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Not for the faint of heart, this latest entry in the Afro Samurai series continues a tremendous effort in line drawing style animation, and may by some be seen as frequently a bit too abrupt in frame-to-frame action, but it manages to be so well aligned within the graphic novel genre (so that if you blink during sequences what you retain may be a panel by panel view of what the story needs, and what a comic reader wants). I give it the 10 of 10 full rating as a classic piece that works very well without the usual massive CGI effects most folks seem to expect these days in anything considered 'animated'. Yes, it is more than a bit bloody in nature, but contains a message 'of honor' and more fundamental - the message to carry on if you believe in something. Very well done, thank you Samuel Jackson for the terse comments from a no nonsense character. I highly recommend this film, but it is not for young kids...
Reading the reviews of others it seems that the Afro Samurai film is
one that people tend to either love or hate and personally I can see
both sides because I think that the film is somewhere in the middle as
it is effective for what it is but not without problems. The first
thing to note is that, as with the series proper, Afro Samurai delivers
what the target audience are looking for with hip-hop, violence, cool
animation and excessive fight sequences. It doesn't do it as well as
the series does though and I think this is why some viewers will have
been disappointed in it. I did like it but cannot ignore the problems
that come with it.
It seems unreasonable to complain about the plot with a product such as this but it is hard not to in this instance. The film mould means that the plot is more obvious than in the series (where the overall quest was stretched out) and it is a bit daft, with zombies, cyborgs and the like all coming into play. The relationships and motivations are a lot more complex (confused?) as well and the downside of this is that the film feels cluttered and too busy to get involved in. It still works in regards creating action sequences though and this is where the film delivers. OK so the final fights are slightly spoilt by the robotic aspects but up till then there are plenty of attractive and stylish moments including one in a busy carnival that I found really well done.
It is not quite as cool as the series though because the use of music is not as good. The hip-hop comes and goes but is rarely used well. Also missing is, and I hate to use this phrase, the sense of "urban cool". The series felt "black", it felt tough it felt cool. Here that is not so much the case. Partly this is down to the plot line that tries to do something with the main character that the delivery cannot produce but the main thing is the way that Ninja Ninja is annoying. I know the point of him is that he talks so much but it is meant to annoy those within the film, not those of us watching. It didn't annoy in the series but his dialogue grates here. Credit to Jackson for doing it though because his cool presence is a good fit, but he pushes Ninja Ninja too far one way while taking Afro too far in the other by being too gruff. Liu, Hamill, Lowenthal and a few others all do good work but don't have the material to make a difference.
The Afro Samurai movie will mostly please those that have come for the style, since this is what it is all about. The plot negatively affects the film, almost getting in the way of the style and the flow rather than allowing it to happen. It still does enough to satisfy fans of the genre but it is not as enjoyable or as effective as the series was.
Brooding, laconic badass Afro Samurai and his wisecracking alter ego Ninja Ninja (both voiced by Samuel Jackson) once again return to walk the path of demons as a sultry villainess (voiced by Lucy Liu) steals Afro's Number One headband and plots her revenge that involves resurrecting Afro's dead father. The refreshing and intriguing combination of blaxploitation, samurai culture, anime and hip hop (soundtrack by usual suspect RZA) that made the first one such an infectiously cool hack-and-slash yarn is pretty much of the same standards but this time it's let down by a silly story and disappointing ending that was clearly not very well thought out. How easy Afro loses his headband at the beginning of the film left me scratching my head in disbelief but Teddy Bear's change of heart at the end was downright lame. Whereas the first worked so well exactly because of the very simple revenge story - Afro, wearing the Number Two headband, looking for the man who killed his father, all the while having to defend his headband from an assortment of colourful villains, not very different to a video game logic and very enjoyable for that matter - Afro Samurai: Resurrection throws everything and the kitchen sink in the plot and hopes it all makes sense somehow. I also had the impression the gore and blood geysers were less this go around. Fans of the first will probably have a good time as the funky and bloody style are good enough for 90 minutes of brainless fun but take it any more serious and you might be in for a let down.
