Anime afficienados who live in the Los Angeles area will have an opportunity to catch the Spike TV original series Afro Samurai in an actual theater next weekend. All five chapters of the action saga created by Takashi Okazaki will be screened at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica on Sunday, Aug. 12 at 7:30 p.m. with producer Eric Calerdon on hand for a Q&A session afterward.
Afro Samurai stars Samuel L. Jackson as the voice of a lone swordsman who roams a futuristic, feudal world in search of a gunslinger named Justice (Ron Perlman), who killed his father in a duel years ago. Jackson also provides the voice of Ninja Ninja, a loud-mouthed sidekick of sorts who tags along on Afro’s adventures. In addition to being a hunter, Afro finds himself hunted for his headband, one of several rare pieces of cloth imbued with special powers. The elaborately animated action sequences are accompanied by eclectic hip-hop music by recording artist RZA, who composed iconic music for Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill films.
Boasting a price tag of around $1 million per half-hour episode, Afro Samurai was produced by Japanese animation studio Gonzo, in association/partnership with GHK K.K. and FUNimation Ent. The director’s cut is available on DVD and includes an extended ending, exclusive artwork from creator Takashi Okazaki, a featurette on the voice talent, a look at music production with RZA, and character profiles with commentary by Calderon.
The Aero Theater is located at 1328 Montana Ave. at 14 St. in Santa Monica. For information on this and other American Cinematheque screenings, go to www.americancinematheque.com.