Mugen's Feelings for Fuu: Character Study and Observations
Firstly: this is a response to 10bat who asked me if Mugen’s feelings for Fuu are platonic or if there’s something else.
Wow, XD Well, as much as I ship Fuugen harder than hell, I don’t think I ever bothered to explain their romance before…or Mugen’s feelings.
I’d also like to say thank you to 10bat for the comments to my blog before I start ^^ (even though it’s not THAT great).
Here I go.
To start off, Mugen as a character is at first glance a complete antihero based on his actions; the prison tattoos, cocky attitude, stealing, killing people without a second thought. But out of all three characters in the anime, Mugen is the most dynamic; changing the most out of all three (although all of them did change).
Growing up in the Ryukyuan Islands, he never exactly had anyone that loved him (being an orphan, having to kill people to survive at an early age etc). The only people we know that he was acquainted with before Fuu and Jin: were Koza and Mukuro in ep 13 and 14. But look what they did: Mukuro betrayed him by making him take the rap for stealing from the ship, and Koza was needy and wanted love from anyone. She used his “death” to infuriate Jin to kill her brother Mukuro. It was all a ploy.
Now then, back to Mugen’s feelings for Fuu. I honestly think that Mugen may have developed something for Fuu even before she liked him (or maybe they developed it at the same time through all their struggles together) but I think for Mugen it was completely emotional at first, and his physical attraction came later. But either way, he repressed it throughout the series.
So here’s a brief list (bullshit, this is LONG) of all the ways it is heavily implied Mugen had feelings for Fuu. If someone wants me to do a Fuu rant also, I probably will lol. But for now, let’s focus on Mugen (though Fuu’s feelings will undoubtedly intersect).
There’s links underlined to the clips on youtube to that specific instant in the episodes for reference. Enjoy if you decide to watch ^^ You have to sign into youtube to watch them though. And I’m giving my rough translation to dialogue sometimes or what I remember (since I didn’t actually sit there and watch them all. Some can be interpreted different ways because English sub and dub is wrong a lot. So anyway, ignore if it’s written different than in the video.
Ep 1: Mugen is shown first from a distance, standing on the road outside the village. Then Fuu is shown… Then Jin last (you’ll notice he’s always backup, sadface, but I love him. Don’t mistake this Mugen rant as me disliking Jin.)
Fuu and Mugen meet. While there is no romance (yet), Mugen and Fuu have this odd stare down when he first walks in. It even goes in slow motion where he’s looking at her. Jin and Fuu had no such moment. I think it was meant to show that he is dangerous, a killer, but either way Fuu isn’t afraid in the slightest. She even tells him to leave if he has no money.
Btw. He saves her from getting her fingers cut off. Jin had no part in that lol.
In the interviews to the japanese voice actors, Ayako Kawasumi (Fuu) was asked who she preferred more as a character; Mugen or Jin. The actress responded with “Definetly Mugen.” Shinichiro Watanabe (the main director) then decided to include more Fuugen hints throughout the series and ep 1 dictated the last episode. This is all found in the Samurai Champloo Roman Album book if anyone is interested to read the interviews.
Ep 2: Mugen was poisoned by a woman who said that Fuu was kidnapped by the same guy who hired her to poison him. She said something like “He has the antidote and something else you want.”
"That girl you’re traveling with. I wonder what he’ll do to her.”
“Shit!” Only then does Mugen run off to save Fuu. She then saves his life when the man is drowing him in the stream, later saving him in episode 21 from Sara as well. It’s kind of like foreshadowing.
Meanwhile…Jin is fighting a homosexual samurai…ahem.
Ep 3 and 4: Mugen runs off from Fuu after not wanting to help her at all. But in ep4 he saw her in the brothel. There’s a scene where he stops walking in the rain after remembering her scolding him, and he quickly runs back to save her. When he got back to the brothel, she was already gone, having escaped. “Ran away?! That idiot!” or “That bitch!” in english.” He kept searching for her, but when he found her with Jin at the gambling den, he said “I only came here because no one was chasing after me.” which was complete bullshit!!!!
Meanwhile, Jin doesn’t bother to save Fuu at the brothel. He only coincidentally met up with Fuu at the gambling den because he was helping the son of the gangster.
