Afro Samurai: Complete Murder Sessions - (Import Blu-ray Disc)
Complete Murder Sessions
List Price R 311
Discovery Miles 2 690
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Jason, Bellville. 13 September 2010
This title and its followup, they play a game of two halves.
Both of them can be classified as chanbarra revenge pieces, with a bit of blaxploitation added to the mix. There's also the anachronistic setting: imagine a Feudal Japan where criminals communicate with cellphones, cybernetic teddybears ride about on Harleys, and people go to raves for their Spring Festivals. Inbetween all of this, the population is declining as a direct result of Afro, the main character. See, he possesses the No.2 Headband, something that allows him, and only him, to challenge the holder of the No.1 Headband. It's personal too, because Afro witnessed his father being killed for the No.1 Headband and is out for vengeance. Unfortunately, anyone can challenge him for his headband, so be prepared for scenes of wanton slaughter and copious bloodletting.
The big draw here is the involvement of Samuel L. Jackson as the voice of Afro. Unfortunately, Afro is a man of few words, which led me to think that Mr Jackson charges by the word. But no, accompanying him is his partner, Ninja-Ninja, who benefits most from his A-list VA and who provides such a charismatic counterpoint I was expecting him to start reciting from the book of Ezekiel.The voice acting in general is good, what with this being an English-only production. It means no trying to synch with existing lip flaps, and that translates to more spontaneous deliveries. Both episodes are all the better for it.
Action and violence are what this is about, and it delivers. The action sequences are slickly produced, and graphic in their portrayal of what pressed steel can do to flesh and bone. The story is also no afterthought, providing necessary background to all the violence.
So it's good then? For the first one, yes. Then things start going awry in Resurrection. Here the creators seek to make good on a promise one of them makes in this title's making-of featurette. In it he laments how they could only implement about 40% of their ideas in the first series, whereas in the second serires they would up their game in out-there content. The result is that Afro Samurai: Resurrection comes across as a self-indulgent vanity project. They even resurrect the narrative, why by then played out most satisfactorily. The fights are less inspired, the pacing especially awkward towards the end and the writing now seems a mere afterthought. All so that the creators could fit in a few more cool ideas.
Technically, both titles excel. Colour reproduction especially is vivid and precise, dark scenes remain detailed, and motion during the fights is kept in check. Sound too is agile and capable of deep bass.
So the first title is the keeper here; clearly the creators must have had more fun making the second one than you will have watching it.
Huberto, South Africa. 24 February 2015
For anyone who is a fan of Anime or Samuel L Jackson.
This 2 disc set is a fantastic addition to any anime collection.
The audio quality is amazing with a thumping 7.1 mix and the video quality is almost perfect.
My only complaint is that the cover is a bit plain. It doesn't come in the same packaging pictured above.
This set still comes highly recommended.
Gareth, South Africa. 15 August 2014
This is a very good Anime.
Region B - Includes most European and Middle-Eastern countries, all of Africa, Australia and New Zealand.