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Afro Samurai Review by Gara - DALnet #anime



Afro Samurai Logo
Added by Gara on April 08, 2008
| List all reviews by this author |
Overview

Afro Samurai is a highly stylized anime following the journey of a lone black Samurai in a crazed, lawless, competitive, almost post apocalyptic world.

Storyline

Afro Samurai Picture 1 Afro's story is almost elemental in its purity and timelessness. It is primarily a classic revenge story.

There are several twists and unique takes on the story. Among them are the rules involved in challenges dealing with the owners of certain headbands. The owner of the Number 1 headband is said to be able to rule the world, but only the owner of the Number 2 headband can challenge him. Because of this, the owner of the Number 2 headband is subject to constant attack from people looking to challenge Number 1.

At the start of the story, Afro is the Number 2, bent on challenging Number 1 for his revenge. A considerable back story of Afro's rise to becoming Number 2 is revealed as the story unfolds.

Along the way Afro must confront not only the demons of his past, but also challenges and schemes to take his Number 2 headband.

The story is heavily character driven; the world and its history are explored in far less detail than the characters involved in it. Language, sex and violence are all explicit; definitely not for kids.

Characters

Afro Samurai Picture 2 Afro Samurai is the lead in the story. Having watched his father's death as a boy, Afro slowly and painfully trained and developed into the current Number 2 warrior in order to have his revenge. He is skilled, focused, soft-spoken and quiet. Outwardly unemotional, he frequently wrestles internally over his actions past and present. That he is black in a world where there are no other blacks seems to be incidental, and is not a focus of the plot except that it makes him stand out.

Ninja Ninja is the complete opposite of Afro Samurai. Brash, loud and arrogant, he frequently voices the things Afro thinks but does not say. He is usually in favour of running when Afro stays to fight. He frequently derides Afro for his adherence to honor and bravery and usually advises the most practical solution to problems.

The Sword Master is a samurai who takes in orphans. Afro ends up among them as a child and receives much of his training and philosophy from the Sword Master.

The Empty Seven are frequently the antagonists in the story, a group of monks set of obtaining both headbands for their own purposes. Their schemes and plots are diverse, ranging from treachery to brute force as they continually try to find ways to obtain Afro's Number 2 headband.


Animation

The animation style of Afro Samurai was strange at first, but it grew on me quickly. Exaggeration is used as a basic techique. Everything is heavily stylized. The action sequences are kinetic and fast past, conveying speed and power in convincing ways.

Voice Acting

Afro was made to be recorded in english and stars Samuel L Jackson as Afro and Ninja Ninja. Ron Perlman's performance as Justice is also notable.

Overall the voice acting is good, if a little subdued, but that's perhaps a function of the characters rather than the acting.

Likes

Unique style, interesting hip hop soundtrack by the RAZ sets an unusual backdrop for what is fundamentally a samurai anime following a revenge story.

Dislike

At times, just a little too... progressive, to put it kindly.


Gara's Afro Samurai Review Scores
Story :8/10Animation :7/10
Characters :7/10Voices :7/10
Overall Score 73% : Great



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