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Unrated DVD Version (including the Director's Cut versions) [RC1]

National Lampoon's Vacation


Needful Things

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The Covenant

Afro Samurai

1.03 The Empty Seven Clan


  • TV Version
  • Director's Cut
Release: Apr 17, 2011 - Author: Jim - Translator: DaxRider123 - external link: IMDB - more from this series
At its very beginning, Afro Samurai was a so-called Doujinshi - a Manga/Comic made and released by a private individual. However, the series was so successful that Fuminori Kizaki along with the studio GONZO (who produced such series as Basilisk, Samurai 7, GANTZ) produced a five-part Anime. The budget for this production was one million dollars per episode (!) - a record for the Japanese comic studio; but this was only one reason for the series' huge success - the other reason was the fact that Samuel L. Jackson voiced the series' protagonist as well as his sidekick for the English version of the series.

Funimation - the studio that released the series in North America - decided to release 2 different versions of the series. One version included the regular TV versions (which were e.g. aired on Spike TV in the US or Fuji Television in Jaan). The other version included Director's Cut versions of the episodes. Not only are these versions longer, they also include a few new voice actors. Dharman - the mad scientist - got a new voice actor for the Director's Cut. Apart from that, the Director's Cut does not only include a few new scenes but also characters that were not included in the TV versions. Funimation announced that most of the changes focused on evolving the plot a little further - a little disappointment for all the gorehounds out there. Still, "Afro Samurai" is pretty violent and not at all intended for kids. Funimation also promised to include one of Samuel L. Jackson's trademarks - the word "motherfucker" - and they didn't disappoint us there (you hear it in almost every episode).

Whenever there are image comparisons, they're listed as follows:
Left Side: TV Version
Right Side: Director's Cut

In this episode the overall difference in time adds up to 200 seconds (= 3 minutes and 20 seconds). Opening and ending credits were disregarded for the difference in time.

The time designations refer to the Director's Cut.
The TV Version includes a 20 second flashback of the previous episode. This was disregarded for the difference in time.

At the beginning of the opening, Afro was re-drawn.

No difference in time.

The master's proportion was fixed.

No difference in time.

Again, the master was re-drawn.

No difference in time.

Young Afro is shown a little longer.

5 seconds

Afro was re-drawn.

No difference in time.

You see a part of the mountain which Afro and Ninja Ninja are currently walking up. Ninja Ninja is upset because Afro doesn't believe him. He tells him he should die because he's so stubborn.

14 seconds

The brothers talk about who's supposed to kill Afro Samurai.
Brother 4 of them suggests they should send Ivanov - a russian fighter - to do it because of his unique fighting style and knowledge about pain.
Brother 5 says that this is complete nonsense and that the only one who's able to do the trick is Foo, a hitman from China.
Now you shortly see Brother 3 who's just listening to music and nodding his head. Then follows a shot of Brother 4 and Brother 6 in the background.
Brother 1 says that while Ivanov and Foo are good warriors, they can't rely on somebody else in this situation, especially if there's the risk of them wanting to keep the headband. However, he says that he had a vision that helped him creating a weapon far deadlier than the Afro demon himself.

40 seconds

Brother 1 asks Ivanov and Foo what they say.
Ivanov says that there's no human being like him.
Foo on the other hand says that there's neither a human being nor a machine that could defeat him.
Ivanov adds that he just forgot to mention machines and that he will be the one to ultimately kill Afro.
Foo says that he travelled a lot and has no time for these games. In his opinion there's only one solution - if he's able to kill Ivanov, he's the one to take the job. Then he equips his blades.

Brother 5 finds all this quite interesting.
Brother 4 then asks what they should do.
Brother 3 suggests that they should choose Afro's murderer by giving them a simple test to pass.
Brother 6 suggests that they should use the Afro-droid first and then see if it fails or not. However, Brother 4 is not at all in agreement with this. He can't see the reason for using a machine if they're able to use 2 of the world's best assassins. Brother 5 agrees.

Brother 1 says that they all have quite reasonable arguments. However, he thinks that the assassins' skills should be of use for the brothers, only.

The others look at him with a quite puzzled facial expression.

79 seconds

The Afro-droid's eyes blink a little earlier in the TV version. In the DC they start to blink when the droid raises its head.

No difference in time.

Brother 6 wipes away some blood from his cheek. Then follows a cut to a mountain pass. You see Afro and Ninja Ninja. The latter says that he has a very bad feeling about their situation. He says that Afro knows that he's right and should rather start listening. Ninja Ninja stresses that he knows about what's going on.

Afro stops.

Ninja Ninja thinks that he finally listened to him. He's glad that they can finally talk man to man. Just when he wants to explain his plan he recognizes that Afro isn't listening at all - he just looks right past him and then turns around.

36 seconds

While the Afro-droid is completely shown in the TV version, you only see its silhouette in the DC.

No difference in time.

Afro throws his cigarette away.

2 seconds

Different dialogues:

TV Version: "He's a like clone and what-not!"

Director's Cut: "He's like a fucking clone and shit!"

No difference in time.

Ninja Ninja talks a little longer. He asks which one he is.

11 seconds

The lightning looks different in both versions.

No difference in time.

Afro was re-drawn.

No difference in time.

Different dialogues:

TV Version: "Homes he seems to know your next move before you make it."

Director's Cut: "Damn, this motherfucker knows your next move before you make it."

No difference in time.

Afro was re-drawn.

No difference in time.


No difference in time.

They deleted the blood in the Afro-droid's face.

No difference in time.

This scene was completely re-drawn. Instead of blood there's now water splashing (which actually makes more sense in terms of the scene's context).

No difference in time.

Another scene was re-drawn.

No difference in time.

Ninja Ninja was re-drawn.

No difference in time.

After having pushed the door open, Afro runs into Brother 3. Afro enters the room and the Brother welcomes him in a foreign language. Afro stops. You see Brother 3 puring some tee in a cup and some squid bits in front of him.
Brother 3 pushes the tea cup towards Afro, takes a bow and again says something in a foreign language. When Afro and Ninja Ninja walk past him he repeats the sentence. Ninja Ninja peers hard at the goods on the table. Afro then pushes another door open.

22 seconds

Brother 6's face was re-drawn.

No difference in time.

The hall was re-drawn.

No difference in time.

This scene was re-drawn as well. In the DC the camera zooms to the statue behind Ninja Ninja - not so in the TV version.

No difference in time.

The Afro-droid was re-worked.

No difference in time.

Different dialogue:

TV Version: "I thought you iced him already."

Director's Cut: "I thought you iced that mo'fucker already."

No difference in time.

In the DC, the Afro-droid is closer to the camera.

No difference in time.

In the TV version, the laser trace on the wall still glows - not so in the DC.

No difference in time.

Different dialogue:

TV Version: "Stay down, my friend, stay down!"

Director's Cut: "Stay down, motherfucker, stay down!"

No difference in time.

During the tracking shot along the droid the DC's version of it starts way closer to the droid and then zooms backwards. In the TV version the camera is farther away right from the start.

No difference in time.

The graphic characters were colored red.

No difference in time.

The swordsman with the bear head was re-drawn.

No difference in time.

In the DC there's a screen saying "To be continued..."

1 second

The credits are different for both versions. In the TV version there's plain text while in the DC there's some artwork from the series. Additionally, the DC's credits are longer - this was disregarded for the overall difference in time.

Here are 2 examples of what the credits look like:

At the end of the credits there's an image of Afro.