Titan Comics is introducing a new manga imprint with the debut of a director's cut to Afro Samurai. The first volume of the Afro Samurai director's cut is in celebration of the beloved anime's 15th anniversary. Created by superstar manga creator Takashi Okazaki (Batman Ninja), Afro Samurai Vol. 1 goes on sale July 26th with a remastered, fully authorized edition featuring a specially commissioned new cover and a foreword by Okazaki. Titan Manga, the name of the new imprint, will publish two volumes, with the second being released at a later date.
Described by Okazaki as "out of all my work it is my best project", Afro Samurai "director's cut" edition will present the original manga in Okazaki-san's preferred larger graphic novel format in two volumes, allowing old and new fans alike the chance to experience his seminal cult masterpiece as its creator originally intended it. Samuel L. Jackson starred in the 2007 anime series, with a soundtrack by the Wu-Tang Clan's RZA. There has also been a 2009 video game by Namco Banda.
"Not only did the Afro Samurai manga have a huge impact on me personally at the time," said 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."
A description of Afro Samurai reads: "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…"
Afro Samurai Vol. 1 "Director's Cut" Edition goes on sale July 26th for $19.99 from Titan Manga (imprint of Titan Comics). Pre-orders can be made at Amazon and Forbidden Planet in the UK and England. You can check out its cover and preview pages below.