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Samurai Champloo and Sigemund Freud

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    FinnMacCool555

    [1]Sep 18, 2005
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    I recently got to thinking how Samurai Champloo seems to reflect certain elements of Sigemun Freud's analysis of the psyche. Freud said that the three main components of the mind are the Id, which controls base desires like sex, food, and entertainment, the Superego, which controls morality, conscience, and responsibility, and the Ego, which negotiates between the two and tries to come to a practical decision. Or, as I once heard it described, the Id tells you what you want to do, the Superego tells you what you should do, and the Ego tells you what you can do. It seems to me that Mugen, Jin, and Fuu can be classified as Id, Superego, and Ego respectively. Mugen only seems to care about satisfying whatever whims enter his head at the moment, whether it be eating seafood or getting into a sword fight, and Jin once described him as "not knowing the meaning of restraint." Seems very much like a "pure Id" sort of personality. Jin, on the other hand, takes his duties as a samurai very seriously. He frequently goes out of his way to help other people and reigns in his desires to the point where we begin to wonder if he even has any. That's definitely like the Superego. Then we get Fuu. She's almost always the member of the trio who worries about practical matters, such as getting food, shelter, and money, and, of course, has to keep reminding the other two that they can't fulfill their promise to her if they kill each other. She is also a temperate medium between Mugen and Jin, as she appreciates having a good time, but can't really condone how out of control Mugen gets; likewise, while she clearly does like the idea of helping other people, she really only gets involved in troubles when she's dragged into them. This sense of practicality and balance between the Id of Mugen and the Superego of Jin makes Fuu the spitting image of the Ego.

    So what do you think? Am I on to something, or is this just what comes from spending too much time thinking about an anime?
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    Lord_Vintcen

    [2]Sep 18, 2005
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    You write too much
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    Deverien

    [3]Sep 19, 2005
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    Well, that's an interesting theory, I suppose. You might be overanalyzing a bit much, though.

    By that logic, you could say that any show or movie with an 'impulsive' character, a 'reserved' character, and a 'balanced' character applies to that same argument. Really, though, there are plenty of stories and shows about characters with those three personality types.
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    FinnMacCool555

    [4]Sep 19, 2005
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    Never said it was intentional on the creators' parts, just that it seemed to play out that way, kinda the same way the whole "Hero's Journey" structure has played out in many stories despite the fact that no one before Joseph Campbell and George Lucas realized it was an actual pattern in literature. I just think I see Id, Ego, and Superego influencing how the characters and interactions were set up.
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    Sunkisser

    [5]Sep 24, 2005
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    Wow, I never thought of it that way. I took Psychology and comparing the egos to Mugen, Jin, and Fuu, I thought, "Hmm...makes sense."
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    PALMAdeFUEGO

    [6]Oct 24, 2005
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    i think that's really interesting!
    (I really like psycology... my mother is actually a psycologist, so I read her books a lot and everything)
    it does make sense (although overanalizing a little, but I love to overanalize things )...
    It's also a "balance" that they're showing in the way they portray the characters (probably subconsiously channeling the studies of Freud, w/o meaning to - to create balance )

    well, I think your analasis is interesting
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    Kabukifan

    [7]Oct 30, 2005
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    My opinion is that This is exactly what the creator was thinking. They prabably thought that not too many people would notice, but if they were to come here to this site and look up their show, they would see that they were wrong in thinking that.
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    reachums

    [8]Nov 16, 2005
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    I totally agree, if you notice even the colors of their clothing seem to reflect their personalities. mugen mainly wears red which is fiery and bold, while jin wears mainly blue which is cool and calm.
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    Fronzel

    [9]Nov 25, 2005
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    FinnMacCool555 wrote:
    kinda the same way the whole "Hero's Journey" structure has played out in many stories despite the fact that no one before Joseph Campbell and George Lucas realized it was an actual pattern in literature.

    Hey, just Campbell. Lucas' never came up with a damn thing.
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    Psycho_lullaby

    [10]Dec 2, 2005
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    FinnMacCool555 wrote:
    I recently got to thinking how Samurai Champloo seems to reflect certain elements of Sigemun Freud's analysis of the psyche. Freud said that the three main components of the mind are the Id, which controls base desires like sex, food, and entertainment, the Superego, which controls morality, conscience, and responsibility, and the Ego, which negotiates between the two and tries to come to a practical decision. Or, as I once heard it described, the Id tells you what you want to do, the Superego tells you what you should do, and the Ego tells you what you can do. It seems to me that Mugen, Jin, and Fuu can be classified as Id, Superego, and Ego respectively. Mugen only seems to care about satisfying whatever whims enter his head at the moment, whether it be eating seafood or getting into a sword fight, and Jin once described him as "not knowing the meaning of restraint." Seems very much like a "pure Id" sort of personality. Jin, on the other hand, takes his duties as a samurai very seriously. He frequently goes out of his way to help other people and reigns in his desires to the point where we begin to wonder if he even has any. That's definitely like the Superego. Then we get Fuu. She's almost always the member of the trio who worries about practical matters, such as getting food, shelter, and money, and, of course, has to keep reminding the other two that they can't fulfill their promise to her if they kill each other. She is also a temperate medium between Mugen and Jin, as she appreciates having a good time, but can't really condone how out of control Mugen gets; likewise, while she clearly does like the idea of helping other people, she really only gets involved in troubles when she's dragged into them. This sense of practicality and balance between the Id of Mugen and the Superego of Jin makes Fuu the spitting image of the Ego.

    So what do you think? Am I on to something, or is this just what comes from spending too much time thinking about an anime?


