Afro Samurai Fuminori Kizaki

Afro Samurai Fuminori Kizaki
In a futuristic feudal Japan, a young Afro Samurai (voiced by Samuel L. Jackson) watches as his father, who wears the headband of the number one warrior, is killed in a duel with Justice, who wears the headband of the number two warrior. Justice (voiced by Ron Perlman) takes up the number one headband and proclaims, "With this headband on my forehead, I will rule this world as God himself” and informs the grief-stricken child to "Challenge me when you are ready to duel a god.” Thus begins Afro Samurai’s quest for revenge and the number one headband. Thing is, the only one allowed to duel the number one warrior is the one wearing the number two headband. So, with faithful companion and comic relief Ninja Ninja (also voiced by Jackson) in tow, Afro Samurai searches for the number two headband, defends himself against those hoping to acquire the headband and finally challenges Justice to a duel. Afro Samurai is a dark, animated mini-series with style, combining a unique mix of anime, samurai flicks, blaxploitation and hip-hop (the soundtrack’s provided by Wu-Tang producer the RZA) to create something that stands out as different from anything released in either Japan or North America. The style also extends to the artwork, with the wind-blown hair (specifically the afro) and headbands creating slow-motion surrealism. And what anime would be complete without an inventive cadre of villains? Along with main antagonist Justice, there are inept assassin collective Empty 7, teddy bear-headed warrior Kuma and an assortment of heavily armed killers and thugs. While the five episodes relate a full, satisfactory story arc, there’s certainly plenty of room for expansion. It would not be surprising to see Afro Samurai made into a regular series or a full-length movie. Extras include 15 minutes of new footage, manga art and an interview with creator Takashi Okazaki, a RZA music production tour and more. (Funimation)