Post Reply new season
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28 / M / Baton Rouge
Posted 2/5/08 , edited 2/6/08
There is going to be a new season of Afro Samurai, tell me if u know anything?
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30 / F / College & Work
Posted 2/10/08 , edited 2/10/08
I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE MANGA TO COME OUT THIS FALL!!!!! I'm so excited, but I'm taking japanese so I can probably buy the originals. AND THE MOVIE!!!!!!! I believe the anime is taking off from part one. It's supposed to be about how Afro accepts his fate as number one. There's a game for the 360 and PS3. In the anime, there is also a female adversary, concluding with the first season. It's going to air this spring (I think) on Spike TV

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29 / M / Im all over the w...
Posted 3/29/08 , edited 3/29/08
WHAT I DIDNT KNOW ANY OF THIS! Thats fuckin cool dude.
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30 / F / College & Work
Posted 5/13/08 , edited 5/14/08
Afro Samurai is not premiering this Spring. It was pushed to show this fall.
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Posted 6/23/08 , edited 6/24/08
Check out this article. What suprised me is that they were planning on the live action movie from the start! I feel bad and late!

Afro Samurai: Eric Calderon Interview
By Daniel Robert Epstein

"We wanted Afro to be really badass. We didn't want him to make long speeches about how he really misses his father."

Every cartoon you see on television has a long and storied history of how it made it to the small screen (except Gary the Rat, that just sucked). Spike TV's new mature audiences cartoon, Afro Samurai, is no different. Like most anime-type cartoons, its origins lie in the East where the character of Afro Samurai was first created by Takashi Okazaki. But unlike most anime shows on American TV, Afro Samurai is an original cartoon. The Manga it is based on was discovered by Eric Calderon, a former MTV animation executive who is now vice-president of creative affairs for GDH International which is the parent company of Studio Gonzo, the animation house which is producing the cartoon.

Afro Samurai stars the voice of Samuel L. Jackson as Afro, a wandering samurai in the future who is obsessed with tracking down and killing his father's murderer.

UGO: What are you working on today?

Eric Calderon: Afro Samurai stuff. For the show we have the soundtrack coming out at the end of the month so we're doing some final reviews of the album cover art and listening to some tracks. It's going to be really fun.

UGO: I didn't realize that Afro Samurai was an original cartoon. I thought it was produced first in Japan. Tell me how Afro Samurai became a cartoon.

EC: I've been working for Gonzo, which is the production company, for about six years. They hired me to try to create fusion Japanese animation which is Japanese animation that is made in collaboration with western talent or western companies in order to make something that is more marketable for the world rather than just the Japanese market. During my first year at Gonzo, I was in Japan at the office and I noticed on the wall of the producer's office, a small toy called Afro Samurai. It was a very limited edition, probably less than two or three thousand made. The title obviously popped out at me. I said, "Wow what's that? I want to meet this guy." So that was the first moment that I discovered Afro Samurai and when the project first kicked off. After I found the toy and met the creator, then someone told me "Oh yeah, there's a short Manga out there as well." The Manga was also very limited edition, probably three or four thousand copies and it was six pages long with just the beginning of an idea.

UGO: Who published the Manga?

EC: It was a magazine called Nou Nou Hau which is a collection of short comic books.

UGO: Then from there, what'd you have to do?

EC: I asked to be introduced to the original creator, Takashi Okazaki. We had a couple meetings and after six months we finally got him to crawl out of his shell and agree to work with us because Japanese creators are very shy and very non-Hollywood. Usually the things they want to say and the things they want to make are extremely eccentric which is usually pretty unmarketable. But when I met the guy I realized that he had a lot of cool ideas. In fact when I first said, "Hey Okazaki, do you have a story for Afro Samurai?" He said, "Of course I do" and he pulled out a piece of paper with a timeline. I was like, "Oh this is like a timeline. How many years is the whole story?" He's like, "Oh I don't know, a thousand." So he obviously had a lot of really cool, very strange ideas and we worked on them for a long time. But the first step after finding the toy and getting him to agree to work with us was actually producing a short pilot. GDH produced the pilot and then they shopped it around.

