Fuu (フウ, Tanagers), full name Fuu Kasami (Kasami Fuu 香澄 フウ), is the tritagonist and leading lady of Samurai Champloo. Following a series of circumstances, she tricks Mugen and Jin into accompanying her into her journey in finding the "Sunflower Samurai".
She is voiced by Kari Wahlgreen in the English dub and voiced by Ayako Kawasumi in the original Japanese version.
Fuu has brown hair that is tied in the style of a ponytail with bangs parted where a small portion hangs down to the right while there is a larger portion hangs toward the left side, brown eyes. She is shown to have color pink fingernails and toenails.
She wears a deep pink kimono with a floral pattern. She also carries a kaiken (woman’s dagger) with a pink handle and sheath, and a floral pattern matching her kimono. Attached to the kaiken are three netsuke (charms): a skull (a Christian pendant from her father), a pair of dice, and a dog.
Fuu's relationship with Mugen and Jin is apparently sororal (of or like a sister) where she has a bright and trusting personality. She is highly prone to accidents, getting lost, and finding trouble, although she is quite practical. She often puts on a front of being more worldly and experienced than she actually is so as not to appear completely idiotic in front of her bodyguards.
Out of the trio, she acts like the sister to Mugen and Jin, which is shown when Mugen and Jin are willing to save her multiple times even when not obligated to. An example being when Jin found out Yukimaru was using her as bait, and when Kariya Kagetoki, Umanosuke. Toube and Denkibou were planning to take her hostage.
Fuu is the daughter of Seizo Kasumi and Fuu’s unnamed mother. During the Shimabara Rebellion (which was the uprising of Japanese Roman Catholics due to heavy taxes and abuses from officials), her father was one of the leaders in the rebellion. The Japanese sought the help of the Dutch army which helped quell the rebellion down and the Shogunate sought for Seizo's death.
Fearing for his family's life, Seizo ran away to protect his wife and children where Fuu's last memory of him was running through a field of sunflowers. This is why she refers to him as "The Sunflower Samurai" or the "Samurai who smells of sunflowers." Without her father around to support them, Fuu and her mother led a difficult life until her mother died of illness and she worked under an elderly couple name Kikuzo and Ogin in a tea shop.
Meeting Mugen and Jin
In Tempestuous Temperaments, Fuu has to deal with rowdy customers, especially an individual name Tomonoshin Shibui. She's advised to restrain herself since Tomoshin is the son of a governor. Meanwhile, one of the customers is pestering an innocent old man in the tea house and Fuu tries to interfere before being silenced and getting dragged into the back.
Back at the tea house, Fuu prepares to deal with a new customer, who turns out to be Mugen. He asks for some water, but she explains that he needs to order more or leave. He invites her closer to him and tries to make a deal: 50 dumplings in exchange for getting rid of the ill-mannered clientele. She tries to haggle down to 20, but she's called to bring tea to the customers, accidentally tripping and spilling some on the Tomonoshin Shibui. Enraged, he and his fellow samurai pin Fuu down to the table and threaten to start cutting off body parts, but she manages to yell "100 dumplings", which gets Mugen's attention and motivates him to take the governor's son and his men on in battle.
Another customer Jin arrives, and Mugen. mistaking Jin for one of Tomoshin's bodyguards attacks him with Fuu trying to stop them. While fighting, groups of thugs burn down Fuu's tea shops, and Mugen and Jin are arrested. Fuu is lamenting the loss of the tea house, and Kikuzo and Ogin invite her to stay with them since she has no family, but she refuses, instead of going off to rescue Mugen and Jin.
At the front entrance of the governor's house, she tries to bargain with the man guarding the door to get in, but it doesn't work and she's forced to knock him out with the help of her adorable squirrel sidekick Momo. Fuu finds the cage where Mugen and Jin are being held captive, and she promises to free them in exchange for a favor: finding a samurai who "smells of sunflowers". However, she's unable to break them out in time and is forced to escape from the guards.
The next day, word gets out about a public execution, and Fuu correctly suspects that Mugen and Jin are the victims. As the two are taken to the execution site, Fuu quickly thinks of a plan to try and save them, obtaining miscellaneous supplies to aid her. Mugen and Jin successfully escape when Fuu distracts the guards by grabbing a couple of items out of her dress, which turns out to be bomb-shaped fireworks. She then lights and throws the bombs into the execution site, setting off a massive display of lights that scares the remaining guards.
Fuu manages to meet up with Mugen and Jin who are about to rekindle their fight from earlier, but she tries to stop them since she still needs the favor from them. She decides to settle it by flipping a coin, which Mugen decides to flip for her. It comes up tails, meaning they have to postpone their conflict, and the episode ends with the three escaping the pursuit of oncoming guards.
