It is the era of Bakumatsu – the last years of the shogunate. In the general turmoil caused by warring groups with different political interests, a curious theatrical group known as the Yuyama Troupe is set out for revenge. They come across a mysterious young swordsman, Akizuki Youjirou, who seems to be burdened with a dark past. Thrown around by currents of history, powerful people from different factions and personal relations, Akizuki tries to fulfill his mission to destroy an ancient, cursed relic, the Lord’s Head, which has caused chaos and bloodshed for thousands of years.
Set in tumultuous historical times in which enemies and allies are hard to tell apart, BKI, like Ryo, is the story of the loyalty of a bodyguard. If you at all liked Ryo or its setting, BKI is a more detailed story that takes place under similar conditions.
Samurai Champloo is all about style, from the dj-style scratching scene changes to the hip-hop-inspired soundtrack to the eclectic character design. Mugen's fighting style is a funky meld of capoeira and limb-cutting, and Jin is the dramatic foil; he is all steel and old-school samurai style. What binds them together is the desire to test each other's abilities, and a promise to a girl named Fuu: to find the samurai that smells of sunflowers, who plays a pivotal role in her past. Together they travel through edo-era Japan, finding battle and comedy wherever they stop.
Both these titles are about Japan in a time of unrest. Both anime star unconventional Samurai that are persected for various reasons.
Champloo is more of a comedy, while Ryo takes itself a bit more seriously. However, both shows have a strong element of friendship and respect growing between the main characters that start out as opposites. Ryo is well worth it's short run time if you liked Champloo.