Later that night, he asked Jin what happened to Fuu. “Hey, where is she?” Jin is too being playing Japanese chess. Mugen says “Well, it’s not like I care or anything.”
The following morning, Mugen literally goes to the artist’s studio and finds a picture of her and asks the artist where she was. She was kidnapped and he ran all across town to rescue her. He ends up saving her but gets no credit as usual.
Jin meanwhile…is still playing chess lol.
Ep 6: Not much. She just scolds him in a hay stack and he turns his head annoyed.
Ep 7: Fuu was “held hostage” by the thief. He shows disinterest at first. Mugen (the violent bastard he is) sees the kid who pick-pocketed Fuu hold a knife to her throat and only then did he flip shit and want to kill the guy. Now, you can interpret it that he was pissed at the guy for stealing from them and not at all worried about Fuu…. But when he crashed into the building and was going to attack him, Fuu screamed to stop. And he did. Even though he hated the guy, Mugen stopped and helped him escape because Fuu told him to. He realized she wasn’t in danger from the theif though. Mugen never takes orders from ANYONE.
Once again, he technically saved Fuu from the drug dealers after the theif.
Jin meanwhile, waits outside…
Ep 8: When a man hits on Fuu, she says rather proudly to Mugen “It’s soooo hard being popular.” most likely to validate herself to being appealing and maybe even get Mugen jealous. When Mugen gets hit on by a woman, he repeats the same line to Fuu to DEFINITELY get her jealous “It’s sooooo hard being popular.”
Jin is meanwhile…too drunk to say anything and is dragged along by Mugen. But Mugen isn’t one to share a woman with Jin (he won Yatsuha over Jin in ep 15)…So why did he bring Jin along? Maybe he didn’t want Jin and Fuu to be alone together(?)
Also,the man who hit on Fuu said his wife looked like Fuu when she was younger. Funny thing, the woman who hit on Mugen was that man’s wife…So Mugen is actually physically attracted to Fuu after all.
Ep 9: Mugen had every intention to go back to save Fuu and Jin instead of letting them die…but he accidentally got high instead. Lol. He TECHNICALLY saved the day because it was his fault the trippy plants got set on fire. Sooooo, then all the guards at the border line were too high to kill Fuu and Jin.
Mugen once again, technically…saves the day(?)
Ep 10: Okay, this one connects to a later episode, ep 16. Mugen ends up getting his hand badly hurt. Fuu grabs one of them "What happened to your hand?!” he responds “It’s just a scratch.” and pulls away rather quickly… he isn’t used to physical contact with women that isn’t sexual. She shows that he cares and it bothers him. Later in ep 16, after leaving Fuu and Jin he lays on the grass. he puts his hand…the same hand that she touched and he puts it above his face saying “that little bitch” which is a nickname he calls her throughout the series. There is a video of this on youtube. “Subliminal Mugen/Fuu clip” Watch ittttttt.
Ep 11: Oooh lala. Pretty big proof in this one. Jin falls for Shino the courtesan. (totally not Fuu, just sayin’). When Fuu is talking about Jin going to brothels, Mugen takes it that she’s jealous and in turn gets jealous of her and Jin, saying “What, are you saying you want to be his girl?” then he said "That’s big talk…coming from a girl so flat.“ he even told her to show him her boobs…Which she almost did. Then, she names all the reasons she doesn’t like Jin. But Mugen fell asleep and didn’t hear.
“Don’t tell me you’re in love with her! You promised to help me find the samurai who smells of sunflowers. If you go, we’re not friends anymore.”
When Jin left…Mugen is shown actually awake, listening to the entire conversation. Jealousy. THIS IS IMPORTANT FOR EPISODE 24. DON’T FORGET. FORESHADOWING.
Later when Mugen and Fuu are running to give Jin back his swords, Mugen says “I thought you two weren’t friends anymore!” I think it can become plainly obvious that by now, Mugen is getting really jealous of their “relationship” which is actually the true platonic one.
Ep 12: Mugen is much more curious than Jin about what she is hiding about her sunflower samurai, to the point where he sneaks through her stuff for her diary…even though he can’t read. When she begins saying “The first guy who came in was the type I never wanted to be friends with! And after talking with him I was absolutely right!” he got extremely pissed off and even began swearing at her diary. Usually he wouldn’t care but he’s slowly getting attached to her. When she said that Jin was attractive when she first saw him, Mugen again got jealous.
