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Samurai Champloo (サムライチャンプルー, Samurai Chanpurū) is a Japanese anime series developed by Manglobe. It featured a production team led by director Shinichirō Watanabe, character designer Kazuto Nakazawa and mechanical designer Mahiro Maeda. Samurai Champloo was Watanabe's first directorial effort for an anime television series after the critically acclaimed Cowboy Bebop. It was broadcast in Japan on Fuji TV on May 20, 2004 and ran for twenty-six episodes until its conclusion on March 19, 2005.
Samurai Champloo was critically acclaimed, and the series was dubbed in the English language and licensed by Geneon Entertainment (then Pioneer Entertainment) for releases in North America. Funimation Entertainment began licensing the series after Geneon ceased production of its titles. It was also licensed for English releases in the United Kingdom by MVM Films, and in Australia and New Zealand by Madman Entertainment.
A young woman named Fuu is working as a waitress in a tea shop when she is harassed by a band of samurai. She is saved by Mugen, a mysterious rogue, and Jin, a young ronin. Mugen attacks Jin after he proves to be a worthy opponent and they begin fighting one another and inadvertently cause the death of Shibui Tomonoshina, the magistrate's son. For this crime they are to be executed. With help from Fuu, they escape, though Fuu insists that they travel with her to find "the samurai who smells of sunflowers." They agree to join her, with Fuu setting the condition that they are not to duel one another until the journey is done.