I have to agree with the previous reviewer's assessment on this film getting four stars in general, but at a price just slightly higher than a rental, it could easily get five stars as well.
The story line is entertaining, the animation is high-budget, very cool looking stuff. It is a darkly depicted world with lots of greys, dark colors, amid splashes of violent red as heads roll, limbs go flying, and people get cleaved in two.
Don't be put off by the soundtrack, I dislike rap for the most part, but it does not bother me one bit in this film. It really fits in with the style of the cartoon, the attitudes, and the characters. On top of that, it is really just background filler, sometimes you hardly hear it playing in the film. It is not in your face, subwoofer slamming music that will annoy your neighbors, which in turn allows you to pump the volume for those cool fight scenes. In fact, I think they could easily have mixed the volume higher on the music myself. So if you are expecting the in-your-face thumping bass and loud soundtrack music, you will be disappointed.
Samuel Jackson's voice-over is brilliant. Any fan of Sam will really enjoy this as a perk.
As for the blu-ray itself:
As a big, big plus, there are no previews, no "don't steal this movie" rubbish, it skips almost directly to the main menu.
It contains five chapters, each about 24 minutes or so plus some extras.
The lines are clean, the animation is very good, and the 1080P/24 really delivers this anime the way the director intended it. Five stars for picture quality, though if you are new to anime like me, don't expect Ratatouille quality animation as it is simply another style.
Dolby True HD. At times the sound is brilliant, but the mixing is off in a few scenes. The music could have been mixed much louder, and the rear channels could use some more umph. The subwoofer rarely gets a workout, and that is a shame because there are some scenes which could have been well enhanced with some heavy bass. Overall a decent HD sound job, but you won't be showing off your speakers with this movie. Three stars for sound.
English Dolby True HD 5.1
English Stereo 2.0
In the Booth- Voice Talent of Afro Samurai
RZA Music Production Tour
Character profiles with commentary by Co-Producer Eric Calderon
This film gets a thumbs up from me, and at the price it is now, it is a real steal.