But remember what she said at the end of the diary. Everything in it was a lie. So she didn’t find Jin attractive and actually would befriend Mugen (?) She also said that she wrote all that because she figured they (meaning Mugen because she trusts Jin more with stuff like this) would read it. Note: She didn’t know that Mugen couldn’t read yet.
Ep 13: HUGE PROOF! This is where we really get a glimpse at Mugen’s past. He doesn’t trust anyone, he was truly an ex-pirate and criminal…and I think Fuu is the first person he really held faith in. At first, he looks annoyed while Fuu plays in the water…like he’s realizing what a child she truly is…And he’s sinful compared to her innocence.
When he sees Koza and Mukuro, it reignites those feelings of how evil he is. For the first time Mugen declines an offer to make money and says about Fuu and Jin “They’re not my friends or anything.” to which Fuu turns her head at him…upset… He then says “I promised I’d protect ‘em until we get to Nagasaki, that’s all.” Mugen is actually referring to Fuu since Jin doesn’t need protection, and he’s also admitting to keeping his promise, the first promise he ever kept to the end. Fuu widens her eyes to this (WATCH THE SCENE OMG CRY) and then Koza does too (out of jealousy since she once harbored feelings for Mugen).
Mukuro says to Fuu “Hey, do you have any idea what kind of things he’s done? You know how many people he’s killed? This is hysterical! A guy like you protecting people?!” When Mukuro said that, Mugen seems defensive and angered, covering his eyes with his hair…then pointing a sword at his neck to shut him up, then he walked away. To me, it seemed Mugen didn’t want to revisit those memories of the sins he commited and especially doesn’t want Fuu to know. Notice how Fuu is also hiding behind Jin in this part…not Mugen. It’s like Jin is the good guy, not him.
Mugen then scoffs, sheathes his sword…and turns to look at Fuu and Jin standing beside each other. He then turns away…“ Mugen, wait!” Fuu calls, following him…and so does Koza “Wait!”. You’ll see later that Koza is jealous of Fuu…
In english she says “Fuu is lucky.” THIS IS WRONG. She says “Fuu -chan wa shiawase.” Shiawase means happy. So Koza said “That girl Fuu…is happy.”
“Yeah. She’s happy because she gets to be with you….” WOAH THERE KOZA! Then Koza lays her head on his abdomen, saying she wants to be happy with him too: as in be romantic with him in the way she perceives how he is with Fuu. He says that he’s not that type of guy (really I think it means that he is attached to Fuu and won’t leave her to go travel with Koza).
Not many people realize this, but that was FUU screaming Mugen’s name when the ship exploded. You can really tell it’s her in english, though it’s harder to tell in Japanese. Most people think it was Koza because they show her face at that exact second. But notice how they then show Jin’s face, THEN FUU’S FACE. Her mouth is wide in a scream, unlike Koza. Here’s japanese.Here’s the english where if you watched the whole anime in English, you can easily tell that’s Fuu screaming his name.Plus, Fuu had a tendency to scream his name throughout the series whenever he got injured. She then cries for Mugen for the first time. Jin comforts her. (Jin will frequently comfort Fuu when she cries over Mugen. Three times actually.)
Ep 14: When Mugen is drowning after being again tricked by Mukuro…he sees images of his past. Right before he fades from consciousness, he sees an image of Koza, the first person he really befriended (who betrayed him). Then he sees Jin.
The next morning when Fuu spent all night searching for him on the beach, she finds him and begins to cry for a second time and nurses him back to health. (she removed all his clothes btw; they are hanging outside, and Mugen doesn’t wear underwear as is seen in ep 15).
He then grabs her wrist as she turns to leave.THIS IS HUGE. I believe he wanted to thank her…but being the way he is…he can’t and instead says he’s hungry. He wants to touch her…but she is untouchable… Mugen says he’s hungry so she’ll leave and not come back for a while. It can be seen when it zooms in on his face, and he sighs. He didn’t want her to worry about him and stop him from killing Mukuro (who Jin already killed). Fuu returns and yells that Mugen is gone again.