UGO: How long was the pilot?

EC: It was a three minute visual test. We did it to show people what we could do.

UGO: How much did that visual test reflect what the show looks like today?

EC: Very much so. I think it was part of the foundation of the style of the show.

UGO: So is the cartoon produced in Japan?

EC: Yes, the entire show is animated and produced in Japan but we have a lot of western partners that help make the whole series.

UGO: I would imagine with that awesomely marketable name it took off very quickly.

EC: Yes and no. After the pilot went out there we were attacked by so many great offers and so many possibilities which was fun. But it took us a long time to try to figure out which way to go. It was like being a hot teenage girl in high school.

UGO: I wouldn't know.

EC: I don't know either but I certainly have brushed up against them successfully [laughs]. We had so many different offers. We had movie companies and live action film producers and videogame companies and publishers and retail stores who all really wanted to jump in somehow. We finally decided that Spike and Sam Jackson was the best shot.

UGO: What pops out in terms of Afro Samurai's crossover potential?

EC: First there was the title itself. When it comes to fusion projects, I'm really not a big 50-50 fan. I'm a big fan of something that's legitimately from one culture and then mildly influenced by another. So what I saw in Afro Samurai was a very Japanese samurai story but with this freestyle element and a western influence that would bring that idea to the American audience.

UGO: How difficult was it to create something that wouldn't be overwhelmed with western influences?

EC: Pretty difficult, we definitely tried and failed a couple of times. It is always about trying to get the right partners and the right creative people. Everyone has an ego and everyone has an opinion and when people are very passionate about things like Asian films and black lead characters, a lot of craziness can happen before you settle on a direction that works.

UGO: Were there elements from the Manga that you had to drop because it was too Eastern?

EC: Definitely. At the time of writing Afro Samurai, Okazaki was developing the full story. So the story we're telling in America was based on a lot of his ideas. But he's not really a storyteller as much as he is an illustrator. His Manga is turning out excellent but it is still one of his first stories he's ever tried to tell.

UGO: How long are you looking for this story to go on?

EC: We're not sure. There are a lot of great elements in a thousand year story but I think that if the writing for the rest of the series goes as well as the premiere, we're definitely looking at doing a second and third season. But there are so many factors that will decide whether or not that will happen. Then there's also the separate story being told in a live action movie, which is in development. Also there's the story that's being told in the videogame, which is in production right now.

UGO: Do all these stories compliment one another?

EC: I would make the comparison to Spider-Man. Spider-Man the comic, Spider-Man the movie and Spider-Man the game are all slightly different but it's all the same ideas. We struggled with that for a long time because we were like, "Should they all be exactly the same? Should they all be totally different?" Then I just opened my eyes a little bit and I said, "Wait a minute, I'm not bothered by Spider-Man the movie even though for almost 50 years Spider-Man has had homemade web shooters and then in the movie it's organic." Everyone just accepted it.

UGO: Why was Spike the right place for Afro Samurai?

EC: I think the key that made Spike the right partner was that when I pitched them they really loved it the way it was. They didn't really say, "Oh we loved it, we'll put it in development and we'll make it like this and we'll make it like that." They were like, "We love that. Make that." You don't want the partner that says, "I like 15 percent of your idea and once I change 50 percent and add all my stuff it'll be really good." That's a pretty quick way to ruin something.

UGO: Which happens constantly.

EC: Yeah so I think this was one of those cases where they said, "We need something like this. We love it. What's more, we didn't even know we needed it until you showed it to us."

UGO: What's your role in terms of the show right now?

EC: Well since I'm the guy lucky enough to have found it, I've been with this project since the beginning. Officially I'm a co-producer of the series but I work on all sections of the story. I'm the main creative liaison between America and Japan. For example, all of the dialogue had to be changed because it's written in Japanese and then it comes back as really horrible Janglish. When a character says, "I am for you finding the ultimate goal that is which I will be number one for too the power of the world I will have like God." I say, "Yeah, we'll probably have to work on that." There were other things such as I would try to maintain the expectation that people wanted us to be badass all the time so because of that we didn't really want to see a drifting Japanese samurai story for three episodes. We wanted people to be fighting every couple of minutes. We wanted Afro to be really badass. We didn't want him to make long speeches about how he really misses his father.

