Making sequels is a fickle thing. It's vary similar to owning a house. Once you've bought said house , you have two ways of going about doing what you wish for the house: 1# you could put in nice furniture, a new paint job, clean up the attic, just make it better then it was or #2, you can do an entire overhaul on the damn thing, make the roof look like a chicken coop, put in new rooms that look tacky as hell on the outside, put a statue outside of a little boy peeing into a waterfall which will probably not go well with the neighborhood watch, basically go hog wild on the place. Sometimes #2 works, but most of the time it doesn't (hello Matrix sequels.)
Afro Samurai: Resurrections is easily the former and an improvement over the first installment. The characters are actually interesting, we get an analization of Afro and the Consequences of his actions, bringing up the subject of revenge. It might not do it fantastically and sometimes it wavers on it's premise and I can't be sure if Afro learns from his mistakes now but from the ending of part 2, I'm really revved up for part 3.
The story starts off with Afro sitting around his dads old house living what seems to be a simple monastic lifestyle. He has a big bushy beard, sits around whittling figures of the people who he used to know, when all of a sudden out pops ol' teddy bear head on a motorcycle with the sexy new villainess where he goes all ape-shit on Afro, steals the #1 headband and the jawbone of Afro's Father (I'm positive that's a biblical reference. it's just too strange not to be.) and leave Afro so that he can ultimately come back to them slashing his way through as many guys as he humanly cane.
The overall theme of this movie is Revenge and Constant cycle seeking such revenge continues. This is a natural growth from the original film so it being the full-blown subject of the second film is no surprise, except I didn't actually think they were going to do it. The first film gives off the Attitude that, though Afro is a vicious homicidal killer, we should like him because he's cool and acts cool and he's voiced by Samuel Jackson, one of the coolest actors alive. It comes off as a paragon of the ol' "style over substance" mentality which films, Television and other forms of media have continued to do ever since Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers first started making Banal movies where they just tap dances nicely. This sequel, certainly not the most intelligent film ever made, at least tries harder to go beyond the surface of the characters and find out what makes them tick.
I might be giving more credit to the movie then it rightfully deserves, maybe but I can't help but encourage more of this in sequels. Unlike the original which gives you the feeling of inconsequential things happening at roughly the same exact time which makes up the movie, this time each and every character, incident and battle Afro has culminates to an ending where Afro has to look straight into the eyes of his own past, his own ways of life, and to see the deep dark secrets and inner demons we ourselves refuse to see when the source of that which you;ve done immense evil for stares back and you and makes you question why you did it. it shifts the entire characters world and helps make Afro something he had never been in the first movie: Human. What he does to acquire the #2 headband is cruel, mean-spirited and unjust and the best part? The character of Afro seems to actually agree with that sentament.
What's even better is that those things that made the first movie good are back and sometimes even better then before. The art-style is even more fused with a cross between Urban Graffiti art and traditional Japanese Water colors seemingly blending into an art that, maybe not extremely substantial, is unbelievably stylish. The return of the Rza is a happy occasion since he sometimes makes the most interesting music you wouldn't necessary see in such a scene (Kill bill Vol.1, right before the Crazy 88 fight. would you hear that song playing in the background if it wasn't a Tarantino movie? I thought so.). The BGM is arguable if it is better in the first movie or this one but either one helps set the mode.
Even better is the fact that this time the action steps up a notch, Afro's adversaries aren't just mindless drones to tear to ribbons under his steel, this time a lot of them hold up against him in imaginative, creative and thrilling fights that need to be seen to be believed. Not only are the fighters this time more competent, but they hold philosophies and beliefs that make them want to fight, make them need to defeat Afro almost as much as Afro feels he needs to defeat them, probably even more.
Am I overpraising this film? Probably, but I can't help site a work which increases the overall feeling, tones, themes, and imagery that the original did. It keeps what made the original work and develops what it didn't have, and brings in things you only wished they had in the original. This film is definitely better then the original and, Given the perfect way they ended this film, I'm hoping the third tops this one in spades.
Whew boy is this long! well, either way that's all I'm saying. I know it's opinions and everyone has opinions, but I'm smart, smarter then you, so I'm right :-D
Afro Samurai. The insanely interesting as well as one of a kind sienen anime that is bound to be engraved into your mind with it’s beautiful changing color schemes, smooth animation, brutal action, unique characters, and crazy use of perspective. Takashi Okazakiha took his love of North American hip hop and soul music as well as his creative genius to create a one of a kind artistic ambience aimed for western audiences. This distinct aura presents itself from the unorthodox mix of urban African American influences, futuristic technology, and feudal Japan making one memorable piece of unconventional work. Afro Samurai is a guilty pleasure gore feast of flashy sword fighting and stylish villains that partake in the battle of getting the number one headband. This is where our main protagonist of African descent comes in. Unlike many anime, Afro Samurai succeeds in depicting black people in a realistic way. Lacking racist over the top features or poor attention to anatomy of people from African descent Afro Samurai makes way for a beautifully drawn black main character. This movie is a brutal continuation of the original five episode anime franchise Afro Samurai. After Afro succeeds in taking the number one headband he tries to live in peace honoring his father while dealing with the bloodshed he created from getting this very headband. Things seem to go smoothly until Afro’s thought to be dead entanglements of his dark past come back snatching the headband as they call for war a second time because of their thirst for revenge. The characters in Afro Samurai are distinctively flashy with each villain Afro stumbling upon having a unique character design with obvious influences of cyberpunk and traditional Japanese culture. The art style is a strikingly delightful unconventional blend of realism with cartoon-ish design, easily making seemingly corny cartoon villains look wickedly picturesque. To add onto all of this we have beautiful sceneries that contrast from lush green forests with waterfalls to dystopian-esque deserted and polluted japanese towns thriving upon dead dusty land. With the conspicuously bizarre varying color scheme from dingy blacks, gentle whites, soft beiges, and meek greys to bright reds, dark blues, vivid purples, and intense dark greens it makes an irregular colorful display of a color scheme. While Afro Samurai has beautiful visuals and smooth animation the plot is well, average. I enjoyed the whole revenge and ruthlessness and striving to bury a bloody past but it's pretty common and can lack substance. Don’t let this stop you from watching though. Afro Samurai manages to pull through because of its eccentric characters, great visuals, splendid rap/hip hop soundtrack, and amazing fight scenes. There were many moments in this anime that could have been heightened by giving Afro a little more emotion. His character seemed a little one dimensional with the “emotionless” act. I do realize he is a product of his surroundings being a hard boiled samurai from the deaths of his loved ones lingering on his blade but I still craved more. Even though Afro is emotionless we have Ninja Ninja. Ninja Ninja was a fun side character made for expressing Afro’s more bubbly hidden personality hidden within his consciousness. Ninja Ninja is a great vessel for lightening moods in this anime and giving hilarious commentary. With this I still wish there was some development in Afro’s character that we could see. Not saying his character wasn’t entertaining to watch but I wish we could see more dimension within him. One aspect I do like is the significance the head bands have when it comes to craving power. I liked how it conveyed the theme of no one can be innocent when climbing up the ladder for power and revenge. This was executed through Afro and the people around him in a grimly entertaining way. One aspect I enjoyed was that Afro knew that the gory path he had despised as well as wished to stop was never ending and will always be prominent in that world. With this in mind he just had to accept this fact and bear with his sins. Overall Afro Samurai is definitely worth your time and is underappreciated. It's an action packed and fun watch that won’t leave you disappointed.
The only reason to watch this is because you enjoyed the original and want more stylish badass action, violence, and more style. Come in with the same expectations as the first and you'll most likely enjoy it all the same. Expect more than that and the flaws will glare back at you in distain as you would do to them.
It's more of the same, except now Afro has the Number 1 Headband he got from Ron Perlman (Justice) at the finale of the original. In a nutshell, Afro is in solitude after getting the headband but loses said headband to Lady Sio and needs to get it back as well as stop her plans. That's pretty much the plot right there, just short of explaining the plan. It's there for Afro to have a reason to kick ass and look stylish while doing it. The story or writing don't matter much, as the fighting is what it's all about.
Same old style, same old visuals, same old amazing stylish goodness. It looks good, it runs good and it looks beautiful. As stylish as ever, it keeps up with the original and for the most part, nothing has changed; which is for the better, as the original looked amazing. Also of note is the opening, which looks damn amazing and feels kinda old-school.
VO is just as good as before, except for the lack of Ron Perlman. Music is pretty much as good as before as well, especially the theme to the opening. And it works wonders when it plays again later on.
Afro now has a beard. Apart from that, everything's just about the same. Lady Sio wants revenge and there's some backstory to it and to some of her partners-in-crime, but that isn't really important. What's kinda/slightly/sort-of important is a boy later on, but to go into it might spoil it. But remember; why did Afro kill in the first one? Was it because they hindered him in his quest for the Number 1 Headband? Probably, and that's all I have to say about that.
As usual, first and foremost is the action, violence, badassery and style with a "plot" to help move those four aspects along. And because I should mention it at least once; fan-service, mainly in the form of the main villain no less. It's like two peas in a pod, with the other pea being the first one; they're nearly identical.
I recommend you watch the original Afro Samurai before watching Afro Samurai: Resurrection. Here is my review of the original series.
SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't watched the original series, this review may spoil important plot details!!! Read on at your own risk.
Afro, having claimed the Number One Headband, is living a peaceful life, but that is quickly shattered by a new foe. Once again, Afro must go on a mission to claim revenge for his father, but this time, it seems his father may have something to say about it....from beyond the grave.
The story of Afro Samurai: Resurrection (AF:R) is incredibly moving. Unlike the original series, this movie has the potential to make you cry. Afro, Jinno and others must fight through heart-breaking circumstances (And of course brutal battles) this time. Don't expect many happy endings from AF:R.
The animation was essentially the same as in the Afro Samurai series, Japanese/Western. The fight scenes are still as beautifully gory as ever, with very smooth animations.
The sound was provided by the same artist who made the soundtrack for the original series, so it was much the same hip-hop/R&B theme, which is by no means a bad thing in this setting.
Most of the characters from AF:R are the same ones from the original series, but with a few additions. The old characters (Afro, Jinno, some of the Clan of the Empty Seven) have their backgrounds explored more thoroughly than in Afro Samurai. I loved these stories, as I was finally able to discover what happened in these characters' past to make them what they are.
The main villain of this movie, Sio, is a sexy, manipulative woman set on killing Afro in the most painful (physically and emotionally) way possible. She is great, not just for her abundant fanservice, but for how ridiculously evil she is.
This Anime Is... A Masterpiece. An amazing, emotional ending to Afro Samurai, it perfectly captures the excellence of the original series and ends it with a truly satisfying battle.
Should I Watch This Anime? Without a doubt. If you enjoyed the original Afro Samurai, you NEED to watch AF:R. Even if you didn't like the first series, you may like this movie. Watch it! Now!
Only there to keep the thing moving, style over substance. Follows the exact example as the show. They tried to make it a little more surprising with some twists, these don't really come of that well.
Excellent, very like the show. Some brilliant fight scenes, actually brilliant.
The music is pretty O.K, the voices are only O.K., even considering. You would expect better from such a high quality vocal cast
Like in the show, the characters let this production down. They are all very 1-dimensional. There isn't a lot of growth. However if you are going to watch this you probably know that already. It is a direct continuation of the series and the characters are the same. If you are looking to watch this then you obviously enjoye the series so the lack of character development is hardly going to put you off.
I thoroughly enjoyed both outings of this anime, both the anime and the film. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good action movie.