This episode shows their bonding, how Mugen realizes the only woman who cares about him in his life is Fuu. She also brought him back from death when the pantu came to take his soul. His thoughts of her are what made him live; he has unfinished business in life.
Ep 15: Mugen and Fuu are for the first time shown getting along, laughing together and talking about food. Notice how this is after their huge episode last time.
He then goes to a brothel to relieve some sexual tension (I mean, he refuses to have sex with Fuu because that would unravel his feelings, and disregard how he said she has no sex appeal, plus he just CANT. It’s like he’s tainting her. And it’d ruin the aspects of the show lol.) He never ends up having sex in this ep btw (or any other episode for that matter. Jin meanwhile, had sex with Shino and possibly the two ugly brothel girls in this ep)
Ep 16: They get into a huuuuge argument. Fuu says that he just wants to travel with a cute girl, Mugen said he never even thought about her like that at all. Obviously, they’re both hiding their feelings and poor Jin is stuck in the middle. He says something too… He said the samurai who smells of sunflowers was probably a guy who raped her and dumped her… Mugen in the English subtitles of ep 2 said “I’m gona rape you, you dumb broad.” when Fuu was passed out drunk. I don’t believe this translation is accurate but that sounds like a heavy case of projection to me…
“I’m trading you up for a tougher model!”
“You ain’t gonna fire me, I quit!”
Jin only leaves when both Mugen and Fuu go their separate ways.
Back to Mugen holding his right hand up when he lays on the grass, saying “That little bitch.” he’s obviously still thinking about Fuu. See Subliminal Mugen/Fuu clip on youtube again. It’s 37 seconds long. She grabbed the same right hand, just saying.
Ep 17: At the end of the episode (after arguing with Fuu last time), they intend to all split up. BUT MUGEN speaks up. He looks rather…upset too. Like, he feels guilty over it. He was always the one who asked about her relationship with the sunflower samurai. He was always the one who was curious, more than Jin. he even asks “Is it revenge?” Makes ya wonder, was Mugen gonna beat up the sunflower samurai if it hadn’t been her father and someone who hurt her instead? Jin says nothing, only says they should head out then, only saying what Mugen was going to say if he wasn’t so damn stubborn!
They then show Jin. Then Mugen. Then Fuu… Which was weird, cause the order is usually, Mugen, Jin, Fuu. And the love song plays. lol.
Ep 18: Mugen gets very defensive when Fuu makes fun of him for not reading… But she actually wanted to teach him, even shooed Jin away so they could have quality time together. Sadly, he got kidnapped by the hippy teacher lol.
Fuu is then a prize in a graffiti contest between two twin brothers.
Later, it turns out the winner gets Momo (not Fuu) …But Mugen, Jin and Fuu didn’t know that at the time lmao.
Ep 19: Mugen is the one who wakes her up when she got knocked out. When Fuu gets kidnapped this ep, Mugen actually starts yelling saying she’s an idiot for going missing when Momo brings her note (to MUGEN).
He is then the one to really go wild and attack the false Frances Xavier if you watch the scene. Jin was more like support. Mugen saves the day.
Ep 20: HUGE also. Okay…well to begin, this ep more reveals Fuu’s feelings for Mugen. But since we’re focusing on Mugen’s feelings, we’ll skip around.
Mugen and Fuu saw each other naked. Jin is meanwhile, cleaning his sword (that was not a dirty pun btw). And thought it was especially strange how she apologized to him after, (she was actually apologizing about talking bad about him to Sara, when really he wasn’t ugly at all etc etc.)
When Sara asked Fuu “Who would you rather not want to separate from?” Fuu gets flustered saying “We don’t have that type of relationship!” hiding her face underneath blankets. She’s actually referring to Mugen, because she eventually chooses Mugen to stay over Jin.
She even cries when thinking about parting from them, Jin finds her at this part… I believe she may have been crying over Mugen so that’s technically the third time if you decide to count it.
But honestly, her crying over Jin at the end of this ep (the only time she ever cried over Jin btw) was more goofy that her extremely emotional times over Mugen. We’ll tally up all the times she cried over Mugen at the end.
Mugen actually got jealous AGAIN when she started bawling over Jin; saying “I would’ve left too!” And “Stop crying, idiot!” before stomping away. Maybe he believed that Fuu actually wouldn’t have chosen Mugen over Jin after all, and she was only testing Jin to see if he’d leave too…because she thought he’d leave. I think this pissed Mugen off, like he doesn’t matter, and he actually wasn’t planning on leaving Fuu anyway. He only seemed upset to have Jin go with sara instead of him to seem like he didn’t care. Because let’s rewind a bit! Didn’t Mugen only stay with Fuu so he could duel Jin by the end?! And with Jin gone, why the hell would he stay with Fuu alone?! Plus, when Mugen wants something, he gets it. So if he wanted to go with Sara, he would’ve left Fuu. SEE?!
I think Mugen was even a little pissed with Jin that he so easily left Fuu like that, saying “That bastard didn’t put up much of a fight.” with a disapproving look on his face before Fuu started crying. He doesn’t possess traits to comfort her when she cries like Jin can.
Jin meanwhile…gets attacked by Sara.
Ep 21: FUCKING HUGE. This is the ep where Fuu confessed her feelings to Mugen through actions. Mugen’s ep to confess to Fuu was 25.
When Sara badly wounded Mugen she says “Even though I can’t see you, I can still sense it.”
“It’s as if you’ve never been loved by anyone.” When she says that, Mugen’s eye narrows in anger. “It’s as if you are like me.”
“Are you telling me that you know how I’m gonna come at you?! THAT"S A LOAD OF CRAP!"
"STOP IT, JUST STOP IT!” He collapses in pain as soon as he hears Fuu’s screams. That’s also like foreshadowing…In ep 2 when she screamed for Mugen to stop fighting, he didn’t. Instead, the ogre guy did. Now, as soon as she screamed to stop…he stopped and fell and Sara didn’t. (or maybe it was just the pain. Or maybe both. Up to you to decide.)
“Don’t come closer!” he yells to Fuu, because he is terrified she’ll get hurt by Sara. “STAY BACK!” He maybe doesn’t want her to be attached because no one should be attached to him. If she does, she’ll get hurt.
(If any of you watched the Japanese samurai movie Azumi, this is the exact lines Hyuga screams to Yae when he is bleeding on the ground dying. Hyuga had feelings for Yae. Here’s the link to that scene… Though…unless you plan to watch the whole movie, don’t finish the scene or just start from the beginning)
But then, FUU jumped across his wounded body, saving his life. She couldn’t bear to see him die. Mugen’s face is one of shock and it is there that he realizes a little that Fuu…cared about him more than anyone in his life. When Sara said that “it’s as if he’s never been loved by anyone,” she was proved wrong by Fuu because Fuu is the one who loved him, risking her very life to save him. That’s why Sara didn’t kill him there. Sara also realized that when Fuu talked bad about Mugen in the hot spring “Don’t waste time with a guy like that!”, it was all a lie… Fuu just didn’t want Mugen and Sara to get together.
Sara couldn’t sense emotion at all.
Fuu again takes care of Mugen, bandaging him and such. She even has a line to him “With you gone… I don’t know what I’ll do.” He avoids that topic. But they’re feelings for each other are as blatant as ever. When he goes off to fight Sara for a second time, she even wakes up in the middle of sleep saying “Mugen?” sensing that he’s gone again.
Jin could’ve very well be dead throughout this episode and Fuu didn’t even shed a tear…Poor Jin lol. At least Shino cried for him right? I ship them ^^
Ep 22: Umm…Mugen fought off zombies. Jin didn’t XD Mugen saves the day(?)
Ep 23: Okay, this episode is frickin’ goofy as all hell. the baseball one lmao. However there is proof. While Jin dies on the field (lmao) along with everyone else, and everyone left is still getting killed, Mugen, the ninja and Fuu are the last three standing.
When Fuu is next up to bat…Mugen…MUGEN STOPS HER! HE SAYS OMG CRY CRY CRY HE SAYS:
Fuu nods and scoots away. Who knew such a goofy ep showed how he cared about her, wanted to protect her from getting killed by flying baseballs XD Once again, Mugen was the hero of this ep. Just saying.
Ep 24: Really big proof again. Fuu chooses Mugen to talk first about his past at the campfire…which he doesn’t really.
