The samurai with a huge afro is back in the all new Afro Samurai: Resurrection. Samuel L. Jackson returns to voice Afro and Ninja Ninja in this stand alone movie. Resurrection picks up after the events of the Afro Samurai series, where Afro avenged his father and claimed the Number One headband.
Afro has found a peaceful and isolated life, putting down the sword and ending his desire to fight. Unfortunately someone from his past has other ideas for the master swordsman and he’s forced back into the game. Stripped of his Number One headband, he’s forced to find the Number Two headband and reclaim his role of unstoppable killer.
The villain behind the disturbance in Afro’s life is Sio, voiced by Lucy Liu, little sister of Afro’s long time friend and later enemy Jinno. Sio is a sexy, vindictive woman who is hell bent on getting her revenge on Afro for what happened to her brother and others during his ascent to the Number One spot. All along his attempt to reclaim the Number One headband, Afro is confronted by innocent people who have been touched by his blade. They all have heir own bone to pick with the Samurai.
As usual, Afro doesn’t do a whole lot of talking, instead we treated to the dulcet sounds of Ninja Ninja, Afro’s white haired imaginary friend. Everywhere Afro goes, Ninja Ninja is there to provide some of the best commentary ever produced in anime. Both Afro and Ninja Ninja are voiced by Samuel L. Jackson, but it’s Ninja Ninja that really shines through. He gives so much life to the character that you wind up wanting your own Ninja Ninja following you around.
The art in Resurrection is simply outstanding with backgrounds so detailed and gorgeous you’ll think it’s real. The colors are vibrant, yet dull when appropriate. The characters look great and the fluid movements during the fight scenes make it look so natural. If you get the chance to see this in HD then please do so, it looks even better. For the soundtrack, the RZA is back and has really produced some great material. The hip-hop blends perfectly with the style they’re trying to pull off. I don’t think there’s any other music that would be fitting to the look and feel of Resurrection.
A perfect example of the art and music blending together is the parade scene. Imagine a pre-industrial Japanese village during a colorful and vibrant festival with kimono clad Japanese women dancing down the street with glowsticks with a DJ spinning hip-hop out of huge speakers. All the while citizens watching the parade are partaking in various illicit activities. It looks and sounds amazing.
Afro Samurai: Resurrection is an excellent addition to the Afro Samurai mythos. If you’re a fan of the original series then this is an absolute must watch. Even if you’re never seen Afro Samurai, there’s plenty there to familiarize yourself with the story.