The setting of Afro Samurai is an unusual one that combines elements of both ancient Japan and science fiction fantasy. As “Afro,” the lone samurai seeking to exact revenge for the unjust death of his father, Samuel L. Jackson plays the lead role. It is a tale of gruesome suffering and adversity.
Afro doesn’t cry and doesn’t understand love. He avoids bullets and knives to get to his final victim, a guy who won’t perish, despite being pursued by powerful foes forever in a lawless dystopia with a sprinkling of technology.
The anime series was discovered by a producer from the Japanese studio Gonzo, who had the idea for an animated TV project based on the series. The studio worked on the anime for three years, during which time they also produced a trailer that just so happened to end up in Samuel L. Jackson’s hands.
It was revealed that the five-episode “creative cooperation” between Samuel L. Jackson, Takashi Okazaki, and Gonzo will feature music composed by Wu-Tang Clan rapper The RZA. It was revealed in 2006 that Samuel L. Jackson would be lending his voice to Afro in the anime series, Funimation, which would make its Paramount Network debut later that year.
|Afro Samurai: Resurrection (television film)
|January 4, 2007 – February 1, 2007
|No. of episodes
|Dentsu, Pony Canyon, Fuji TV, Victor Entertainment
|Action, Adventure, Sports, Revenge, Samurai, Swordplay, Gore, violence
|27 minutes per episode
|MTV, ABC2, Spike, Adult Swim, Bravo, Wowow, Paramount Network
|Yasuyuki Muto, Tomohiro Yamashita
|Derek Draper, Chris Yoo
|Samuel L. Jackson as Afro
Background of Afro Samurai
The Paramount Network premiered Afro Samurai on January 4, 2007. The first episode of the series was streamed live in its entirety on the Paramount Network website. Later, on May 3, 2007, the anime was broadcast in English with Japanese subtitles on Japanese television.
The Japanese broadcast was made available unedited. The standard Afro Samurai: Paramount Network Version and the uncut Afro Samurai: Director’s Cut were the first Afro Samurai DVDs to be produced by Funimation, and they both debuted at Anime Central on Friday, May 11, 2007, at their own booth.
On May 22, 2007, the general public may buy both DVDs. The entire fifth season of Afro Samurai was made available on iTunes on September 4, 2007. Funimation released eight iPods with unique designs made by Takashi Okazaki to advertise this.
The Afro Samurai anime series was made available in high definition by Funimation in 2008, the same year it made its Blu-ray Disc premiere. Afro Samurai was presented in the German Film Festival in Germany as well in 2008.
Samuel L. Jackson played the titular role in both Gonzo’s 2007 anime miniseries adaptation of the Afro Samurai djinshi and its 2009 television film follow-up, Afro Samurai: Resurrection.
The anime was nominated for two Emmys, winning one for Outstanding Animated Program and another for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation. Okazaki transformed the original Afro Samurai djinshi into a two-volume manga following the debut of the anime series.
Tor Books and Seven Seas Entertainment obtained the rights to the book, published it under their new Tor/Seven Seas banner, and limited distribution to North America. Afro Samurai has also been converted into a video game and a forthcoming live-action movie in addition to the miniseries.
Summary and Plot
When Afro was a little child, he saw his father get killed in a duel by a guy only known as Justice. After killing Afro’s father, Justice removed his Number Two headband and put on the Number One to take possession of its divine abilities.
Afro continues his quest for vengeance against the person who killed his father years later after obtaining the Number Two headband, which gives him the authority to confront the Number One. Everyone else in the world is the only thing getting in his way. Even though only the Number Two can challenge the Number One, anyone can challenge the Number Two.
Afro must overcome a variety of opponents and roadblocks in order to reach the Number One and exact revenge once and for all while his foes assemble to try and take the title of Number Two.
Afro sets out on his quest to exact revenge on Justice, travelling through Low Down East to Mt. Shumi. Along the way, he must contend with those who are after the Number 2 headband, including numerous thugs, The Empty Seven, and their hired or naturally created assassins, like the Afro Droid and Machine Ninja, in addition to his childhood friend Jinno, who has been transformed into the Cyborg Kuma.
At the conclusion of season 1, Afro finally encounters Justice and challenges him to a duel. He mostly decapitates Justice by cutting off each of his arms, narrowly missing a third arm that was hidden, and severing a portion of his chin.