Fuu and Jin instead share heart to hearts. When Fuu is talking…there is a SPECIFIC part where Mugen is staring at her. But then he looks at the campfire as if with regret. After he said horrible things to her in the past about who the sunflower samurai was; he said he was gay, said he waas probably a guy who raped her and dumped etc, it turns out it was her father. Maybe Mugen was regretful for that.
When Mugen lay “asleep” (this is how it connects to ep 11 with Jin and Fuu talking about Shino and Mugen jealously listening in secret) Fuu and Jin talk alone again.
“Fuu.” This is the first time Jin used Fuu’s name. Ahem…there was no honorific either, showing closeness more than rudeness: which are both circumstances to use no honorifics.
“Once you find the samurai who smells of sunflowers. What do you intend to do after that?”
Fuu’s facial expression changes from a smile to a sad look… She looks down, then up. “That’s a really good question. I ought to give that some thought.
Jin says "If I should-”
But she interrupts him. “You know, I don’t really want to think about stuff like that. If you did, that jerk Mugen would-” but she interrupts herself, crying and saying “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” she hugs Jin, who puts a reassuring palm on her shoulder.
Mugen is meanwhile shown briefly; not asleep at all, watching this with a sad/angered look on his face. Jealousy. Connects to ep 11.
This conversation between Jin and Fuu has made TONS of speculation. I personally think Jin was going to say “If I should survive. If I should kill Mugen, would you like me to still keep traveling with you?” after all, Jin and Mugen were planning to duel and Jin wouldn’t just let himself die. Plus, he felt bad for Fuu; seeing as how she’d be alone. I don’t at all believe Jin harbored romantic feelings for her, more like a brother of father figure. Her father was after all a ronin too.
I think the reason she cried was because if Jin beat him, Mugen would die. She didn’t want Mugen to die, and she always had stronger feelings for Mugen over Jin. They’re not equal to her (also shown in ep 26). This is why she apologized to him, crying. She feels so terrible for choosing Mugen over Jin.
Don’t misunderstand; they’re equal in swords but I personally believe they play separate, but equal roles in her life. Jin is the brother/father figure who can comfort her. Mugen is the boyfriend/crush who cares romantically even if they argue. Those are supposed to be the most important males in your life, after all.
Mugen was just as confused about this scene as us viewers lol; showing jealousy when he’s awake and anger that she “likes” Jin. Little did he know.
When Fuu hands the coin purse over, she hands it to MUGEN. MUGEN THE IRRESPONSIBLE MONEY WASTER. When he gets it, he shoves it over to Jin…I think again, showing distaste, believing she liked Jin more. So why should he take her purse?
At the end, the man who wants to kill Mugen, Umanousuke follows Fuu. He says:
“NO! You go!” Mugen wants to, he really does (and HE DOES) but he says “you go” because he still harbors this inferiority thing where he believed he was always second to Jin. Fuu loves Jin in his eyes.
But then, Jin has a flashback of that scene where Fuu cried into his chest about Mugen. This is where Jin accepts that Fuu always chose Mugen over him, Mugen always saved her throughout the series, and ultimately, it’s Mugen she wants to save her again. Fuu believed that Mugen would always leave her, and never bother to save her if there were no more strings attached.
“Take care of Fuu.” This is the English subtitle and also the english dub. HOWEVER, I’m not a complete expert in Japanese but Jin said “Fuu wo tanomu.” I’m pretty DAMN sure that means “Fuu is depending on you.” Not “take care of Fuu”.
That is just. Damn. Fuu always depended on Mugen to save her.
There’s a silence. Mugen grits his teeth. That’s all Jin needs to say and Mugen is off running to save the girl, as always.
MUGEN NEVER TAKES ORDERS! When someone tells him what to do, he does the opposite. The only person he listened to was Fuu (reluctantly). And now he’s listening to Jin when it concerns Fuu? Holy fuck! Plus, Mugen must always defeat and opponent stronger than him. He MUST kill Kariya Kagetoki. But he abandons that, let’s Jin take samurai out (even if that means Jin took down someone he couldn’t!) all because he’s going to save Fuu.
Jin smiles as he leaves. (He totally ships them just as much as I do.)
