The 20 Anime To Watch If You Like Samurai Champloo

Samurai Champloo can be considered without many doubts as one of the most iconic anime of the past 20 years.

Its episodic structure, Japanese feudal setting, and atmosphere that alternates between comedy, seriousness, and action simply make it an unforgettable series.

And even though it’s challenging to reach its same levels of quality, we still tried to create a list of the best anime like Samurai Champloo to help you enjoy similar emotions once again.

20. Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit

Moribito - Guardian of the Spirit

Moribito is a series that we recommend if you are a fan of Samurai Champloo because, like the latter, it’s an anime set in feudal Japan that distinguishes itself from other works with the same setting.

Samurai Champloo achieves this by incorporating pop culture references, comedy, and an outstanding soundtrack into its story.

In contrast, Moribito stands out by focusing heavily on emotion, which is quite anomalous in a genre typically centered on fighting and honor.

The story revolves around the Shin Yogo Empire, facing a catastrophic drought that threatens famine across the land.

To avert this crisis, the Star Readers turn to an ancient myth that foretells the defeat of a water demon by eight warriors, a solution to the impending drought.

But a twist of fate occurs when the water demon manifests itself within Prince Chagum. Faced with this dilemma, the emperor orders his son’s execution, but a mercenary named Balsa intervenes to save him.

Balsa is entrusted by Chagum’s mother with the task of protecting him, and together, they embark on an adventure to evade the emperor’s hunters while along the way, they explore the profound values of life and family.

19. Samurai 7

Samurai 7

Samurai 7 is an atypical samurai-centered series that makes it a great choice to watch after Samurai Champloo.

This is because this series offers a modern take on director Kurosawa’s masterpiece, incorporating steampunk elements. Give it a chance, as it truly deserves it.

The plot is as simple as effective. It revolves around seven samurais, recruited by a priestess to protect a farmers village from the assaults of bandits.

But soon a deep web of plot twists will start…

18. Gangsta.

Gangsta

Da alzare, ma tipo di brutto. Sto anime è pratiamente Samurai Champloo ai giorni nostri

Gangsta. is essentially a modern, underworld-centered version of Samurai Champloo.

Both series feature two main male characters skilled in combat and a female character in their central cast, share a similar soundtrack, and showcase a slow, episodic pacing.

Adding another layer of similarity, they are produced by the same animation studio, making them two incredibly similar anime.

Nicholas Brown and Worick Arcangelo are known in the city of Ergastalum as the Handymen. They gained this nickname by accepting any kind of job from any kind of group, ranging from mob syndicates to crooked police.

One day they are tasked with taking out a local pimp and they do that without hesitation but they also decide to save the prostitute called Alex Benedetto.

As the story continues the city of Ergastulum will face changes that will threaten to tip over the power balance and this will likely end up in a furious conflict.

17. Dorehodoro

Dorohedoro

Dorohedoro has a totally different setting and premise than Samurai Champloo, but this time the similarity is more deep than that.

This anime is ideal to watch after Samurai Champloo because of its atypical and unique storytelling, which includes a lot of humor, and sometimes even dark.

The protagonist, Cayman, wakes up with a reptilian head and no memory of who he is or how he got there.

He sets out on a journey to the town of Hole, populated by powerful demons and sorcerers, to uncover the mystery behind his appearance with the help of his friend Nikaido.

16. House of Five Leaves

House of Five Leaves

House of Five Leaves is another anime that you might like if you are a fan of Samurai Champloo since it’s another atypical samurai anime.

House of the Five Leaves indeed focuses on its historical context and political entanglements instead of action and adventure, so give it a try.

The story is set in the Edo era and features Masanosuke Akitsu, a ronin in search of a master, but his bad reputation makes it tough to find work.

However, he’s eventually hired as a bodyguard by Yaichi, the leader of the House of Five Leaves gang, which turns out to be hiding some pretty interesting secrets.

15. Ninja Resurrection

Ninja Resurrection, on the other hand, is a series you might like if you are a fan of Samurai Champloo because of its historical and political context.

Although the serious vibes of Ninja Resurrection are totally different from those of Samurai Champloo, known to be light, both feature themes of Christian persecution in Japan.

Jubei is a ninja contracted by the Japanese government to free a small town under the rule of a man revered as the new Jesus.

But Jubei soon discovers that this mission will involve battling demons in a terrible battle for survival.

14. Carried By The Wind: Tsukikage Ran

Carried by the Wind: Tsukikage Ran

Carried By The Wind: Tsukikage Ran is a samurai anime with an episodic structure, making it exceptional for fans of Samurai Champloo.

Both series also feature excellent action sequences and a great soundtrack, although it should be noted that Carried By The Wind: Tsukikage Ran has a more sober atmosphere than Samurai Champloo.

The series revolves around the adventures of Ran and Miao, two wandering individuals who encounter various adversaries in a fantastic Tokugawa-era Japanese setting.

The story unfolds through 13 self-contained tales, each featuring a new enemy to overcome within an authentic Japanese backdrop.

