Afro Samurai Resurrection is a movie sequel to the tv series and takes place several years after the events from the tv series when Afro killed Justice. Afro lives in hiding and in reflection, is trying to find peace living by himself. His tranquil existence is suddenly ended when Jinno/Kuma appears, kidnaps Afro takes him to his younger sister, Sio. She steals the number one headband from Afro and she plans to make him suffer for all of his actions. Her family was massacred by bandits in pursuit of the headbands and even though Afro had nothing to do with Sio’s family death, she still blames him.
Afro has to reclaim the number two headband in order to pursue Sio. He is still an extremely dangerous and ruthless fighter even without a headband. Afro’s reputation and his infamy is still known several years on and he once again faces a life of constant violence and death.
It’s a fairly long movie with just an hour and it faithfully covers the last half of the manga. The theme of the story is the cycle of revenge, death and senseless violence. The action is as fast paced, violent, brutal and intense with a very high body count with no time for character developent. Afro is a loner with no friends or allies and he now faces the deadliest opponents ever. One enemy is a clone of Afros deceased father made from his remains he who is on par in combat abilities with Afro. The appearance of his father as an enemy places a huge psychological burden on Afro. Many people want vengeance on Afro due to the amount of people he has killed during the tv series. There is just one scene where Afro does uses non lethal methods because civilians were involved.
The set pieces where the action takes place are interesting and creative. The action scenes never feel stale and are always energetic and if brutal. Decapitations and mutilation are frequent with tons of blood and gore. The animation is as superb as ever and the dark visual style looks great because of the increased resolution on the blu ray. The cinematography of the show is just as stylish as before while the scenes and editing were very slick and smooth. The art style is the same as the tv series and the mixture of Eastern Feudal and Sci Fi is still there. The dialogue and script are as profane and humorous as before.
Fans of hip hop and of the tv series will also be familiar with the hip hop oriented aspects of the story’s atmosphere and culture of the movie. The hip hop Eastern oriented soundtrack returns and fans of hip hop music and the show will enjoy this. The voice acting is just as great as the show with Samuel L Jackson and Lucy Liu plays their respective roles as Afro and Sio. Ninja Ninja returns and he serves as the voice of reason and as comedic relief. He is the only one who really has any common sense in this entire story because of how pointless the events are.
A couple of surviving members of the empty 7 return they are not as big as a threat as before. There is one subplot that is based on Lone Wolf and the cub where Afro killed the adoptive father who was carrying the number two headband just to prevent further tragedy. The reason for this was because his friend was killed by Afro during the tv series and he made a promise to watch over his son. The adoptive son gets the number two headband to one day fight Afro for revenge.
There is plenty of extra features from the blu ray version. The directors cut allows extended scenes, unedited dialogue and fully uncensored content. You can even look at an art book in the special features or change the language to Japanese.
The ending hints at a sequel in the making but it never really seems to happen. The story like in the tv series and manga, is style over substance and this does tend to stray off from the original manga at times. The story has a lot of background information left out and characters are not fully established. The henchmen under Sio, other than the female member losing her husband have nor reasons to fight Afro. It is not also fully explained how Shichigoro managed to obtained the number two headband as Afro got rid of it during the final confrontation between him and Justice and left it behind at Justice’s throne.
The scenes kept jumping back and forth making the story feel disjointed.
It gets 4 stars out of 5.
Fans of Afro Samurai will find really enjoy this movie.