UGO: The color palate on Afro Samurai is very interesting, was it difficult to come up with that?

EC: It was very difficult because the original creator is a really big fan of classic Japanese old black and white samurai movies. So everything he made just came back as a really gray and black palette. This show costs a million dollars an episode and we were worried that if we maintained this really simple black and white, we just might not impress the US audience. We kept working with it and we came up with a very, cool, monochromatic-esque palette. Then we went further and realized, "Well why don't we just light this like a movie?" So we really treated it more like a film where all the flashbacks have this certain feeling and all the night scenes have this mood but if one scene needs full color, we just do it.

UGO: You really do have the dream voice cast for this project.

EC: It's amazing.

UGO: How did that happen?

EC: Sam Jackson was a miracle. When we finished our pilot I made about 50 copies of it on my home Macintosh and I made little crappy home printed labels saying "Afro Samurai, please buy it." I gave it to everyone I knew and an agent at ICM who wasn't even Sam Jackson's manager just happened to see him in the hallway and he was like, "Yo Sam, you have to see this." Sam watched the pilot and was like, "Yeah, I'm going to play that character. I'm going to be Afro Samurai." The agent was like, "Listen, I can't give it to you because it's my only copy, I'm not your agent and I think they're still shopping it around." He's like, "Well you tell them I'm Afro Samurai." Then when his agent called me I was like, "Yeah, he's Afro Samurai that's cool." Then once the show was deeply in production and Spike was already on board, we went out to a lot of different talent. Spike TV's talent agency really helped getting Kelly [Hu] and Ron [Perlman].

UGO: How involved are you in the live action movie?

EC: I'm personally actually not involved at all because the two heads of our company, Arthur Smith and Shin Ishikawa, are mostly managing that process. I'm really dividing and conquering all the marketing and merchandising and brand management of the animation. Whenever we were evaluating between four or five different producing parties who wanted to make a live action movie I was there on the executive board to help decide wh partner we chose. But now that the party has been chosen, they're working on it without me.

UGO: How many episodes of Afro Samurai are being produced?

EC: We're producing a high quality five episode miniseries. Depending on how the ratings go we'll see how they go for a second or third season.

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30 / F / College & Work
Posted 8/25/08 , edited 8/26/08

“Afro Samurai: Resurrection” To Premiere On Spike TV in January 2009

Samuel L. Jackson Reprises His Starring Role As “Afro”
And Featuring Special Guest Star Lucy Liu

Revolutionary Rap Artist And Producer The RZA To Craft Original Score

Sneak Peek Of Trailer Available On Starting Thursday, July 24 At 8:15 PM ET

San Diego, CA, July 24, 2008 – Spike TV’s critically-acclaimed, funktastic anime series “Afro Samurai” returns with an original movie event set to premiere on the network in January 2009. “Afro Samurai: Resurrection” stars Academy Award®-nominated actor Samuel L. Jackson opposite, Emmy Award®-nominated actress Lucy Liu. Award winning artist The RZA once again provides the original score. “Afro Samurai: Resurrection” is produced by Japanese studio GONZO in association/partnership with GDH K.K. and FUNimation Entertainment.

“Afro Samurai: Resurrection” is based on the original art and story telling of manga artist Takashi Okazaki, of a black samurai’s quest for revenge and justice for his murdered father. Samuel L. Jackson (“The Spirit”), who also serves as an executive producer, reprises his role as the uncompromising hero, Afro and his motor-mouthed sidekick Ninja Ninja. When his father’s body is stolen from its grave, Afro is forced to pick up his sword and wreak bloody vengeance against an army of deadly foes lead by a sadistic mastermind.