“Give me back the girl.” can be a rough translation to what he said.
JUST WATCH THE DAMN SCENE WITH THE LINK ABOVE SNIFF SNIFF.
This is where he says he loves her. He gave up his sword. Unlike Jin, his sword doesn’t represent honor or title. He isn’t samurai, all he is, is a wandering drifter. No home, no money, no nothing. His sword is his life, the only thing that kept him alive. He gave it up for Fuu alone. This is similar to how Jin gave up his samurai swords to the brothel for Shino. JIN NEVER GAVE UP HIS SWORDS. HE LOVED THEM AND CUDDLED THEM AT NIGHT. Notice how he never gave his up for Fuu, only for Shino.
“Go. You still haven’t found your sunflower dude.”
“But Mugen… I can’t leave you.”
“Don’t give me that crap. I’m gonna be pissed off if we came all this way for nothin’. Get lost.” He cares that she’ll find her father. He wants her to survive. And he might die. But he doesn’t want her to see that.
“I can’t. What if they…”
“I ain’t gonna die. Have some faith in me, will ya?”
“Oh Mugen…” He always came back to her every time he left. Always saved her. Always.
“I SAID GO!”
With that she finally departs. When she runs, she’s again crying for him because she believes he’ll die. That marks the fourth/fifth time she cried for him in the series.1 was when she saw the ship explode in 14. 2 When she found him washed up on the beach in 14. 3 Possibly when Jin found her crying when Sara wanted to bring one of them along. 4 When she saved him from Sara.
“You almost make me cry! Are you really gonna throw your life away for some girl?!” Umanousuke laughs. It shows Mugen’s stone cold face as a reaction to that statement. For the first time, he has no cocky retort. He gets tortured for her etc etc. etc. She continues to cry up the path on the cliff.
When the bomb goes off in back of her she screams “MUGEN!” much more emotionally.
Back to the Samurai Champloo actor interviews, Ayako Kawasumi dictated this very scene because she chose Mugen over Jin in ep 1: according to Shinichiro Watanabe. She held back on the scream at first but the director told her to scream louder and to not hold back, forget about Jin (I swear, it’s all in that interview). This really bothered Ginpei Sato lol (Jin).
“Oh, it’s you? I thought you were death for a second.” She has her hand on his chest.
“It seems like all I ever do is cry… And here I was trying to make it on my own…” This is the last time she cries for him. Sixth/Seventh. It also sounds like she’s saying she need him to protect her…and Mugen needs her to come back from death.
“Dumb broad.” His nickname he always said to her. But for the first time, he says it calmly, no spite or anything. *sniff* I’m tearing up.
Mugen never used Fuu’s name. She always said his name even more than she said Jin. The irony.
“Did you meet the sunflower samurai?” he asks, she nods, still crying.
Jin never has any moment like this with Fuu, just like he never had a slow motion moment when he first met her. Jin is meanwhile, over there…chilling.
Then, Mugen gets up and Jin and him will have their final duel. She closes her eyes. If you look at the silhouette on the water; Fuu’s shadow is behind Mugen’s. Almost like…she wanted him to win even though it’s messed up and cruel…because it’s so hard to pick between her two friends. It just seemed so symbolic to me… (foreshadowing back to ep 24 where she apologizes to Jin about Mugen).
They heal, they part ways. If you look at the ending credits, they mostly show Mugen though lol. I counted the times they showed all the characters. Mugen is also shown last before they show a bird (Fuu’s name means wind but that could be me being annoying lol) and then…Sunflowers. The End.
I hope all those links work and didn’t glitch and go to the wrong time, sorry o.o
Okay. Now then. Based on all of these scenes, It’s pretty obvious that it was not one sided on Fuu’s part. Mugen genuinely cared for Fuu (imo, on a much deeper level than Jin.)
Does he have romantic feelings for her?Yes.
