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The violent five-part adventureAfro Samuraimarks both the increasing confluence of American and Japanese pop culture and the shift in Japanese depictions of African-Americans. The popularity of hip-hop in Japan has led to more positive images of blacks, including Takashi Okazaki's original manga. The "Director's Cut" contains an additional 15 minutes of footage, and is even gorier than the broadcast version on Spike TV. As a boy, Afro Samurai saw his father beheaded by the maniacal Justice. The murderer sought an ancient headband that marks the wearer as the #1 warrior in the world. As an adult, Afro seeks only revenge, cutting down anyone who blocks his path to Justice.Afro Samuraidepicts a oddly anachronistic world that infuses cell phones, cigarette lighters, and cyber technology into traditional Japanese culture. The elongated character designs recall Peter Chung'sAeon Flux, and much of the series is rendered in moody grays, accented by gobbets of scarlet blood. Afro is such a taciturn figure, most of the dialogue goes to his motor-mouth comrade Ninja Ninja. This big budget production features an eclectic score by Wu-Tang Clan co-founder RZA and an A-list vocal cast that includes Samuel L. Jackson and Ron Perlman. But for all its elaborate production values and over-the-top fights,Afro Samuraisuffers from a weakness at its core: Afro is so monosyllabic and cold-blooded, he's not very interesting. His inevitable duel-to-the-death with Justice lacks the emotional punch of Spike's face-off against Vicious inCowboy Bebopor Kenshin's one-on-one with Shishio inRurouni Kenshin. This extremely violent series is not for the faint of stomach. (Rated TV MA, suitable for ages 17 and older: graphic violence, profanity, sexual activity, grotesque imagery, nudity, risqué humor, alcohol and tobacco use)--Charles Solomon

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Details

CastSamuel L. Jackson, Kelly Hu, Ron Perlman, John Di Maggio, Greg Eagles
Genre:  Animation
DVD Release Date:  January 4, 2007
Runtime:  125 minutes
Studio:  Funimation
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review by . October 07, 2007
I first like to say thank you to the individual who has giving me this by peaking through my wish list. While I was watching this I couldn't take my eyes off the Afro's of the two main characters because I never seen an Afro flow so swiftly on screen. Plus Afros don't swift like that. The story to this is pretty straightforward and relatively simple, though this does not detract from its value; instead making the series an easy and enjoyable viewing experience. The big selling point for many is …
review by . February 09, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
There's no doubt that Afro Samurai has a cool and simple concept and a very bloody style. In this future world of feudal Japan nothing seems to matter but two headbands that represent the two best fighters. To get to the number one fighter you must go through the number two and to get to the number two you must go trough everyone else. This way of life that nobody should have to live especially a child who has nothing but the headbands and revenge on his mind. As a child Afro saw his father who …
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Afro Samurai (Director's Cut) (2007)
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