Yeah! young folks are into Asian Anime . . . for example. . . East meets West in AFRO Samurai, a fantastic Hip-Hop, musical, blood and guts thriller. Warning: Mature themes.
In case you don't know, Japanese Anime is a style of drawings, animation and storytelling that started in Japan around the time Walt Disney was pushing Mickey Mouse to America. According to my friend Wiki, "anime is often characterized by colorful graphics, vibrant characters and fantastic themes." Anime comes in many forms; some of which are intended for children (Kodomo) and other expressions are very, very adult such as "Hentai" (which means pervert in Japanese). However, there is a wild range of very good art and animation between those extremes.
The AFRO Samurai and AFRO Samurai Resurrection films are bloody, sexy, visual and musical. They presents elements of feudal Japan, modern hip-hop, and crazy high tech in a serious mash-up featuring the voice of $#@%%$# Samuel L. Jackson. Bloody swords, overpowered guns, motorcycles, tight music beats and booty shaking are the backdrop for a lone Black warrior seeking to become and maintain status as #1. He fights a lot and drinks lemonade. The plot is simple: stay alive and get revenge if possible.
Watch the Videos: (Remember these videos are for adults -- mostly for violence and some cartoon nudity.)
Why is AFRO Samurai Important?
If we are lucky, we will see more of this merging of cultures, especially the African and Asian. Granted, in many Japanese art forms, the depiction of people of color sometimes has been less than "politically correct". Some of it has been damn "F-ing" crude. But in Afro Sumurai, we have stepped out of the stereotyped characters and become honored warriors. Black culture is a world-wide phenomena. The African presence in Asia is historically and culturally correct. Africans have played an important role in the rise of Asian empires and will continue to do so today.
Many young people from all backgrounds don't have a problem with the color (or species) of their heroes or villains. The popularity of Black pop stars is a testament to this.
There is a probing blog post called
that explores many aspects of the African-Asian connection in animation.
Long live, Afro Samurai! May there be many more.