Wednesday, December 19, 2012

ANI-MOVIES, *Afro Samurai: Resurrection

Dynomite! After about a 2 year absence from the original 5-episode mini-series premiering on Spike TV, Samuel L. Jackson brings back his bad mutherplucker samurai.

Taking place a few years after the first series(although they seem to have forgotten the scene at the end where Jinno had gotten all the other headbands to challenge Afro), Jinno returns in his full Darth Teddy getup and pulls Afro kicking and screaming to his father's grave. There, Jinno's then revealed long-lost sister, the voluptuous Sio robs Afro's father's grave, and takes his skull away, along with the #1 Headband, which Afro spent the entire original anime trying to get. She challenges him to come and get the headband back along with his father's remains. Afro then sets out to find the #2 Headband, with a rematerialized Ninja Ninja(who may or may not really exist outside Afro's head). After an encounter with the last remants of the Empty Seven Clan, Afro tracks down the current holder of the #2 Headband. A killer battle ensues between him and the other samurai during a parade, but Afro defeats him. Then he tangles with some of Sio's adopted family who have been remade into cyborgs by the maniacal Prof. Dharman, who turned Jinno into a bear-droid in the first series. Afro then arrives where Sio told him to challenge her, only to find out that she has had his father brought back as an insane clone who fights Afro, and does in fact kill him. Jinno realizes that his feelings were misplaced about Afro's betrayal, and fights the clone, only to have himself and Sio be killed in the process. The only fortunate part for them is that a spark of Jinno's circuitry shocks Afro's body and brings him back to life, so that he can KILL his father's clone. This follows with Afro handing the #2 Headband over to a child who was in the care of the previous headband's owner that he killed, prompting him to duel him just like Justice did in the original. Speaking of Justice, it looks like they had him in mind for another sequal because the movie ends with him in Hell meeting up with some demon.

Afro Samurai: Resurrection was decent follow-up to the previous anime, although this works better as a full-length movie as apposed to the 4-episode run Spike is rerunning it as. The animation by Gonzo Studio is amazing, with some of the best anime fight sequences in a long time. Gonzo is responsible for working on titles like Hellsing, Blue Sub No. 6, Full Metal Panic, Final Fantasy, GI Joe, and Transformers. The storyline is a little sub-par, and the dialogue is a little too stereotypical in the way Hollywood would expect an "ethnic" themed action movie would be. But if you like the first series, and other samurai/ninja anime like Ninja Scroll and Samurai 7, then the DVD director's cut release of this is right up your alley.

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