Heroes Spoilers: Hiro's Adventure, Life of Takezo Kensei
Season two of Heroes is less than a month away - but that's far too long for serious fans of the show.
If you need a sampling of one of this year's main story lines, a new five-part NBC Web series should do the trick: It's called Sword Saint and it's s currently streaming online at YamagatoFellowship.org.
"It's a fake documentary actually it's more like a Ken Burns mockumentary that explores the legend of Takezo Kensei," says Heroes creator Tim Kring, referring to the iconic samurai whom Hiro (Masi Oka) will encounter this fall in 17th-century Japan.
"Like Burns, we use academic professors, only ours are actors, and they share their historical insight against a background of paintings, tapestries and graphics. It's a chance to dig a little deeper into the new season. Part of the social currency our fans trade on is their knowledge of the show, and this is a fun, cool way to know a lot more than the next guy."
It's pretty darn cool.
The series unfolds in three- to four-minute installments. It follows the super-swordsman as he takes on a number of Herculean labors - battling snake women, climbing a massive frozen waterfall, single-handedly defeating 90 cannibals - in order to find and slay White Beard, a Genghis Khan-wannabe who is trying to conquer Japan.
The site describes Kensei's life in a series of bullet points, as well. For instance:
- He's a wild savage turned master swordsman whose heroics helped unify Japan.
- Takezo found a sword frozen in the snow that helped him focus all his strength and courage. Some say this sword, and Takezo's power, were a Godsend.
When Heroes on September 24, Kensei will be played by former Alias star David Anders, a Caucasian. But this is not some politically incorrect casting mess.
"I promise you'll get the scoop behind this in the season premiere," says Kring. "We're going to reveal why contrary to legend Kensei is not Japanese."