FUNimation Entertainment and GDH K.K. Announce Hip-Hop Star the RZA Scoring Soundtrack for Afro Samurai(R)
Revolutionary Rap Artist and Producer to Craft Original Music for Series
Premiering on Spike TV This Fall, DVD Release in Spring 2007
FORT WORTH, Texas, June 1 -- FUNimation(R) Entertainment,
a wholly-owned subsidiary of Navarre Corporation, and a brand management
company and one of the nation's leading independent home video
entertainment companies, and global entertainment and media company GDH
K.K. announce that renowned hip-hop artist RZA will be composing the
soundtrack for Afro Samurai. The animated series is produced by Japanese
studio Gonzo and will premiere on Spike TV this fall. FUNimation
Entertainment will bring the story to DVD in spring 2007.
Afro Samurai is the animated epic, based on a graphic novel by Takashi
Okazaki, of a black samurai's hunt for the gunman who murdered his father.
Academy Award-nominated actor Samuel L. Jackson stars as the uncompromising
hero in this stylish series that crosses cultural boundaries as a fusion of
animated samurai action and hip-hop culture.
"Having RZA create the music for Afro Samurai is ideal. His passion for
hip-hop, anime, and samurai culture, and his renowned expertise of scoring
music to great stories are second to none," said Eric Calderon,
vice-president of creative affairs at GDH K.K. "Combining this with our
incredible high quality animation will give Afro Samurai a mix that no one
has ever seen and heard together in one entertainment experience. This is
simply going to change everything that we know about the possibilities of
the animated medium for TV."
The talented RZA is arguably best known as a musical mastermind and MC
in the influential hip-hop group the Wu-Tang Clan followed by a solo career
as a rapper and producer. He also has an increasing list of Hollywood
credits including composing both of Quentin Tarentino's "Kill Bill" movies,
Jim Jarmusch's "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai" and "Blade: Trinity", as
well as "Barbershop 2: Back in Business" and "Unleashed." RZA has also
experienced motion picture success as an actor and was in "Derailed,"
"Coffee and Cigarettes", "Scary Movie 3" and "Ghost Dog."
"As a fan of martial art and old Japanese Samurai movies, I have always
wanted to be a part of such creativity and to have my own spice added is
even better. Many hip hop artist and musicians from the late 80's to now
have been inspired by this form of entertainment, and today's animators
have been stimulated by hip hop. But, usually these two forms of expression
never meet in the same realm of artistry," said RZA.
"Afro Samurai offers me the opportunity to mix the innovational world
of hip hop with the visual imagination of Japanese animation. The vibe of
Afro Samurai is so soulful and cool, that when I was asked to compose the
series my creative juices immediately reacted. I felt it was something
meant for me to do; in many ways Afro and myself share the same spirit."
Please visit http://www.afrosamurai.com for the latest news and
information on this evolution in entertainment.
About Navarre Corporation
Navarre Corporation is a publisher and distributor of a broad range of
home entertainment and multimedia products, including PC software, CD
audio, DVD and VHS video, video games and accessories. Since it's founding
in 1983, the company has established distribution relationships with
customers across a wide spectrum of retail channels which includes mass
merchants, discount, wholesale club, office and music superstores, military
and e-tailers nationwide. The company currently provides its products to
over 18,000 retail and distribution center locations throughout the United
States and Canada. Navarre has recently expanded its business to include
the licensing and publishing of home entertainment and multimedia content,
primarily through the acquisitions of Encore Software, Inc., BCI Eclipse
Company, LLC, FUNimation Productions, Ltd. and The FUNimation Store, Ltd.
For more information, please visit the company's web site at
About FUNimation Entertainment
FUNimation(R) Entertainment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Navarre
Corporation is a brand management company and one of the nation's leading
independent home video entertainment companies. The company's most recent
initiative is the FUNimation Channel(SM), a new, 24-hour digital network
featuring programming from the top anime brands in the United States.
FUNimation has a proven formula for launching and advancing brands, and
manages a full spectrum of rights for most of its brands including
broadcasting, licensing, production, internet, and home video sales and
About GDH K.K
GDH (Security code: TSE Mothers 3755) is a globally-focused Japanese
media company founded in February 2000. The group produces cutting edge
entertainment for teens and young adults including the famous GONZO
animation brand and for kids and family under the recently launched Gonzo
Films and Gonzino brands. GDH is a world leader in content development that
targets both domestic and international audiences with Japan's
trend-setting animation culture and, usually, GDH controls licensing
management and international distribution for the content it produces. GDH
group companies include GONZO K.K., G-creators K.K., Future Vision Music
K.K., GONZINO K.K., GONZO Rosso Online K.K., GDH Capital K.K., and GK
About Spike TV
Spike TV is available in more than 90 million homes and is a division
of MTV Networks. A unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), MTV Networks is one
of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media
SOURCE FUNimation Entertainment