|Misguided Miscreants (Part 1)|
|Alternate Title||Dark Night's Road 1|
|Romaji||An'ya Kōro sono ichi|
Misguided Miscreants (Part 1) (暗夜行路 其之壱 An'ya Kōro sono ichi) is the thirteenth episode of Samurai Champloo/Anime. It aired in Japan on August 26, 2004, and aired in November 19, 2005 in North America.
A lone ship in the middle of the ocean is attacked by a group of pirates who set the ship ablaze as they steal all their goods, murder the crew, and bomb the remains, leaving no survivors.
Fuu, Jin, and Mugen are lost in the woods but luckily manage to find their way out and to the ocean, much to Fuu’s excitement. While she plays around in the shore, Mugen catches sight of a girl who unexpectedly recognizes him by name and appearance, running to him and being overjoyed that he’s “still alive”.
Suddenly, a net fires out of nowhere and captures Fuu (big surprise), and the two samurai begin fighting off a group of unexpected kidnappers, with the fight getting called off by a surprise gunshot. The man who fired the round: the leader of the pirates from earlier, whose name is Mukuro.
Much like the girl, he also recognizes Mugen and is surprised to see him still alive. He tries to get him to join them in a major heist, but he refuses due to his commitment to Jin and Fuu. Mukuro tries to browbeat him by bringing up the past, but this just pisses him off as he walks away.
Later, Jin and Fuu are speaking with the girl (Mukuro’s younger sister, Koza), who tells them that the three of them grew up on a small section of the Ryukyu Islands together. Unfortunately, it was an island where criminals would be exiled to, forcing the three of them to grow up only knowing a world of crime. Koza also gives them some advice for their trip to Nagasaki, and Mugen heads off to find a boat to get them there.
Koza is upset at the prospect of Mugen leaving again, having always preferred his presence over the company of Mukuro. Afterwards, Jin and Fuu head off to wander around, coming across an oddly desolate village while Mugen has another encounter with Mukuro, reminding him of his past. Cut to a flashback of Mugen standing on cliff about to be executed by a firing squad (for an unknown crime), making his escape by jumping off the cliff before a single shot is fired (it is implied that Mugen survives the fall, and meets Jin and Fuu soon after).
Mugen makes a wager where he has to work with Mukuro if he loses, with the two riding horses off a cliff and seeing who has to grab on the cliff first, and Mugen loses. Jin and Fuu, having found a place to rest for the night, suspect that Mukuro and his goons were responsible for the absence of other people within the village. Mugen shows up ad informs them he agreed to perform a job for Mukuro, meeting up with the pirates immediately after.
The plan: rob an incoming government transport ship that’s harboring 60,000 ryō, sneaking onboarding and taking out the crew to get to the money. Mukuro’s pirates have a couple of aces up their sleeve, namely a mole on the ship and the help of stormy weather conditions to make things easier for them. Mugen meets up with Koza on the shore of the beach where she tries to reminisce on the happier times she’s enjoyed with Mugen, but he behaves like he’s completely unfamiliar with what she’s talking about.
Mugen and the other pirates get in position to execute the heist, and we get a quick scene of Mukuro telling a secret to Koza: he plans to kill off all of his men as part of the mission, including Mugen. Mukuro manages to sneak onboard the ship and detonate a bomb as Mugen commandeers a boat to ram into the side of the target vessel. However, once on board he notices the crew is still alive, forcing him to fight them off.
Koza runs to ask Jin and Fuu for help saving Mugen from the trap he’s unexpectedly walked into. While in the middle of the fight, Mukuro appears with a large barrel full of explosives, tossing it next to Mugen and escaping with his mole before the boat explodes, much to the horror of Koza, Jin, and Fuu who are watching from a distance.
- This is the first episode where we get to see Mugen's past.
- It is implied that Koza has feelings for Mugen, but Mugen doesn't like her.
- It is unknown if Koza and Mukoro are actually siblings, as Koza mentions Mukuro killed her mother, instead of our mother.