Samurai Champloo, Episode 26 Recap: “Evanescent Encounter (Part 3)”

Original Toonami Airdate: July 9th, 2016

The end is here.

Evanescent Encounter, Part 3 - Fuu Confronts The SamuraiFuu encounters a short elderly man outside the house and asks about Seizo Kasumi, and he tries to warn her away, but she’s adamant on confronting him. The man goes into the shed and talks with a sick man lying in bed who is revealed as the infamous Seizo Kasumi, telling him of Fuu’s presence. He allows her to speak with him, and she, in tears, attempts to tell her of the life she’s lived and the hardships that she and her mother have gone through due to his absent, but she stops shy of giving him any kind of physical revenge seeing as how he’s essentially on his deathbed. Disappointed by this turn of events, she leaves the shed, and as the elderly man tries to console her with comforting thoughts, Kariya makes his way up the path and into the shed to confront Seizo. He accepts his inevitable death and uses his last living moments to console Fuu, asking for forgiveness and saying he’s always thought about her and her mother… before Kariya delivers the death blow. He then goes after Fuu as she tries to escape, sadly hitting a dead end at the top of a cliff with nowhere to run. They’re interrupted by the sudden arrival of Jin, having survived their earlier conflict, who returns to finish what was started. Remembering a last-ditch effort taught to him by his master, Jin allows himself to be struck by Kariya’s blade, using the moment to pierce Kariya in the chest.

Mugen is helpless against Umanosuke as he pins our hero to the ground and taunts him without remorse. He wants Mugen to suffer greatly for his crimes, but he simply tells him that he’s nothing and to get over it, using a hidden dagger to distract Umanosuke long enough to get his sword back. The two continue their battle, now with Mugen having a chance to fight back, as Umanosuke’s tactics grow more chaotic, eventually causing so much structural damage to their surroundings that the remains of the building collapse around and on top of them. The fight continues as the two escape the wreckage, with Umanosuke swinging his sickle mercilessly as Mugen tries one last maneuver to get him for good: tossing his sword behind his attacker, body-slamming Umanosuke, and using his own sickle against him to sever his head. Just when it looks like Mugen is in the clear, the wheelchair-bound brother suddenly appears and strikes him with a bullet, planning to further finish Mugen off with several sticks of dynamite. The explosion manages to catch Fuu’s attention at the same time Jin defeats Kariya.

Fuu and Jin are there to meet up with Mugen, who somehow managed to survive the explosion because anime, and with her business regarding the sunflower samurai finished, the two samurai resume their own battle, but both their swords break upon impact and the two pass out immediately. They wake up in Seizo’s shed after a week of being unconscious, and while they were out, the elderly man informs Fuu that Seizo’s actions were taken so that he could protect Fuu and her mother from persecution at the hands of the shogunate. After enjoying some food together, our three heroes say their last goodbyes before heading off to wherever their lives take them. Fuu gives them one last parting piece of information: as it turns out, the coin flip that started their journey together had landed on heads, and she lied about the outcome to keep them from fighting, and the series ends with our heroes finally parting ways, not knowing if they will ever meet again.

 

The journey has finally concluded. After months of wandering Japan, months fraught with various perils, conflicts, and unexplainable occurrences, Fuu finally managed to confront the man she’s been pursuing this whole time… only to find the actual encounter not as she imagined. The entire run of the series, she imagined her revenge being some kind of blaze of glory against an ignorant jerk that had left her and her mother to suffer alone for so many years, when everything turned out to be the opposite of that vision. A man nearing death, pleas for forgiveness before being killed, and the truth of his actions and abandonment actually being taken to protect the two of them from a fate potentially worse than what had befallen them. Fuu had been so blinded by revenge and wanting to confront her past that she had the rug swept out from under in the most surprising heel-turn possible. Meanwhile, Mugen and Jin are pushed to their absolute limits, to the point of taking suicidal measures to ensure that they can win their battles, with Mugen even encountering the figures of death from “Misguided Miscreants”. Unlike Fuu, the two of them have been escaping from their past for so long that they’ve had no choice but to fight it right then and there, trying to sacrifice their lives to end things once and for all. Once they accepted their inevitable fates, they were somehow granted a second chance at life (seriously, how are they still alive after those fights), and now all three of our heroes can move on to whatever comes next on their individual paths. They are no longer dogged by the demons of the past; they are now truly free. This was a fantastic ending to a fantastic series that I cannot believe I never watched up until this year. I give this last episode an 11/10, and a final series rating of 10/10: an absolute must-watch series that lives up to the hype in every conceivable way. Now play us out, Midicronica.

 

 

What did you think of the finale and the series as a whole? Let us know down in the comments below.

 

Samurai Champloo is licensed by FUNimation Entertainment and was produced by Studio Manglobe.

 

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