The original 5 episode miniseries covered just about everything in the series' lore. Sure there were a few loose ends, however, they were uninteresting enough that the series could have ended on that note and I would have been relatively satisfied. So this sequel, or follow up, felt wholly unnecessary. Many of the problems that plagued the miniseries (Bland story with a highly linear plot, Afro developed in no way, boring at times, mindless at others,little character development) are still present here. Strangely, the most fleshing out of the characters came in the form of our "Villains". Afro, has few (if any) redeeming qualities and the writers made no effort to showcase his growth. Which means, you guessed it, Afro is very shallow. A few of the lines from Shichogoro and the actions of Jinno and Sio in the finale, made me think even less of him. Visually, the film is great. However, since I've seen the miniseries, that is to be expected at this point, So the awe and wonder had worn off and I was seeking more exploration in terms of Afro and his companion Ninja Ninja (Who is actually a far more interesting character, even though he is Afro essentially). As both a huge Anime and Hip-Hop fan, I love RZA and the entire Wu-Tang collective, but the soundtrack was meh. A few songs here and there, but overall, I wasn't that impressed. The ending as mentioned by others, IS NOT SATISFYING. It simply reinforces what I stated earlier about the protagonist being shallow and linear. The entire series, hinges on a cycle of revenge. One that could easily be broken (which at this point, will not be if it's up to Afro).This series is pretty obviously influenced by Samurai Champloo. Which is not an issue, but what is, is how it shamelessly takes that formula, and kicks it into mindless overdrive. If you like this mash up style, check out Samurai Champloo. It is much better and the soundtrack is amazing.
First off this movie is WAY better than the first. If you've never watched Anime, this will get you hooked! The soundtrack is PERFECT! Simply on point with every up and down, RZA did a great job. Koike had nothing to do with this series. At all! Also, what do you (Onderhond) mean Afro's sidekick is a "pain in the ear"? Ninja Ninja is great! He's Afro's inner voice and being that Afro is the strong silent type and doesn't say much through out the series makes Ninja Ninja an awesome balancing act. The ending is not vague! What movie were you watching? It's the cycling of the headbands,players,and roles. Nothing vague there. This movie does appeal to a wide audience. Why do you think it got picked up for a second season when it was just scheduled for one. Millions of viewers is why. All I gotta say to who ever has not seen either s1 or s2, go out and pick up both and see for your selves!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I really enjoyed Afro Samurai the Original. The animation was great,
the story kept your attention rapt the entire time. I feel that this
sequel did not live up the the original at all. The only aspect that
did was the animation. The attempt to delve deeper into the character
of Afro leaves a lot to be desired. Overall it portrays him as much
weaker than in the original series; physically and mentally. It
introduces historical happenings that don't make any sense and
introduces characters that weren't mentioned at all in the first
series. For instance there is a scene where Gino and Afro meet up with
Gino's sister (never mentioned before). Both Gino and Afro are wearing
swords and Gino introduces Afro as being like his brother from the
sword master's dojo. Immediately after they receive their swords in the
original series Afro challenges the sword master. During the next scene
Gino is mortally wounded and everyone else from the dojo excluding
Otsuru is killed. Therefore, this scene with Gino's younger sister is
impossible. Overall this sequel was a disappointment. The plot was not
up to par, the ending was mediocre, the fight scenes weren't as well
done, and the discrepancies made it less enjoyable than it could have
Animation good. Everything else not very good.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Sorry for poor quality of this comment but English is not my native
language. In some places I intended to be senseless.
This movie is simple awful. I loved Afro Samurai but this isn't continuation this is abomination. I Just can't describe how bad this movie is without telling a plot, and I don't want to recall this ridiculous story. I only wrote this comment because I fell responsible to warn potential spectator. This is extremely short abstract I try not spoil vital parts: possible SPOILER's In the end of previous movie Afro got he's revenge. Now he trying to live in peace BUT... some idiot on motorbike break his home and drag his body to new number one. This new enemy takes Afro's father bones and leave to resurrect him. Afro must chase after number two head band because he think that resurrected father is a real one. Samurai journey is bloody and full of bodies. In the end he kill resurrected father. I can write this even shorter: Hero meet almost every character killed in previous movie + few new and kill them. Hmmm ...I think this movie is a mindless butchering with a lite story about how every bad deed made by Afro return to him.
"Afro Samurai: Resurrection" has finally landed on DVD!
As a fan of Japanese animation (Anime'), hip-hop, future-tense technology, martial arts movies, samurai movies and (sometimes) blaxploitation flicks, I was instantly enthralled by the 2007 pseudo-style Anime' "Afro Samurai" two years ago when I was able to catch parts of it during its short run on Spike TV. Like its predecessor, I missed the first of many sequels, "Afro Samurai: Resurrection," during its run on Spike TV.
"Afro Samurai" and its sequel remain strong personal favorites because they blend all of hip-hop, Anime', future-tense technology, martial arts movies, samurai movies, and blaxploitation flicks into one explosively entertaining and violent piece of Japanese Anime'-style slice-'em-up.
As you remember from the first series, Afro Samurai (voiced by Samuel L. Jackson) had embarked on a lonely, lifelong quest of vengeance to obtain the Number-One Headband, after witnessing his father die in a fight against newly-crowned Number-One Justice (voiced in that series by Ron Perlman). Well, Afro eventually cut down his adversary, after being trained years earlier by a legendary sword master and obtaining the Number-Two Headband.
In "Afro Samurai: Resurrection," Afro's reign as Number-One is cut short when he is ambushed by Sio (voiced by Lucy Liu), a shapely assassin who is on her own crusade of vengeance against Afro because he killed members of her family while on his mission to become Number-One. Together with the diabolically twisted Professor Dharman, her older brother, the teddy bear-headed cyborg swordsman Kuma (voiced by Yuri Lowenthal), their three cyber-enhanced siblings and a slew of disposable, bargain-basement ninjas, Sio plans to resurrect Afro's slain father, for an apocalyptic final battle between father and son. So Afro, together with his sidekick Ninja Ninja (also voiced by Jackson), must again walk the path of the warrior, the path of violence and bloodshed, and once again become Number-One.
Now here is a sequel that lives up to its predecessor, and doesn't disappoint in delivering full-on, animated samurai action. Unlike most sequels, it actually lives up to expectations in being a great follow-up to a recent classic. Most importantly, it's a sequel that's on equal grounds with its predecessor; a few marks in terms of storytelling and characterization keep this second entry from being superior. And it's still way too concerned with style over substance. However, these are only minor grievances in what is a mostly superior second outing.
But there is a lot to like in "Afro Samurai: Resurrection." Series creator Takashi Okazaki expands greatly on the futuristic, feudal Japanese world he unveiled for the first time two years ago. Director Fuminori Kizaki has greatly improved the animation from the first film, which here, more heavily combines elements of Japanese culture and hip-hop culture. Here, both the animation and picture are also very crisp and crystal-clear, giving the "Afro Samurai" universe a few eerie, beautiful shades of vibrant color that reminds one of looking at a Japanese painting.
I've always thought that because Afro Samurai is such a stoic, one-dimensional character, the baddies are usually far more interesting, and here they don't disappoint. "Afro Samurai" and "Afro Samurai: Resurrection" are most notable for having one of the most impressive rogues' galleries in any animated piece I've seen from Japan. There is absolutely nothing sexier than Lucy Liu's purple-eyed Sio, who is not only very deadly in her own right, but she also displays enough ample cleavage that it's a wonder her chest doesn't bust out of her kimono at any given moment. And then there's also her tragic brother Kuma, now more machine than man, doing his best Darth Vader impersonation as a tragic and sympathetic villain wielding two swords, instead of one, and riding around on the most awesomely bad-ass chopper I've ever seen in this series.
The last great thing about "Afro Samurai: Resurrection" is its soundtrack. Like the soundtrack to its predecessor, it was produced by hip-hop producer The RZA (also co-founder of the Wu-Tang Clan). It blares up during the most intense action, and features songs by legendary hip-hop greats such as Ghostface Killah and Inspectah Deck (both of the Wu-Tang Clan), Kool G. Rap, Rah Digga, Wu-Tang Clan affiliates such as Christ Bearer, Killah Priest and Prodigal Sunn, and finally The RZA himself. There's also more music from R & B crooners Stone Mecca, Thea van Seijen, and the legendary Sly Stone. And don't ask how or why, but an appearance on one track by System of a Down bassist Shavo Odadjian rounds out this killer soundtrack.
To sum it up, "Afro Samurai: Resurrection" is not better than its predecessor, but is on equal grounds with it. It successfully expands on the universe created in "Afro Samurai," one that's full of colorful characters, animation, great hip-hop songs, and vicious violence.
At the end of the day, Afro Samurai is still just a lil' dude wit' a head full of hair.
I thought Afro Samurai was a Fantastic Idea for a Anime/Animation Movie. as in the way Of Violence & Revenge as well as the Storyline based on such Early Times of the Samurai Generation. I would Love to see this Animated Movie As well as the Original as a Movie.. I believe the Settings, Storyline & Characters would be Fantastic to see on the Big Screen, by Bringing A Comic Animation Book To Animated Movie Life not to mention the Movie Screen is something these days not shown as much as Earlier Years.. Samuel.L.Jackson is Great as Afro's Helpful Helper along the way LOL.. The Revenge Story/Saga Could be based around or as close to the Kill Bill Story Movie Saga.
i thought that this title was more entertaining than the series because
it went all out and just dumped awesome moment after awesome moment on
the viewer in a constant barrage of flying limbs and blood. if you want
more of the same from the first one, this movie will satisfy.
As for the plot, like the first one it's somewhat lacking, but that can easily be forgiven due to the wicked-stylish animation, great voice-work, and action that impressed me more than anything sense Equilibrium. i give it a solid 8, if the plot was more cohesive it could easily receive a 9 or 10. I bought the special edition DVD for 20$, if you liked the first show it's definitely worth the money to buy the second. i really want to find the soundtrack to this because the RZA did a really good job with the music.
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