Sunday, February 22, 2015

Afro Samurai: Resurrection Anime Movie Review

Afro Samurai: Resurrection
Afuro Samurai
Funimation
Movie - 90 mins. - 1 disc
$39.98 (2010) Complete Murder Sessions w/First Season Blu-Ray
$34.98 (2009) Complete Murder Sessions w/First Season
$34.98 (2009) Director's Cut
$39.98 (2009) Director's Cut Blu-Ray
$29.98 (2009)
ISBN 704400079924
Japanese/English Audio - English Subtitles
Director - Fuminori Kizaki/Jamie Simone
Studio - Gonzo

Synopsis: Afro has found his revenge and claimed the Number 1 headband from the man who killed his father.  His fight is over, but he languishes with no purpose and no friends.  It seems he is just marking time while his life slowly continues.  He has made too many enemies along the way to have any chance at a peaceful life and a new enemy soon appears.
Afro languishes after finally getting revenge for his father's murder
It's his old friend, Jinno, and his sister, Sio, who easily defeat Afro, take the Number 1 headband, and steal the remains of Afro's father, Rokutaro.  Sio is working her own revenge angle on Afro because he destroyed her brother's life.  She plans to resurrect Rokutaro and torture him.
Sio and her brother Jinno return to seek their revenge on Afro
Once again Afro is set into motion as he must track down the Number 2 headband to challenge Jinno and Sio.  She uses an evil scientist to maintain Jinno's upkeep and sets him to resurrecting Rokutaro with the goal of setting him against Afro.  He faces his greatest challenge yet as he wades through another eclectic set of warriors on his path to confront Sio, but will he be able to face his resurrected father?
Sio's creepy henchmen (and woman)
Pros: Stunning visuals (on par with the first series), great soundtrack, Samuel L. Jackson is the voice of Afro (and the annoying Ninja Ninja) along with Lucy Liu as Sio, tons of hardcore action, nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program, art director Shigemi Ikeda won an Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation
Afro challenges the man who has the Number 2 headband
Cons: Plot is weak and predictable, less character and feeling than the first series, suffers from typical sequel curse of not being as good as the first, Ninja Ninja is still in the story
Not too happy to see this guy again - he's super annoying and apparently
a figment of Afro's mind (maybe his inner monologue or something)
Mike Tells It Straight: I watched the first series of Afro Samurai and reviewed it here.  It was a slick Japanese anime blaxploitation film with great visuals and action, but lacking a solid story.  The sequel is more of the same and didn't go anywhere new.  It still looks cool with neat character designs (a fusion of futuristic technology, modern hip-hop, and feudal Japan) and great animation.  The story is still very simple and predictable.
Gonzo gives us some truly stunning visuals
While I was glad to see Jinno return since I thought he was the best supporting character of the first series (it's the giant bear mask).  I was disappointed in his role in this sequel.  Sio runs the show and she's a truly bland villain.  I didn't think the plot could get any weaker, but I was wrong.  This movie is all about action and looking cool.  It worked for the first series after all.
Afro and Jinno in younger, happier days
This movie was nominated for an Emmy and the art director won one.  Not bad for this popular sequel although a surprise to me due to the lack of solid story.  I'd say watch this show if you liked the first one and/or want to find out what happens afterwards.  It's got all the same action and a little less story to get in the way.
Can Afro confront his resurrected father who is little more than a killing machine?

TO BUY and Recommendations: