Afro Samurai (2007)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-In The Booth: The Voice Talent of Afro Samurai (14:51)
Featurette-Character profiles with commentary by Eric Calderon (23:44)
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-RZA music production tour (4:55)
|Year Of Production||2007|
|Running Time||130:30 (Case: 125)|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Fuminori Kizaki|
Samuel L. Jackson
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Afro Samurai is a five episode anime miniseries which was developed from a Japanese dôjinshi manga series created by Takashi Okazaki. A second season of Afro Samurai has since been announced after the success of the miniseries in the US (Spike TV), UK (Adult Swim), Japan (Fuji Television) and Australia (MTV). Afro Samurai is notable for featuring the voice talents of Samuel L. Jackson (who is also co-producer), Ron Perlman and Kelly Hu.
Afro Samurai is a revenge saga set in a futuristic, yet feudal Japan – the anime combines shoot 'em up Western genre elements with science fiction and Jidaigeki.
In this uncertain world, it is said whoever becomes Number One, will rule the society. In order to become Number One, one must eliminate Number One and take possession of the ceremonial headband.
In this lawless society there is one rule – Only Number Two can challenge Number One. The consequence of this rule is whoever is named Number Two can be challenged by anyone.
Afro Samurai’s father Rokutaro, held the title of Number One, until he was challenged by his friend, the then Number Two Justice (voiced by Ron Perlman). As a child Afro saw his father mercilessly decapitated by Justice and vowed to avenge his father’s brutal death.
As an adult Afro (voiced by Samuel L. Jackson) is a master swordsman and holds the Number Two title, slowly but surely Afro seeks his revenge.
The anime develops the main character of Afro through flashback – he is a lone hero as he is unable to make any relationships due to holding the Number Two title. Afro speaks very little and while he is a skilled and proficient swordsman – he receives no enjoyment from callous violence and unnecessary death he is often accustomed to.
Afro is often accompanied by Ninja Ninja (also voiced by Samuel L. Jackson). Other characters include the Sword Master (voiced by Terrence C. Carson), Afro’s friend Sasuke (voiced by Jason Marsden) and Otsuru/Okiku (voiced by Kelly Hu and Tara Strong).
This director’s cut of the cult anime miniseries adds approximately 3 minutes to each episode. The uncensored footage is composed of blood, gore, brief nudity and profanity.
Afro Samurai is presented in 1.78:1 enhanced 16x9 widescreen.
The picture quality is quite good - the sketched style animation is composed of a dark colour palette and the black levels are well produced. Bold colours like crimson stand out against the dark backgrounds.
The transfer has been encoded over a dual layer DVD at an average bitrate of 4.63 Mbps. Despite the low bitrate MPEG compression artefacting and pixilation is minimal.
The image remains relatively sharp and clear through the feature.
English subtitles are available.
English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround and English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo are the available audio options on this DVD.
The dialogue remains clear throughout the feature. The sound is relatively encompassing with the dialogue at the front of the soundstage and music and sound effects emitted through the rear speakers. The subwoofer is used moderately.
The sound effects are well produced as is the wonderful and fitting score by RZA, who provided the memorable scores for Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999) and Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003).The visceral sound mix is heightened with RZA’s score which features hip-hop beats with funk and rock influences.
|Surround Channel Use|
Subtle use of a still image accompanied by a section of the theme music. The menu is practical and allows the user to easily navigate through the extra content.
A making of featurette featuring interviews with producer Taito Okiura, co-producer Eric Calderon, creator Takashi Okazaki and the voice talent Samuel L. Jackson, Ron Perlman, and Kelly Hu. (Full Frame)
A slideshow of character artwork and animation in different stages with commentary by producer Eric Calderon. (Full Frame)
A behind the scenes look at the creation of the music and specifically how each character has his or her own score. (Full Frame)
1.Prop Designs - Line Art
2.Prop Designs -Coloured
3.Character Designs - Line Art
4. Character Designs - Coloured.
An anti-piracy warning precedes the following trailers:
There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
Afro Samurai was released as a two disc Director's Cut set by Funimation in R1. The R1 release is identical to the R4 in terms of content except the R1 featured the episodes and a number of trailers on Disc 1 and Disc 2 was a extras disc.
Afro Samurai is a relentless and brutal culture-clash tale of revenge. The appeal of the miniseries is the eclectic cast and crew. However for some viewers Afro Samurai may be too hip and knowing for its own good but it is ambitious and entertaining and features some interesting characterisations.
The Madman release is well conceived with good sound and image presentation and a great selection of informative extras which expand on the themes of the miniseries.
|DVD||OPPO DV-980H, using HDMI output|
|Display||Panasonic PT-AE 700. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.|
|Amplification||Yamaha DSP-A595a - 5.1 DTS|
|Speakers||(Front) DB Dynamics Polaris AC688F loudspeakers,(Centre) DB Dynamics Polaris Mk3 Model CC030,(Rear) Polaris Mk3 Model SSD425,(Subwoofer) Jensen JPS12|