In Redeye Reprisal Mugen, Jin, and Fuu are trying to get some money together, but they all realize they don't have much on them. Mugen and Jin are about to get into a fight, but Fuu reminds them of the promise they made to her regarding the samurai who smells of sunflowers. They proceed to give her the third degree and bombard her with various questions regarding their quest.
Amidst the arguing, Fuu's stomach grumbles, and they all decide to get something to eat. They head out to the first food place they come across and order some yaki-manju (dumplings made from flour soaked in sake and then covered with miso and grilled). They argue about how to divide the order amongst the three of them before a bird swoops in and steals their treat. In the midst of this, Jin overhears a conversation from the group of men sitting a short distance away from them about an ogre who massacred innocent people.
Fuu doesn't trust the men, but she accepts a drink from them and passes out. It is revealed the group of men had orders to seize Fu, Jin, and Mugen because of their escape. Fuu meets a deformed individual name Oniwakamaru who resembles an ogre, but is not afraid. Mugen, after being poisoned by Hotaru tries to save Fuu but meets Oniwakamaru. They both fight evenly, but when Fuu tells them to stop, Oniwakamaru lowers his weapon, allowing Mugen to deal the lethal blow.
Mugen, Jin, and Fuu would go on to have many adventures together. Often times they split up due to being annoyed with Fuu, but would come back to help Fuu in the end. The first example is Mugen and Jin ditching Fuu, but would come back to take on Rikiei Nagatomi and his Yakuza gang. Fuu would go on to meet unique individuals like Osuzu, Sousuke Kawara Hishikawa Moronbu, Nagamitsu, Sakami Manzou, Budokiba and Shinsuke. She helps Jin rescue Shino from a brothel, but doesn't meet Yatsuha Imano face to face.
In Stranger Searching, Fuu, Mugen, and Jin meet a gay Dutchman name Joji Titsingh whose real name is Izsaac. Fuu tells Izsaac reveals that she's trying to find the samurai that smells of sunflowers. Izsaac says that he has not heard of the samurai that smells of sunflowers. Upon being shown a skull with a loop attached to it by Fuu, Izsaac becomes fearful and whispers to Fuu that she must not show this to anyone. Izsaac tells Fuu to go to Nagasaki, and she will find her answers there before leaving.
In Lethal Lunacy Fuu and Jin watch Mugen train against his fight against a skilled opponent name Shoryu. In The Disorder Diaries, Mugen and Jin read Fuu's diary, but are outraged when she trolls them. In Misguided Miscreants (Part 1) and Misguided Miscreants (Part 2) Fuu learns about Mugen's past and meets Mugen's childhood acquaintances Koza and Mukuro. She is shocked to see Mugen presumably dead, but is relieved to find Mugen alive.
In Lullabies of the Lost (Verse 1) and 2 Mugen and Jin are annoyed and irritated that Fuu won't tell them why they need to travel with her and leave. While lost, Fuu meets Okuru, unaware of his past. She is attacked by Jin's childhood friend Yukimaru and watches Jin kill him. She and Jin find Mugen and Okuru being attacked by agents, and Mugen kills the agents in a rage after them killing Okuru. In the end, Fuu reveals to them that the sunflower samurai is her father, and she wants them to help her find him after he abandoned her.
In War of the Words, Fuu finds out Mugen cant read, and watches as a man name Bundai forcefully takes Mugen away to teach him. She meets Tatsunoshin and Kazunosuke. In Unholy Union she helps a girl name Yuri expose Xavier III manipulation of Christianity, and him stealing weapons. Yuri then tells Fuu, the name of the sunflower samurai, which is Seizo Kasumi.
Contact with Sara
In Elegy of the Entrapment (Verse 1) and 2 Fuu, Mugen and Jin meet a blind musician name Sara. Fuu defends her from thugs, and Sara accompanies them on their journey. Sara asks Fuu if she could borrow one of her bodyguards to go on her journey, and Fuu chooses Jin thinking Jin would refuse Sara's offer. However, Jin accepts which makes Fuu cry in despair much to the annoyance of Mugen.
As Fuu and Mugen continue their journey, they overhear a conversation about the collapsed bridge, following some villagers in the direction that Jin and Sara went off in. When they come across the bridge’s remains, the two of them (along with a massive search party) find Sara on the shore, still alive despite some bad injuries.
With no immediate sign of Jin anywhere, Sara’s taken back to a cabin where she finally awakens as Fuu tends to her wounds. Meanwhile, Mugen goes out searching the river and lake for any sign of Jin’s body anywhere, but instead, he finds Sara’s cane and her busted-up shamisen and brings them back to the cabin. Fuu heads out to look for Jin herself while Mugen stays behind and keeps Sara company.