Is he physically attracted? Yes, but that’s where it got complicated. He is completely suppressing the physical nature of their relationship; barely touching her, pulling away when she gets close, and denying any form of attraction towards her. Deep down though, it’s everything culminated. Mugen being nineteen/twenty is NOT weird for liking a fifteen turning sixteen year old girl. This is Edo era Japan people, women were considered as young as thirteen and the brain doesn’t fully mature until the age of 24 for every woman anyway. Also, Fuu’s mental age is much higher considering her responsibility, being an orphan and the trauma she experienced and endured through. Hebephilia is not a mental illness (the physical attraction towards pubescent girls). In fact, tons of men are hebephiles and don’t even know. I used to get hit on by tons of guys at the age of thirteen because I looked twenty and they yelled at me when I told them my age and to back off like wtf, how is that my fault? Pedophilia is a mental illness (attracted to prepubescent children) Physically women develop faster. Not to mention in Japan, the age of fifteen is glorified as beautiful btw, notice how famous Japanese bikini models start their modeling at fifteen. (it’s weird for us Americans, but not to them). Well that’s off topic…but that’s why she’s shown in hot springs…and stuff…
And Mugen is young still! 19/20. Think about that. 4/5 year age difference… That’s not a lot. As time goes on between them, that age gap is gonna diminish too. I do believe Mugen held back on pursuing her, again because of he viewed her as too innocent for him and he would taint her… He also repeatedly denied these feelings because her very existence in his life directly attacked his identity (emotional dissonance)
Mugen saved her plenty of times.
Jin saved her once in ep 26. And honestly, she didn’t scream when he got stabbed.
Fuu saved Mugen from death.
Fuu cried over Mugen six/seven times.
Fuu cried over Jin one/two times. And the one time it was goofy anyway XD And the other time could have been about Mugen when Sara wanted to bring one of them along.
I believe Mugen as an individual suffers from emotional dissonance, since he is a person with an identity that is cruel, unloving etc. But Fuu takes that and throws it out of a window, makes him care when he’s not supposed to, and ultimately changes him as a person who could give two shits into a better human being. He’s kind of suffering from a weird case of identity crisis when it comes to his feelings for Fuu which turned into something very emotional and delicate when mentioned. She is the one stagnant in his life, the only women he met that is sweet, innocent, and cares for him deeply but isn’t afraid to argue with him to the death.
Mugen once said he liked “hot blooded women”. Fuu hits him, screams at him etc etc.
Fuu became infuriated and jealous with him flirting with women throughout the show, and it finally boiled over with Sara. Mugen meanwhile, was extremely possessive and jealous when it came to the artist and finally: Jin. Notice how Jin didn’t get jealous over Fuu or Mugen’s interactions with anyone…
Another thing, Mugen was the one who flipped the coin and it ended up as heads. He saved himself from following her…and yet, she tricked Mugen much more than Jin who just came along for the ride. Even so, he wasn’t angered by this as he truly cared for Fuu in the end and Jin as well.
But for Fuu…it was so strange and foreign; a feeling that he never acted upon besides risking his life for her. It wasn’t sexual (yet) as much as it was intimate between them. When two people suppress their feelings, it turns into an extremely subtle romance. And that was what made the anime so perfect. If you aren’t into romance, you can watch it for the action, the story. But if you’re like me, you look at the character’s interactions too.
I ship it. I believe Mugen and Fuu’s feelings were undoubtedly mutual, and I hope that added some insight.
By the way…Mugen and Fuu still have some…unfinished business. Whatever happened to the 100 dumplings?
- The Sash and Obi for Fuu are all self patterned. - Everything for Jin is self patterned; the Himo belts are fully sewn like traditional Japanese Himo, and the Hakama is the first I’ve ever made. -Both Kimonos are fully lined
do you have any headcanons about fuu and kakuzu, like if they knew each other?
I personally don’t see them knowing each other! Kakuzu left Takigakure long before Fuu was born, so they wouldn’t have met there. Plus I can’t see them interacting any other time other than when Kakuzu and Hidan went after her. Despite it being in a filler episode which really isn’t ‘truly canon’ or at least not considered as such, I like to think that the way Fuu acted all excited to meet Kakuzu and how she seemed to revere him in a way actually sort of hit Kakuzu in a sense? He was clearly surprised by her reaction - joy over fear or anger. I like to think that how she openly said she disagreed with what the elders did to him and how she considered him a fellow villager, even after he’d openly denounced his village, gave him a sense of comfort in a way. Made him think that doing what he did was right, like maybe he did have just the smallest amount of regret. But that’s about it, really!