Afro Samurai Returns

Manga is releasing the sequel to the most expensive – and coolest – anime ever, Afro Samurai on 27 April in the UK. And we're unashamedly plugging it because a) the first one was so brilliant and b) it gives us an excuse to show you the pic above.

Why‘s Afro Samurai cool? Simple. Samuel L Jackson. Yes, the Oscar-winning actor who can immediately one star to a review of any film he’s in provides the voice of the lead character, Afro himself, the mightily-barneted warrior from a futuristic, feudal Japan. The original cost around a million dollars an episode and earned a five star review from SFX (“nothing like any other anime and a must have!” enthused our Leah). And all the ingredients seem in tact for this follow up, Afro Samurai: Resurrection – the impressive animation with its stylishly limited colour palette, violent action and razor sharp wit.

What’s it about? Afro is born into a world where everyone’s fighting to be number one, and your status is reflected in the headband you wear. Only someone who's attained a number two headband can challenge the number one. In the first anime, Afro is the son of a number one who sees his father killed in a challenge and so set out for vengeance. In the new anime, Afro is forced back into the game by a beautiful and deadly woman from his past, Sio (Lucy Liu). Mark Hamill also provides vocal duties.

To give you more of a feel for what‘s in store, here’s the Afro Samurai drinking game Leah concocted for the first Afro:

• You see a prop that doesn’t fit with the feudal-era setting – one shot
• You hear dialogue that doesn’t fit with the feudal-era setting – one shot
• …and it’s so out of place that you laugh – two shots
• Someone bleeds profusely – one shot
• …and you wonder if the human body actually contains that much blood – two shots
• A bright colour appears on screen – one shot
• …and it’s not red – two shots
• Afro survives a situation that really should have killed him – one shot
• Any other character (apart from Ninja Ninja) survives a situation that really should have killed them – two shots
• A character randomly says something in Japanese – two shots
• Afro drinks some lemonade – two shots
• Adult Afro says something – three shots