The Complete Guide to Anachronisms in Samurai Champloo is original writing by Paula O'Keefe (c) 2004-2010 and future,
based on characters and situations owned by and (c) 2004-5 Manglobe and Simoigusa Champloos.
All writing by others is credited where it appears. Please do not use or quote without my permission. Thank you!

Annual update completed August 2, 2010.


One of the trademarks of Samurai Champloo is its imaginative use of anachronism. An anachronism, to quote the Oxford English Dictionary, is "anything done or existing out of date; hence, anything which was proper to a former age, but is, or if it existed would be, out of harmony with the present." Or, in the case of Champloo, vice-versa: things from the present appearing in the past. Our project here is a per-episode guide to these items as they appear in the series, with appropriate and, we hope, useful annotation and commentary. Hope you enjoy it. Affectionate thanks to my compadres on Way of the Champloo, Swords & Sunflowers, and the Adult Swim board who have tossed in their coupla'monme worth.

(Note: Things that appear throughout the series, for instance Jin's glasses, will be mentioned at their first appearance and assumed thereafter.)


A quick note on the use of English words. Early on we made some attempt to keep tabs on the use of English and Japanized-English ("Japlish") words and phrases in Champloo, but there are so many of these in so many episodes that it proved a daunting task. I will accept notes on them if people consider them especially noteworthy, but overall, I think the appearance of English and Japlish words should be considered as one of the series' basic stylistic devices, not as individual anachronisms where they occur.
--There's some interesting commentary on the history of this linguistic phenomenon in the notes to Episode 1.


Note of general interest:--Several people, among them Meredith Raley, have pointed out that a villain in the Rurouni Kenshin series, Shishio Makoto, uses a serrated sword called Mugenjin (sometimes translated "Infinity Blade"). According to web sources, it was made by Arai Shakku--the same swordsmith who forged Kenshin's famous sakabatou (reverse-blade sword)--and is so saturated in the flesh and body fats of Shishio's victims that any friction will set it afire, permitting him to use various fire-style techniques. I don't think there's any conscious link between this and Champloo, but it deserves to be mentioned in context.


Update, effective 2008:--At this point, I'd prefer to only accept suggestions on topics not yet covered in the Guide--not further information on topics we do have a note on. I'm sure my readers are savvy enough to do their own Web searches if they're curious about something mentioned here. Also, please, if making a suggestion that includes links, choose the best one or two links you've found on the topic, not a whole page of them. Thanks.


Dating Champloo--An overall list of the dates and occurrences leading us to date the series in the mid/late 1600's.

Episode 1: Tempestuous Temperaments/Storm and Stress

Episode 2: Redeye Reprisal/Veritable Pandemonium

Episode 3: Hellhounds for Hire (Part 1)/Tacit Understanding

Episode 4: Hellhounds for Hire (Part 2)/ Tacit Understanding

Episode 5: Artistic Anarchy/Utter Indifference

Episode 6: Stranger Searching/ Redheaded Foreigner

Episode 7: Risky Racket/Surrounded on all Sides

Episode 8: The Art of Altercation/Self-Conceit

Episode 9: Beatbox Bandits/Evil Spirits

Episode 10: Lethal Lunacy/Fighting Fire With Fire

Episode 11: Gamblers and Gallantry/Degeneration Angel (a/k/a "Fallen Angel")

Episode 12: The Disorder Diaries/Learning from the Past

Episodes 13/14: Misguided Miscreants (Parts 1 & 2)/Dark Night's Road (Parts 1 & 2)

Episode 15: Bogus Booty/Through and Through

Episode 16: Lullabies of the Lost (Verse 1)/Idling One's Life Away (the first verse)

Episode 17: Lullabies of the Lost (Verse 2)/Idling One's Life Away (the second verse)

Episode 18: War of the Words/Pen in One Hand, Sword in the Other

Episode 19: Unholy Union/Karma and Retribution

Episodes 20/21: Elegy of Entrapment (verses 1 & 2)/Generous Elegy (Parts 1 & 2)

Episode 22: Cosmic Collisions/Anger Shot Toward Heaven

Episode 23: Baseball Blues/Heart and Soul Into the Ball

Episodes 24/26: Evanescent Encounter (Parts 1-3)/The Circle of Transmigration (Parts 1-3)


Found any anachronisms within the series that I've missed? You'll get credit for any suggestion I use here!

Just want to write me? Share info? Call me obsessive? Sigh over Jin? Send me on a one-way trip to Edo?
The name's Paula J. O'Keefe: angelynx@spookhouse.net

First version of the Anachronisms Guide was created September 2004--September 2005.
Updated every year from July 23rd-30th.

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