Neko-san's Guide to the Characters of Samurai Champloo
Episode Nine--Beatbox Bandits

(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 Nine--Beatbox Bandits
This is my annotated character list for episode 9. 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.

Yamane "The Ogre"--Looks like the Tokugawa version of Walter Mitty, but has a latent bold streak. First seen as the soon-to-retire checkpoint head in the flashforward, he also appears in the flashback as a young man in his first government post. Narrates the story as he reminisces over his thirty years at the checkpoint. Fascinated by the feral look in M's eyes, he suggests the errand, then is unexpectedly sent to tail M. Captured by the souhei for snooping, but mangages to get himself and M free. Spends the night tripping the light fantastic. This is obviously a cherished memory for him.
Slacker --Young checkpoint worker; seen only in the beginning flashforward. Calls Yamane "The Ogre" because of his reputation for not letting anyone through and asks what he'll do in retirement. Gets a telling-off and leaves, unfazed.
Scalper--Appears only in the passport scene. Recognizes a couple of desperate marks and sells the trio a (very badly) forged passport--and throws in some good luck charms. (As fake as the passport, to judge by what happens.)
Matron--Appears only in the arrest scene. Bent old woman assigned to search F for contraband. [This is the third time we've seen F being undressed by someone else--just for those of you keeping track...]
Kinumasa--Top checkpoint official, delights in executing people, from a high-ranking family in Edo so he's spoiled rotten. First appears in arrest scene. Has just executed a man who should have been extradited on an outstanding warrent, so Yamane tells him to send M to deliver the dead man's severed head. Orders J and F executed when M fails to return on time, but gets stoned before the execution can be carried out and ends up rolling on the ground crying and giggling. [Okay, so maybe the charms were real, just delayed-action.]
Severed head--Not exactly a character, but deserves a mention. First appearance in arrest scene, used by Yamane to escape from the souhei. Poor guy--doesn't even get a name.
Jogger--Irritatingly cheerful exercise nut. [Is jogging an anachronism in this period?] [Yes. =)]--First seen on the path through the woods: M mistakes him for a tengu and nearly lops his head off, then shoves him off the path in frustration. Mistaken by F for M moments before she and J are due for execution, and she would've definitely lopped his head if she'd had the chance.
Aohabu--The souhei master; big, scary James Earl Jones-looking priest. First appears pursuing M as the red-mask tengu. Gives a very Che sort of oration to the assembled souhei, gets insulted by M [Join the club.], and decides to have him executed tomorrow. After M and Yamane escape, Aohabu chases them out into the cannabis plantation and then gets positively stoned to the gills. Last seen with Yamane, M, and other priests living it up in the clearing.
Checkpoint Guards--Apparently these places were heavily staffed. First appear in the arrest scene. Takes about 7 of them to finally subdue M, then they devote considerable time to kicking him in the ribs. Last seen having a love-in in the "purple smoke".
Souhei--Also very numerous. First appear chasing Mugen disguised as suspiciously clumsy tengu. Also appear in the rally scene, fighting M in the pot fields, and cavorting in the clearing at the end.

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