Neko-san's Guide to the Characters of Samurai Champloo
Episode Eight--The Art of Altercation

(all text written by and property of Neko-san.
Any note you see in italics--like this one--is by me, Kyuketsuki/Paula, the proprietor of this site.)

Episode Eight--The Art of Altercation
This is my annotated character list for episode 8. People are listed in order of appearance, with names (where given), first appearance, and significant details. Main characters are referred to as J, M, and F. I note their first appearance in the episode, but don't bother to gloss them. Unnamed flunkies are grouped together at the bottom. [Note: Many supporting characters' names are never given in the episode, but have been posted to the show's official website,, thanks to which they appear here.]

Saganshougen Nagamitsu--Insanely flashy middle-aged oddball who goes on and on about being "big", his goal is to defeat Mariya Enshiro's bespectacled murderer; married to Budoukiba, with several children. First seen in the opening sequence, building up to his fight with Not-Jin. Walks into the restaurant scene and hits on F, first by proxy, then in person. Leaves to fight with Not-Jin Redux who he defeats by sheer dumb luck, then invites F to listen to his aggrandized autobiography. Next seen at the pawn shop, trying to hawk his worthless palanquin. J comes in to redeem his glasses and Nagamitsu recognizes him, but is beaten to the punch by Ogura. After watching J deal with Ogura, Nagamitsu decides not to challenge him and is found by Luigi and Budoukiba, who drags him home. He is last seen considering what great master to challenge now that Enshiro is out of the question.
Ogura Bunta--Nagamitsu's mirror-holder and flunky, former student of Mariya Enshiro. First seen in the opening sequence, then comes running into the restaurant to say "the real one" has been found. Haggles with the loan shark over the palanquin. Recognizes J with his glasses on, accuses J of murder, and claims the right of revenge. Outside, he calls J a traitor and rushes him [apparently failing to notice that J is exuding a level of fury rarely found outside the eye-walls of hurricanes...] only to get quickly and soundly beaten. J spares his life so he can report back to the other avengers, and Ogura slinks off with his tail between his legs. (In episode 16, Yukimaru says that he killed himself in shame.)
Shinpachi--Nagamitsu's beat-boxing flunky. First appears in the opening sequence, continues to do basslines for Nagamitsu throughout the episode. Gets sent to make the initial overtures to F in the restaurant scene. [Performed by Japanese beatboxer Afra, in his first anime role. He'd always wanted to try voice acting. =)]
Not-Jin--Pudgy, glasses-wearing samurai. Appears only in the opening sequence, getting rushed by Nagamitsu while proclaiming his innocence ["Wait! My name's not Jin!"].
Loanshark--Owner of the pawn shop the trio visits, pretty particular about what he will and won't take as collateral. Appears in the pawnshop scene in the beginning, rejecting F's tanto and M's sword in favor of J's (apparently very expensive) glasses. Seen again at the end haggling over Nagamitsu's palanquin when J returns to redeem his glasses.
Waiter --Appears only in restaurant scene. Has absolutely no idea what grapes are, which is pretty funny in the context of the scene.
Budoukiba--A really hot brunette of a certain age, with dreamy eyes, a penchant for quoting proverbs, and a "Sweet Tooth for Grapes" (the source of her given name, which translates literally as "grape fang").[Although Nagamitsu, her husband, calls her Osen, "Budoukiba" is shown as her name on the official series website.]. First appears in the restaurant scene plying J and M with a round of sake [which is already waaaay more than J can handle, but M just slugs it down]. Convinces them to accompany her to a bar to try grape wine, drinks J under the table and drugs M, then picks their pockets and dumps them in the street in front of their inn. Seen again walking down the street in front of the pawnshop, drags Nagamitsu off to the ship with her, and last seen commenting on the stupidity of men.
Not-Jin Redux--Muscular samurai with fake glasses made of straw. Seen only in the bridge fight scene. Sets out to stop Nagamitsu from randomly attacking samurai with glasses, but in a freak accident ends up losing to him.
Luigi--Large, goofy dog with fancy draperies. First seen in front of the bar, appears again walking down the street ahead of her outside the pawnshop, warmly welcomed by Nagamitsu (seen at left). Kinda cuddly, in a drooly sort of way.
Mariya Enshiro (passim)--J and Ogura's former sensei, master of the Mujuushinken Dojo. Renowned as the 1000-Man-Killer, a title now associated with J ("1000-Man-Killer's Killer" must be too unwieldy.). First mentioned by Nagamitsu in his autobiography (where he recounts how Ogura first told him the tale), Enshiro was killed in a duel by J, his finest pupil. J admits to killing him, but denies any betrayal. Seen only in a flashback to the murder, which may or may not reflect the actual circumstances.

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--Go on to Neko-san's Guide to the Characters of Samurai Champloo-- Episode Nine.