Lucy Liu will give voice to Sio, a beautiful, seductive and sadistic mastermind plotting to destroy Afro Samurai. Liu is the star of several Hollywood blockbuster action-adventure films including “Charlie’s Angels” and “Kill Bill” and has joined the cast of the ABC drama “Dirty Sexy Money.” Liu can currently be heard as Master Viper in the animated film “Kung Fu Panda.”

Additional casting includes Mark Hamill as Bin, Sio’s manservant and protector and Yuri Lowenthal as Kuma, the teddy bear-headed warrior from the original “Afro Samurai” series. Best known as the young hero Luke Skywalker in the original “Star Wars” trilogy, Mark Hamill has had a successful career on Broadway, as a voice actor in both animation and video games and as a comic book creator. Yuri Lowenthal is the voice of Sauske in the hit children’s anime series and cultural phenomenon “Naruto.” and will air a sneak peek of the trailer for “Afro Samurai: Resurrection” starting Thursday, July 24 at 8:15 PM, ET, immediately following its world premiere debut at Comic-Con in San Diego.

Fans who can’t get enough of “Afro Samurai” can get their latest fix with the 2009 release of the “Afro Samurai” video game from Namco Bandai Games America Inc.

High-style action comes to the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system with “Afro Samurai®” from NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. Based on the hit animated series starring and executive-produced by Samuel L. Jackson, join Afro in his tale of revenge as he searches for his father’s murderer and the holder of the coveted number one headband. Blending modern hip hop with traditional Japanese culture, “Afro Samurai” is a cutting edge game that will deliver a new kind of cinematic experience which offers addictive and compelling gameplay that is literally dripping in style. For more information on “Afro Samurai,” please visit: or


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30 / F / College & Work
Posted 11/3/08 , edited 11/3/08
The second installment of the Afro Samurai animation will be a feature-length movie, Afro Samurai: Resurrection, which will air on Spike TV in January 2009. Namco-Bandai will debut its Afro Samurai video game around the same time.
Posted 12/11/08 , edited 12/12/08
HAHA its going to rape
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Posted 12/22/08 , edited 12/22/08

Review of 'Afro Samurai - Resurrection'
ICv2 Stars: 5 (out of 5)
Published: 12/09/2008 12:00am

Afro Samurai - Resurrection
FUNimation Entertainment
Release Date: 2/3/2009
(Broadcast premiere: Spike TV, 1/25/2009 10 PM - Midnight ET/PT)
Spike TV’s Broadcast Version ($29.98 SRP)
2-Disc Director’s Cut ($34.98 SRP)
Blu-ray 2-Disc Director’s Cut ($39.98 SRP)
Running Time: 90 minutes
Rating: Mature
ICv2 Stars: 5 (out of 5)

The sequel movie to the popular anime series is the perfect show to watch if you are looking for action, violence, a heart-thumping soundtrack, and quality animation and voice acting. Perfect for Spike TV.

Based on the graphic novel series by Takashi Okazaki (released by Seven Seas and Tor Books), the movie begins as Afro loses his #1 headband and his father’s body is stolen by Sio and Jinno, Afro's childhood companions who are seeking revenge. The mastermind Sio, voice acted by Lucy Liu, is a beautiful but heartless woman who blames Afro for the murders and violence placed upon her brother and comrades. Afro must seek out the #2 headband and once again seek to regain the #1 headband so his father can rest in peace. With him on his violent journey is Ninja Ninja, his imaginary companion, and in the end he is brought to the ultimate challenge--to defeat his resurrected father in battle.

Anime of this caliber is always a dream for anime fans. It has a cohesive storyline; and fabulous voice acting, with Samuel L. Jackson, Lucy Liu, and Mark Hamill lending their talents. The animation is movie quality with gray toned characters causing the fight scenes and backgrounds to be more vibrant. RZA fills the soundtrack with hip-hop that works perfectly with the futuristic world setting and the classical style of Samurai sword fighting.

Due to the massive amount of violence and bloodshed, this is recommended for older teens and adults. It will air on Spike TV first, and then be released on DVD.

- Kristin Fletcher-Spear

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