Today, Titan Comics is thrilled to announce a new “director’s cut” edition of Afro Samurai Vol.1 by superstar manga creator Takashi Okazaki (Batman Ninja) – due in stores July 26, 2022. Celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Afro Samurai anime starring Samuel L. Jackson, this remastered, fully authorized edition features a specially commissioned new cover and a foreword by Takashi Okazaki.
Inspired by Okazaki-san’s love of hip hop music and American pop culture, the story, set in a feudal futuristic Japan, follows the young Afro Samurai who witnesses his father, the holder of the No.1 headband, being challenged and killed by the No.2 – a lethal gunslinger named Justice. Swearing revenge, he starts off on a bloody path of retribution that will eventually make him the No.2 warrior and lead to a final dramatic face-off with his father’s killer.
In this first of two volumes, we see the beginnings of young Afro’s quest, his battles with an array of assassins and warlords, that climaxes in the epic confrontation with the powerful Empty Seven Clan and a showdown with an old enemy…
Described by Okazaki as “out of all my work it is my best project,” Afro Samurai “director’s cut” edition published by Titan Manga (the new imprint from Titan Comics), will present the original manga in Okazaki-san’s preferred larger graphic novel format in two volumes, giving old and new fans alike the chance to experience his seminal cult masterpiece as its creator originally intended it.
“Not only did the Afro Samurai manga have a huge impact on me personally at the time,” says Titan’s Duncan Baizley, “the aftershock from Okazaki-san’s stone-cold classic is still being felt in today’s anime and manga cultures. Effortlessly cool with beautifully choreographed bloody mayhem – like Kurosawa exploding through a Tarantino lens – it was always going to be our number one choice to launch Titan Comics’ spectacular new Titan Manga imprint.”
Afro Samurai has been adapted for multiple platforms, from Gonzo Studio’s ever-popular 2007 anime series starring Samuel L Jackson, with a soundtrack by the Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA, to Namco Bandai’s 2009 video game. Both were considered great successes for the manga genre, and Takashi Okazaki’s name went down in history as the cult king of manga!
Afro Samurai Vol. 1 Director’s Cut Edition (SC, 176pp, 9781787739000, $19.99) published by Titan Manga (an imprint of Titan Comics) is available at comic shops, bookstores, and digital devices on July 26, 2022.
Kerri is a disabled assistant editor and news writer for BWT. She is motivated by her love of words, commas, comics, and all things geeky