From Here to There to Japan One Day



In Samurai Champloo, Mugen was born on the Ryukyu Islands, where the convicted criminals were exiled to live. He reveals to during the course of the series that he never knew his mother or father and he always had to look out for himself. He wears a pout of sorts when he’s totally uncaring for the situation around him. Mugen is around the age of nineteen, but he bears blue banded tattoos encircling his wrists and ankles which suggests that he was imprisoned for a period of time. This is later explained as he was convicted of piracy, but before being executed he threw himself off a cliff and miraculously survived. His motto is to live like everyday like it’s his last, perhaps this is because he nearly dies previous to his misadventures with Fuu and Jin. He experiences several near death encounters in the course of Samurai Champloo. When this happens, Mugen finds himself in a world with everything in this world inverted. Several black cloaked figures lead his procession into death, but each time they release him from the brink, suggesting that Mugen has an unfulfilled destiny that awaits him.   

Mugen is certainly not high maintenance, his needs being: food, drink, women, fighting and food again. 🙂 Mugen’s fighting style is quite unorthodox as it uses a combination of break dancing and flowing movement, which is similar to Spike Spiegel’s from Cowboy Bebop. His instinct and ingenuity of using any nearby object allows him to adapt to any compromising situation effortlessly.

He grudgingly agrees to accompany Fuu and Jin on the search for the Sunflower Samurai as he owes his life to Fuu. Although Mugen repays this debt several times over to Fuu, his compulsive, hot headed nature draws them into even more perilous situations. At the close of Samurai Champloo, Fuu each asks Mugen and Jin to tell a secret about themselves. Mugen reveals that he once killed a strange old man because he was annoying, as he kept going on about family and heritage. It turns out that the old man was a relative of the Shogun and that’s the reason that skilled assassins were in a dogged pursuit of Mugen, Fuu and Jin for the course of Samurai Champloo. 

Mugen constantly tries to aggravate Jin into a fight at the start of Samurai Champloo. He hates to take orders, especially from Jin. Doing the opposite of what is asked of him is how Mugen annoys Jin, only once in the entire series does Mugen obey him. At the climax of Samurai Champloo, Fuu’s life is at stake and Jin is in a heated sword fight with an assassin, Jin tells Mugen that Fuu will die if he doesn’t go and save her. During the series, it seems that Mugens determination to battle Jin has mellowed out somewhat into a camaraderie, until the final episode.     

It was by chance I stumbled across this gem of a video. I had nearly given up hope that I could find a video that didn’t have ear-splitting music. I present a video of Mugen, with the ever so calm song Run by Snow Patrol.   


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