Neko-san's Guide to the Characters of Samurai Champloo
Episode One--Tempestuous Temperaments


(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 One--Tempestuous Temperaments This is my annotated character list for episode 1. 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,samuraichamploo.com, thanks to which they appear here.]

Jin
Mugen
Shibui Matsunosuke--The local magistrate, first seen ordering J and M's execution. In flashback we see him extorting taxes from the local populace, having his Yagyuu guards defeated by J, and arresting and torturing J and M for a crime they did not commit. [Cuddly, personable guy, that.] Killed by J after attempted execution.
Fuu
Shibui Tomonoshin--The magistrate's spoiled-rotten son, first seen in the teashop. His bleached hair is distinctive, and anachronistic. F nearly gets killed for spilling tea on him. He gets his fingers and flunkies broken by M, and then dies in the fire.
Kikuzo and Ogin--An elderly married couple, first seen in the tea-shop. They leave town after the building burns down, offering to take F with them; she declines. Their names are never used in the episode, but eventually appeared in the Champloo Roman Album. [Note: According to a fanslation of the manga, Ogin--the wife--may be related to F.]
Sasaki Ryujiro--One of Daikan Junior's many flunkies, first seen in the tea-shop. He wants to try out his new sword on F as punishment for clumsiness, gets his hand hacked off by M, and sets fire to the tea-shop in retribution. [And he only gets crazier from here...]
Oppressed citizen--A poor man pleading with the daikan to forgive his debt, only seen in the street scene. The magistrate rejects the paltry amount the citizen is able to offer him and orders him executed, but J intervenes and saves him. (Note, BTW, that what he has offered is a mixture of old Chinese coinage--the center-pierced round ones--and the new oblong Japanese gold, which was just coming into circulation at the time. Hence the Daikan's snide comment that "this (the Chinese coinage) isn't money" and Jin's selectivity in collecting his rescue fee.) --May be the same man who later gives F a pipe to light her fireworks, just based on visual comparison.
Yagyuu masters--Expert samurai from Edo, appear only in street scene. Defend their subservience against J's taunts, attack him, and are killed in all of 3 seconds.
Pervy guard--Watchman at jail where J and M are being held, appears only in prison scene. Asks F to pleasure him in return for letting her in, attacks her when she refuses, gets a squirrel in the face, a sandal to the head, and a swift kick in the nuts. Then has to try to explain how a 15-year-old girl beat him up.
Momo-san--F's pet flying squirrel and portable deus ex machina, first appears in prison scene. Saves F from getting molested.(Natural history note: Momo-san is, to be exact, a Japanese Dwarf Flying Squirrel (Pteromys momonga--note Latin name =), native, like the Ainu, to Japan's northern islands. If you visit this site, you'll be impressed by how true-to-life the little guy is drawn.)
Fireworks dealer --Self-explanatory, appears only in execution scene. Reluctantly gives F the bombs she needs to create a diversion. Says he's from Edo.
Guy with pipe --Onlooker at execution, may be the same as oppressed citizen. Gives F a pipe to light bombs with.
Flunkies, flunkies, and more flunkies --Both the daikan and his son have a great many armed underlings, none of whom are any match for J or M. They figure strongly in the tea-shop fight and the execution scene.

--Go back to Character Guide main page.
--Go on to Neko-san's Guide to the Characters of Samurai Champloo-- Episode Two.