Samurai (アフロサムライ Afuro Samurai) is a Japanese dojinshi Manga
series created by Takashi Okazaki, originally featured in the NOU NOU HAU dojin magazine. It was adapted into a 5-episode Anime
miniseries directed by Fuminori Kizaki and produced by Japanese animation studio GONZO. The first episode was shown online on January 1, 2007 and premiered on Spike TV on January 4, 2007 on at 11:00pm EST. The anime series has since gone on to air in the UK, where it premiered on Adult Swim on May 4, 2007, and Japan, where it was broadcast on Fuji Television. It also premiered on MTV in Australia in August 2007.
The anime series features noted American actor Samuel L. Jackson as the voice of the titular character and his sidekick, as well as one of the co-producers, and also features Ron Perlman and Kelly Hu as character voices. Wu-Tang Clan member RZA produced the original hip hop musical score, which was released on compact disc by Koch Records on January 30, 2007 in both uncut and edited versions. The series was also licensed for North American distribution by Funimation, who released two versions: a SpikeTV version and an unrated directors cut on DVD. Both were released on May 22, 2007. In August 2005, Japan-based game developers Namco announced they would be releasing Afro Samurai related video games.
The cost of each episode is estimated at one million dollars, which is a record for GONZO.
A new season (referred to as "Afro Samurai: Resurrection") has been announced for 2009 on Spike TV. Takashi Okazaki said in the new season Afro "loses his way, gets tired of all the killing" and he "wakes up to his destiny, which is to be the world's number one warrior." Afro will clash with an alluring female warrior (who will be voiced by Lucy Liu) who seems to be someone from Afro's past who has uncovered Rokutaro's skeleton and plans on resurrecting him to lead an army of the undead.
There are plans to produce a live-action Afro Samurai movie, also starring Samuel L. Jackson as the title character, although production has not yet begun.
A video game adaptation of the series has been announced and will be released on the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3.
The TV anime series is set in a "futuristic, yet feudal Japan," and stars a samurai named Afro for his hair. The story follows Afro as he tries to avenge his father's murder. In the world of Afro Samurai, it is said that the one who becomes "Number One" will rule the world, wielding powers akin to a god. Someone becomes Number One by killing the previous Number One and taking his ceremonial headband. However, the only rule in this world is that only the "Number Two" (also designated by a sacred headband) is allowed to fight the "Number One." The downside of this is that anyone (and typically everyone) can challenge and try to kill the Number Two, to gain the right to move forward and challenge Number One. Afro Samurai's father was the old Number One, until he was challenged by a gunman, "Justice" (who was then Number Two), who fought him in a duel to become the new Number One. At the time the gunman challenged his father, Afro had only been a child. The gunman severed his father's head right in front of the young Afro. Now an adult, Afro Samurai is the current Number Two and a master swordsman; he travels the road seeking revenge on Justice
, the current Number One. Lengthy flashbacks interspersed throughout the story detail how Afro rose from frightened boy fleeing the death of his father, to master swordsman, and eventually to become the current "Number Two", while the story in the present deals with the adult Afro making his way to the mountain top keep of the "Number One" to duel Justice, while at the same time the mysterious cult known as the "Empty Seven Clan" sends various agents to kill Afro and take his Number Two headband.
- From Wikipedia