After a little pause, Justice picks up his conversation and gets to his feet. He then adjusts his head and tries to impale Afro through the head with a spike that materialised from the ground. When Justice tries to grab the No. 2 Headband, Afro surprises him by pretending to be dead in order to draw him close.
He swings down the Spike, slashes Justice in the waist, and causes his poncho to fall off. Then, after mercilessly slicing him numerous times, all that is left is a heap of chopped-up pieces of Justice and his flying hat. Afro accepts his crown and moves up to the top spot. Justice smiles despite not being dead, as we can see at the episode’s conclusion.
Where to watch Afro Samurai anime for free?
There are various ways to watch the anime. You may stream the English dubbed version here. If you would like to watch the subbed as well as dubbed version then you may visit here. 9anime also has various streaming options and HD quality viewing.
There are other ways to watch but those may require you to purchase subscription and registration. However, this is the legitimate way. You may visit Crunchyroll, NetFlix, Funimation, Hulu, Tubitv etc. This allows you to stream high definition content and without any advertisements.
Watch the trailer on YouTube from below:
Characters Appearing in Afro Samurai
Following are the main characters that appear in the anime series and their description.
The primary character in the Afro Samurai series is Afro, also known as Afro Samurai.
Afro is a phenomenally skilled swordsman whose father was beheaded in front of him when he was a young boy. Due to that horrible occurrence, an innocent young child became obsessed with avenging himself, and as a result, Afro developed into a ruthless murderer who would kill everyone to become the number one.
Afro, the number two, has killed numerous people in self-defense and retaliation with the ultimate aim of exacting revenge on his father.
Afro is generally a quiet, severe, and serious person, however occasionally he might come off as distant. Despite frequently being shown laughing and smiling during his youth and adolescence, he seldom ever smiles or laughs. Afro is frequently seen grinning and having fun with his friends in memories from his early years.
But after Justice killed his father and most of his friends as well as his master, Afro turned into a silent, cold-blooded killer. Since his primary goal is to “advance forward,” he feels no remorse about killing everyone who is in his way.
Ninja Ninja frequently irritates Afro since he is outgoing and amusing in contrast to Ninja Ninja.
Afro’s speaking companion is Ninja Ninja, who typically employs a normal voice while Afro declines to participate in dialogues. White-haired Ninja Ninja sports a ninja pattern on his clothing. Ninja Ninja observes Afro’s quest for vengeance as the story goes on.
It is revealed at the start of Episode 5 that Kuma allegedly kills the Ninja Ninja who saves Afro. Afro confronts Justice about midway through the episode after he claims to have seen him lose his “imaginary friend.”
Interviews with the team and writers on the collector’s DVD acknowledge that Ninja Ninja is a work of fiction. Even though Ninja Ninja is “imaginary,” he nevertheless seems to have a presence in the physical world.
When Ninja Ninja is ‘killed’ by Kuma, the notion that he has at least a partial existence in reality is once more highlighted. Given Kuma’s expertise as a fighter and his intention to kill Afro with the same sword blow that killed Ninja Ninja, it seems strange that he would stop mid-attack to speak with Afro.
This supports the theory that Kuma was surprised by Ninja Ninja’s sacrifice before assaulting Afro again.
Jinnosuke / Jinno
A significant figure in the universe of the Afro Samurai is Jinnosuke, also known as Jinno. Later, he becomes known as Kuma. In his Dojo days, Jinno merely resembled a duck in the same way as the other orphans did by donning a white kimono and a standing ponytail.
When he becomes Kuma, his look undergoes a radical shift. His blades are relocated into the left side of the kimono’s strap, and his torso is covered in a black kimono and wooden sandals. The Teddy Mask is covering his head. When it is taken off, his head morphs into one that resembles the Afro Droid.
His head is completely bald, and cybernetic outlines adorn the sides of his skull in place of an Afro extender piece.
In contrast to Afro, who only utilises one blade, Jinno uses two in combat. Back in the Dojo Days, Otsuru was the first to offer an opinion on this distinctive fashion.
Jinno claims that he favours the Two Sword method because it gives him the ability to simultaneously strike and defend while also providing a backup weapon in the event that an arm is severed. Although this method is more agile and is most effective when employed against several opponents, it is more defensive than Afro’s offensive style.
