender and be freed.
As to precisely "why" bullies force their victims to "cry uncle," opinions vary. It may be that the ritual is simply a way of making the victim call out for help from a grownup, thus proving his or her helplessness. Alternatively, it may have started as a way of forcing the victim to grant the bully a title of respect -- in Roman times, your father's brother was accorded nearly the same power and status as your father. The form of "uncle" used in the Latin phrase ("patrue") tends to support this theory, inasmuch as it specifically denoted your paternal uncle, as opposed to the brother of your mother ("avunculus"), who occupied a somewhat lower rung in patrilineal Roman society."