13. Rurouni Kenshin

Rurouni Kenshin

Rurouni Kenshin is one of the best samurai anime ever (if not the best), so it was obvious that we would include it on this list.

While it may not have the episodic and comedic structure of Samurai Champloo, it’s the samurai anime to go, so you shouldn’t miss.

Follow the journey of legendary warrior Kenshin Himura as he seeks to protect people from injustice and atone for his violent past actions.

Along the way, he meets his one true love interest, Kaoru Kamiya, and together they embark on thrilling adventures filled with love and conflict.

12. Gurren Lagann

Gurren Lagann

Gurren Lagann is a perfect anime to watch after Samurai Champloo for simple reasons.

They have two profoundly different stories and settings, but both are anime that start with a bang and have incredibly addictive storylines and soundtracks.

In short, they are two damn fun anime to watch.

The story follows Simon and Kamina, who are tired of living underground and dream of seeing the sky. One day, they discover the head of a robot called Lagann while digging underground.

After activating the mecha, they reach the surface and take possession of its body, leading them to war against mysterious enemies.

11. Sword of the Stranger

Sword of the Stranger is another excellent (and quite niche) samurai anime for fans of Samurai Champloo.

And while Sword of the Stranger has a more serious and solemn atmosphere than Samurai Champloo, both series feature amazing animations, feudal japan settings, and action scenes.

We are in the Sengoku period. Ronin Nagashi, the main character, rescues at an abandoned temple a child named Kotaro and his dog Tobimaru.

Kotaro has no family, and for unknown reasons, the Chinese Emperor of the Ming Dynasty is hunting him down. But Nagashi won’t allow this and decides to stand up for the boy.

10. Dororo

Dororo

Dororo has a story and themes that differ completely from that of Samurai Champloo, but it could not be missing from this list since like Rurouni Kenshin is one of the best samurai anime you can watch.

And let us tell that, being based on a masterpiece manga from the 1970s, it can even be considered as one of the most influential works in the genre.

The plot revolves around Hyakkimaru, a boy with a body made of prosthetics, who fights demons. When he was a child his impoverished father sacrificed the child to demons to seek prosperity.

These demons now possess his body parts and senses, so Hyakkimaru will have to seek them out and defeat them to regain his lost body.

He will do this together with Dororo, a child that is keeping him company during the journey.

9. Mitchiko to Hatchin

Michiko and Hatchin

But if you enjoyed the energetic and sharp vibes of Samurai Champloo, you might want to consider Michiko to Hatchin.

The settings between the two anime are incredibly different, as one is set in feudal Japan and the other in modern Latin America, but their fast pacing and crisp soundtrack are strikingly similar.

The story is set in a fictional Latin American country named Diamandra and revolves around two girls.

Michiko, who has just escaped from a maximum-security penitentiary prison, and Hatchin, an orphan girl adopted by the family of a local clergy member. The tranquility of the two isn’t destined to last though.

9. Black Lagoon

Black Lagoon

Black Lagoon is a solid pick if you’re looking for a modern and more mature and sometimes darker version of Samurai Champloo.

These two series share similar characters in terms of personality and deliver an electrifying mix of action, comedy, and excellent soundtracks blending rock, jazz, and electronic music, so trust us and give it a shot.

Black Lagoon follows the story of Rokurou Okajima, a regular businessman who is taken hostage during a business trip to the crime-ridden island of Roanapur.

When his employer refuses to pay his ransom, he has no choice but to join the mafia-pirate gang called Black Lagoon, transforming from an ordinary man to a ruthless criminal.

8. Ninja Scroll

Ninja Scroll: The Series

With Ninja Scroll we’re continuing on the path of anime you should check out after Samurai Champloo, as iconic representations of samurai anime.

We have no reservations in saying that if you’re not at least familiar with Ninja Scroll, you might not be a true fan of the samurai genre. So, if you haven’t watched it yet and you’re a fan of Samurai Champloo, this is your perfect chance.

The narrative revolves around the journey of the wandering ninja Jubei Kibagami, a skilled warrior who becomes entangled in a battle against the Demons of Kimon.

These demons are led by the immortal Genma, who seeks to execute a sinister plan to conquer Japan.

7. Baccano!

Baccano

Baccano! is a series you will love if the electrifying vibes of Samurai Champloo have captivated you.

This is because both of these series, although set in different historical periods, take place in the past and feature a fast-paced storyline with a fantastic jazzy soundtrack.

If you enjoyed one, rest assured that you will also enjoy the other, despite the differences.

Baccano! features a non-linear plot with a cast interconnected by solving mysteries and crimes.

The plot is set in the US during the 1930s. It involves a war that breaks out between various mafia gangs in America during the Prohibition Era.

6. Blade of the Immortal

Blade of the Immortal

On the other hand, Blade of the Immortal has the exact same premises as Samurai Champloo!, but with a more serious and dark tone.