Fuu eventually comes across the fight between Sara and Mugen, completely distressed at what she’s witnessing. Mugen’s attempts to fight back fail as his injuries become too severe and he collapses to the ground, helpless as Sara goes in for the kill. Fuu interferes, begging for her to stop, and she leaves Mugen alone despite him begging for the fight to continue. Having lost too much blood at this point, he collapses as he attempts to chase Sara.
Meanwhile, Jin arrives at the cabin where Mugen and Fuu are staying, having brought fish for them to eat. He chooses to rest for a bit as he explains his side of the battle, suspecting that Sara is a hired assassin sent by someone who doesn’t want them to make it to Nagasaki.
In Cosmic Collisions Fuu, Mugen, and Jin eat mushrooms, causing them to hallucinate zombies and a meteor. In Baseball Blues the trio helps an old man name Kagemaru win a baseball match against American baseball players.
Arrival in Nagasaki
In Evanescent Encounter (Part 1) Fuu, Mugen, and Jin are sitting around a fire and checking their progress; noting that they passed Nagasaki earlier and are only a short trip away from the Ikitsuki Islands. Fuu immediately becomes sentimental, sad that once the journey’s over the three of them will part ways and never meet again. She asks Mugen and Jin to vent and reveal any hidden personal information about their pasts.
Mugen gives a predictable response about once killing an old man who talked to him funny. Jin then vents about his history at the Muju dojo, being an orphan who did nothing, but train all day and eventually killed his master. Fuu opens up about her father leaving when she was very young, wanting to pursue him and get revenge on behalf of her deceased mother. Later, Jin asks Fuu what her plans are once the journey’s done, to which Fuu responds with uncertainty, crying into Jin’s chest.
The next morning, a strange group of bloodthirsty travelers (Umanosuke, Denkibou, and Toube) investigate the site, appearing to be in pursuit of our heroes. They ask a nearby traveler if anyone was staying there, and after receiving no response, Umanosuke decides to decapitate the stranger.
The gang reaches an ocean-side town and grabs some food while inquiring about how to get to the Ikitsuki Islands. They need to take a boat to get to the islands, but before they can, Fuu asks Mugen and Jin to pick up a souvenir for her from anywhere in town. When Mugen and Jin attempt to pay for a souvenir, they find a note from Fuu. The note says goodbye to the two of them and thanking them for all the adventures they’ve had together as she heads off on her own to confront her father. Unbeknownst to Fuu, she ran into Kariya Kagetoki (unaware of who he is) before getting on the boat.
When Fuu finally reaches the island, the villagers run away from her in fear as she asks about the Seizo’s location. However, at one point she encounters a mother who gives her a direct lead to his location, telling her to visit a house north of the village. Fuu finds herself on the right track as she walks through a massive field of sunflowers, but she has a surprise encounter with the three assassins, and Umanosuke attacks her.
In Evanescent Encounter (Part 2) Jin loses to Kariya, and Mugen kills Denkibou and tracks Fuu, where he finds Fuu being held hostage by Umanosuke. They were in charge of security on, of all places, the raw sugar ship that Mugen and Mukuro (in Misguided Miscreants (Part 1) and 2) savaged and took over before Mukuro left Mugen for dead. The assault left all three brothers crippled and deformed in some way, and they’ve been out for revenge ever since, especially because they were never able to work government jobs due to their failure.
Umanosuke agrees to free Fuu if Mugen gives up his sword, which he does, throwing it at Fuu and freeing her. Mugen tells her to leave and go find Seizo Kasumi, promising he’ll take care of Umanosuke, and she quickly exits as the fight begins. As Fuu makes her way to her father's house, Kariya arrives at the same time, seemingly killing Jin.
In Evanescent Encounter (Part 3) Fuu encounters a short elderly man outside the house and asks about Seizo Kasumi, and he tries to warn her away, but she’s adamant about 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 (the Sunflower Samurai), telling him of Fuu’s presence. He allows her to speak with him. Tearfully, Fuu attempts to tell her of the life she’s lived and the hardships that she and her mother have gone through due to his absence. 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, killing him.
Mugen manages to kill Umanosuke, however, Toube triggers an explosion to try to kill Mugen. 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. 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. 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.
The series ends with our heroes finally parting ways, not knowing if they will ever meet again, but they are grateful for the adventures they have experienced.
- Fuu is a voracious (wanting or devouring great quantities of food) eater as she loves eating food that she can eat large quantities of food, despite being very small/petite.
- She is a surprisingly big eater (in Stranger Searching, she entered an eating contest and she was one of the last two remaining, shocking all the spectators).
- One of the running gags is that whenever she eats food, she becomes obese.
- Fuu likes meddling in the business of other people, which is also the reason why she was able to get Jin and Mugen to come with her.
- Fuu's totem in the opening credits are leaves and a flying squirrel named Momo, which is also her pet.