In addition, Kuma is adept at using a single sword and can ride a motorcycle. A single punch from him may knock Afro to the ground and leave him bleeding. He is also incredibly nimble.
Otsuro is a young woman who enjoys cooking, the healing arts, and fireworks. After Afro lost the Number Two headband as a child, she ran into him in the shrine and brought him to the Sword Master’s dojo.
That evening, Otsuru finds herself present as the Sword Master’s students and the remaining assassins are put to death. Otsuru makes it out alive and joins the Empty Seven Clan as a representative of Brother 1.
Years later, Otsuru saves Afro after he has escaped the cliff’s RPG explosion and Soshun’s deadly crossbow infection. Otsuru spends time with Afro in the bamboo grove despite switching her name to “Okiku.”
She imitates Afro’s sword technique for the Afro Droid and uses her special power to steal memories from anyone’s dream. She makes an attempt to murder Afro but then she recognises her error. Otsuru is later executed by Brother 2 for aiding Afro and betraying the Empty Seven.
Okiku is the assassin who works for the Empty Seven Clan in the video game adaption. Later, Brother 2 and Brother 6 kill her for saving Afro from capture and for having fallen in love with him.
The main foe in Afro Samurai is Justice. For the most of Season 1, he held the Number One Headband. He carries two long-barreled revolvers and wears traditional cowboy attire. Justice smokes, much like a lot of the other characters in the show.
His bio on the Afro Samurai website claims that this was the result of a previous mishap; he was likely drowned with poisonous waste, as this would explain his peculiar qualities. His skin appears to be disease-ridden with numerous blotches all over his body.
When Justice shows up at Mount Shumi as Number Two and challenges Afro’s father, Rokutaro, for the Number One headband, Justice instantly becomes Number One. Although brief, the fight between Justice and Rokutaro is ferocious.
Following are the list of secondary characters in the anime series:
- Brothers 1 to 6
- Sword Master
Afro Samurai – Episodes description
Following are the 5 episodes that form part of the Afro Samurai.
Episode 1: Revenge
Afro, who is wearing the No. 1 headband, saw Justice behead his father when he was a youngster. He wears the No. 2 and embarks on his quest for vengeance as a man.
Episode 2: The Dream Reader
When Afro is found by an old buddy, Otsuru (Okiku), along a riverside, who treats to his wounds, he relives his hard past through his dreams. She makes an attempt to kill Afro right now, but instead makes love to him. The killers then execute Otsuru.
Episode 3: The Empty Seven Clan
Afro must contend with his deadliest opponent to date, himself, while The Clan of the Empty Seven keeps exerting pressure on him.
Episode 4: Duel
Afro and Jinnosuke (Kuma) argue over the consequences of choosing vengeance over family and the use of the No. 2 headband.
Episode 5: Justice
Afro confronts Justice in his hideout. Afro makes amends with Jinno and engages in combat with him after murdering Justice and claiming the No. 1 headband.
Reviews on Afro Samurai anime
This anime was described to me as being incredibly chic and bloody. I received numerous recommendations for it, but when I finally saw it, I was horrified by the horrible, absurd plot.
First off, the overall plot is VERY mediocre: boy loses father, son seeks retribution from killer of father, etc. It reminds me of a scene from Daredevil. The fact that he rarely engages in combat with others is what truly, REALLY irritates me. Seriously. Killer robots, humanoids, strange monks (one with a bazooka! ), and ultimately a man with three arms are among the foes he battles.
The quality of this series suffers as a result. However, the outstanding animation with distinctive styling and excellent acoustics saves this.
Its main objective is simply to highlight how amazing Afro is. Directly speaking, this is a narrative of retaliation; Justice kills Afro’s father, and Afro seeks retaliation. That is the narrative, in a nutshell. Of give Afro more depth, there are flashbacks to when he was younger, but that is pretty much it.
Unfortunately, Justice doesn’t show up too often, but because it usually revolves around an Afro’s quest for retribution, that probably explains why. The combination of contemporary technologies and weapons from the samurai age also works fairly nicely.
You should watch this for the battles because they are the series’ main draw, violent, with a style that spills forth like a slash wound.
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