Both series start with the premise of a female character seeking revenge and hiring powerful warriors to fight alongside her as they travel across Japan.

Blade of the Immortal also has some comedic and light moments, but in smaller quantities compared to Samurai Champloo.

The violent death of the parents of the protagonist Rin, the sole heir to the dojo of the Muten Ichiryu school at the hands of Anotsu Kagehisa, an exponent of the rival Itto-Ryu school, leaves her with a great thirst for revenge.

She seeks help from Manji, a ronin known for killing his lord and a hundred other samurais, to achieve her goal.

The ronin is an immortal samurai thanks to the Kessen-chu worm, a being inside his body that can heal any wound.

5. Katanagatari

Katanagatari

Katanagatari is a series that you will hardly not love if you are a fan of Samurai Champloo, as like the latter it’s one of the most unique samurai anime.

Both series are set in feudal Japan, with protagonists who have a challenging past, use a unique fighting style, and embark on a journey.

But what truly sets Katanagatari apart is its character design, which you won’t find anywhere else, so that along is a reason to don’t miss it.

The main protagonist, Shichika Yasuri, hails from the renowned Kyotoryu family, revered for their extraordinary unarmed combat technique.

Togame, the strategist, accompanies Shichika on their mission, enlisting his aid in safeguarding her while encouraging him to fall in love with her along the way.

But as the story unfolds, their relationship evolves into something much deeper and profound beyond their initial arrangement.

4. Afro Samurai

Afro Samurai

Afro Samurai is a series that blends action and samurai themes with a hip-hop funk soundtrack that borders on perfection, earning the series nothing less than Emmy nominations and awards.

This makes it a simply perfect series to watch after Samurai Champloo, despite being grittier and darker than the latter.

In the world of Afro Samurai, warriors are ranked based on a hierarchy, and a distinctive sash identifies the first-ranked warrior. Only the second-ranked warrior can challenge the first to claim their position.

As a child, Afro witnessed the tragic death of his father, the former No. 1, at the hands of Justice the Gunslinger, leaving him with a burning desire for revenge. Now grown up, Afro embarks on a journey to climb the ranks and avenge his father.

3. Gintama

Gintama

Gintama is basically a sitcom made anime, with one of the best episodic structures in the entire medium, so if you loved Samurai Champloo, you’ll love Gintama too.

Both are also set in feudal Japan and feature fantastic action scenes, so there’s really no doubt that you’ll be crazy about both of them.

The only difference is that Gintama is almost entirely focused on comedy, unlike Samurai Champloo, which balances its elements well.

The series follows the adventures of Gintoki, Shimpachi, and Kagura, 3 boys who make up the Yorozuya handyman agency.

The whole story is set in a world where an alternative ancient feudal Japan has been conquered by aliens and is now confronted with a major technological advancement imposed by the invaders.

2. Space Dandy

Space Dandy

For the first two positions, we couldn’t choose anything other than the two other great works of Watanabe, the creator of Samurai Champloo, namely Space Dandy and Cowboy Bebop.

And the reasons are simple, as these three series are incredibly similar to each other.

Looking at Space Dandy, like Samurai Champloo, it has a trio of characters as the main cast, which follows a comedic and fast-paced narrative style with excellent action interludes. It’s basically Samurai Champloo in space, so you can’t go wrong with this series.

The plot isn’t linear, and unfolds in a future where humanity has expanded to the farthest reaches of the universe.

The main character, Dandy, is an alien bounty hunter who proudly claims to be the very embodiment of cosmic dandyism.

The anime is composed of a series of self-contained episodes, and there’s an apparent narrative discontinuity between them.

So it’ll not be unusual to even witness a character die only to find them entirely intact in the following episode, all for comedy purposes.

1. Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy Bebop

But it was obvious that the first position would go to Cowboy Bebop, Watanabe’s masterpiece and one of the best anime ever created.

Cowboy Bebop takes all the typical elements of the director, such as an episodic plot, an amazing cast of characters, and a perfect soundtrack, and brings them to perfection, even adding psychological and philosophical moments.

That’s why we’re confident in saying that it’s an anime that should be in your collection overall, but especially if you’re a fan of Samurai Champloo.

Set in a not-too-distant future where inter-spatial travel is the norm and Mars is a vital part of human life, the show follows a group of bounty hunters, or cowboys, as they chase down intergalactic outlaws.

Meet Spike Spiegel, a bounty hunter, in the year 2071, and witness Spike’s many talents and abilities in hand-to-hand combat and martial arts, garnering a reputation as one of the strongest fighters in the universe.

He chases criminals with his partner, Jet Black, and together they team up with a con artist, a child hacker, and a Welsh Corgi to form a bizarre family.

But when an old enemy comes back into Spike’s life, he must now choose between his past and his newfound family.

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Zeruan

Anime lover and a big fan of the 90s. He has previous experience working with foreign websites and now he is willing to move things even further. When he is not writing for Nihonime.com, Zeruan spends most of his time reading, coding and developing marketing strategies.

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