    I definitely think you are on to something. For those who commented that this was "over analyzing" I'd have to disagree with you. When it comes to certain anime, I feel the creators intended you to think a little more and find that deeper meaning in certain details. I mean, this show is full of cultural and historical references galore, so why not have some psychological ones as well? Give the people coming up with this stuff some more credit. This is what sets these types of shows apart from most of the crap on TV these days. Of course, don't take it so seriously you don't enjoy it. I'm sure it's meant to be pure silly fun at times too.
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    tvssecondchild

    [11]Dec 9, 2005
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    Well, let's analyze the last three anime that Stephen jat Blum has VA'ed for. Cowboy Bebop, Sc-ry-ed and Samurai Champloo.

    Spike, Kazuma and Mugen are all more or less the same character (just different time periods).

    Spike being the hero, but more or less a wreckless hero. Kazuma being a hero but a very wreckless hero, etc etc.

    In each of these anime there's been a counter/good side/whatever to Stephen Jay Blum's characters:

    Jet Black from Bebop
    Ryuho from Sc-ry-ed
    Jin from Champloo

    Now I'm not saying that your relating Samuari Champloo to Frued's theory isn't correct, but I think it's more of less that Stephen Jay Blum (for whatever reason) just likes playing the tough and rugged hero type.
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    Psycho_lullaby

    [12]Dec 9, 2005
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    tvssecondchild wrote:
    Well, let's analyze the last three anime that Stephen jat Blum has VA'ed for. Cowboy Bebop, Sc-ry-ed and Samurai Champloo.

    Spike, Kazuma and Mugen are all more or less the same character (just different time periods).

    Spike being the hero, but more or less a wreckless hero. Kazuma being a hero but a very wreckless hero, etc etc.

    In each of these anime there's been a counter/good side/whatever to Stephen Jay Blum's characters:

    Jet Black from Bebop
    Ryuho from Sc-ry-ed
    Jin from Champloo

    Now I'm not saying that your relating Samuari Champloo to Frued's theory isn't correct, but I think it's more of less that Stephen Jay Blum (for whatever reason) just likes playing the tough and rugged hero type.


    Okay, but Stephen Jay Blum voices the characters. He didn't create them so how is mentioning him relevant?
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    Madarame

    [13]Jan 5, 2006
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    I would have to say that what you have observed was very insightful. You would do well in a psych or sociology class. I agree with you as well now that it was brought up. Nice analogy.
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    zapperchamp

    [14]Jan 11, 2006
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    Now I kind of agree with what you're saying. The only thing is I don't think they had Freud in mind when creating these characters. I think it's natural for characters with the same characteristics as the egos to be created because it forms a kind of chaotic balance. Many anime shows tend to have this trend (from what I've seen) because it can also create humorous tension between the group plus it shows two extremes plus a balanced reaction to events. This can actually allow people to relate to a specific character when it is like this. I don't think they pulled this from Freud but Freud pulled from other people and that this is an example of how Freud showed that he knew what he was talking about.

    I'm just pulling this stuff from what I've seen and heard so little bits might not be perfect. I just can't see someone going to Freud to look for character personalities.
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    FastLikeMe

    [15]Oct 6, 2007
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    FinMacCool is absolutely correct. He's saying the characters in this show mirror SF's character anaylysis. He's not saying the creator's did it on purpose, just that the characters represent the id, ego, and superego very accurately. He's correct.
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    SpreadPeace

    [16]Apr 4, 2008
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    Nice, definitely not overanalyzing! I was just reading through a psych book and I must say, there is more detail in tv shows than we might think. It wouldn't surprise me if they did base these characters off of Id, superego, and ego.
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    loki_lenor

    [17]Apr 6, 2008
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    SpreadPeace wrote:
    Nice, definitely not overanalyzing! I was just reading through a psych book and I must say, there is more detail in tv shows than we might think. It wouldn't surprise me if they did base these characters off of Id, superego, and ego.


    yeah i thought about how fuu is the medium between jin and mugen but i never really connected freud and champloo together.. but i agree with spread..all tv shows ( especially japanese) are more indepth than we think
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    MugenBudo

    [18]Apr 8, 2009
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    Wow thought I was the only one that saw it that way , doing a 10 page essay on psychologie right now and Iam using this exact subject. If you look closely theirs honnestly so much more. like the colours, personnality behavior between each other. I say Mugen is Id, Fuu is the Ego and Jin is the Super ego.

    Mugen being pure instinct and wants instant enjoyment, hes a criminal and all criminals lisend to their ID most of their lifes without having anyone with reality and responsibility(ego) to guide them. and most of all he trys to escape reality with agression(fighting).The id is responsible for our basic drives such as food, water, sex, and basic impulses. It is amoral and egocentric, ruled by the pleasure–pain principle; it is without a sense of time, completely illogical, primarily sexual, infantile in its emotional development, and will not take "no" for an answer. Red represents evil

    Fuu having a sense of authority between both Mugen and jin, Ego derives from the latin word "I myself" ( the story is based on HER wanting to find her dad) she also has judgment, tolerance, reality-testing, control, planning, defense, synthesis of information, intellectual functioning, and memory. Ego is developed during early adolesence like lets say 15, lol what a coincidence. "Its main concern is with the individual's safety and allows some of the id's desires to be expressed, but only when consequences of these actions are marginal." Its also sayd that Ego is connected to ID like a man ridding a horse: the colour white represents purety, mixed with red(mugen) that makes Pink.

    Theirs alot more things in common but those are pretty much the basic ones unless you want to go deeper into the analyse. I havent done Jin yet but hes pretty obvious being the Oganized one and following "The Way of the Samurai" (Justice, Courage, Benevolence, Politness, Veracity, Honor and Loyalty)

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