Friday, July 31, 2009

From the Reading Pile: Afro Samurai Volume 2

Afro Smurai Volume 2
By Takashi Okazaki

Volume One was a violent tongue in cheek hybrid of explotation era thematics and the standard samurai revenge tale. It was fun and refreshing in a Tarantino homage kind of way.

This volume, on the other hand, is a complete and utter mess. Afro is still hunting the elusive Number 1, but the story decides to randomly flip between flashback, present day action, and the distant future. There is no rhyme or reason to it, a flashback can come in the middle of a fight or during a quiet dinner scene with no discernable mechanism for distinguishing between the eras.

There are interesting sequences throughout, but the jumbled narrative structure makes the book next to impossible to understand diminishing the important revelations or even more disastrously, the climax itself. Possibly the most disheartening fact of these problems is that this is a reworking of the original manga, yet it still comes off like a rough draft.

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