Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jan 4, 2007 to Feb 1, 2007
Duration: 27 min. per episode
Rating: R+ - Mild NudityL represents licensing company
Score: 7.411 (scored by 47072 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular Tagsaction drama samurai violent
Mar 20, 2007
The voice over cast list start off with Samuel L Jackson (pulp fiction, Starwars) and Kelly Hu (X2: Xmen United) two A list actors very famous for their action movies. And their voices get put through the test as they use their voices for multiple characters in the series. And the voices they portray are very believable in my opinion.
As in terms of animation value, one only needs too look at their hair and their tattered clothing flowing in the wind just like in a classic samurai showdown of the old days. Everything is very artistic and not to mention VERY gory (which is a plus for me).
As expected of a 5 episode series, the story is not very detailed on character backgrounds and side stories except the main character (their website more than explains each character). But, they do throw you in the mix right away. The main character "afro samurai" is the second samurai in the world. And he is on a mission to become the number one samurai in the world. And thats where the story starts, his journey to his headquarters.
the verdict? For those who want a quick pick me up action anime that you can finish in one sitting, by all means pick this up! but if youre looking for a super long anime, youre looking in the wrong place. read more
Aug 9, 2013
Like in a fighting game. You have to beat up the strongest guy in order to become the strongest guy. Afro Samurai got quite clichéd story-line. The story follows Samurai Afro, always acting like a boss; his only desire is to revenge against a bad boy who killed his beloved father.
All in all Afro Samurai is nothing special anime. The only thing why it can be interesting, is style.
Countless fights, rocket-launchers used in close-combats, blood, internal organs and cool poker face afro samurai.
The story is VERY simple but you may like it because it’s really new, with its own style.
The only good thing about afro is animation. You will sure like camera work.
Afro somewhat reminded me Black lagoon. He dodges bullets, rockets, arrows like he is god.
And sure the show offers some stylistic ‘comic book’ touches.
Unfortunately, stylistic excellence doesn’t extend to the soundtrack. Sound is generic and bland.
I didn’t like va. Monotonous voices. Hell, the worst va I’ve ever seen,
The men are ‘badass god like creatures’, the women are “decorations”, and the villains are sausages.
As for Afro, viewers need only know one thing: He is Afro version of Chuck Norris. In short, Afro is vacuous murderer and only entertaining while he’s killing people. His blind lust for revenge killed this anime.
Also that eternal poker face.
Afro samurai provides excellent visual entertainment and a dark atmosphere that countless will find transiently enjoyable. Has no story, no character development.
It’s short and won’t waste too much of your time, but don’t expect much. read more
Apr 24, 2009
Story: The story is pretty flat, but at it's heart it follows the traditional revenge story. Samurai blaxploitation revenge even. Not at all uncommon for anime. However, this anime is genre wise ALLl over the place. The main antagonist Afro seems to be pursuing through the anime is a gunslinger, so you think a bit of a samurai spaghetti western for a moment ( think Sukiyaki Western Django ), but then he's totally fighting cyborgs. Now, you ask yourself what the hell just happened, but that's the thing it does it really well and fits into the Afro Samurai universe by itself that you really pay no mind.
Art: For a nation that hasn't exactly been known for it's positive portrayal of people of color ( and use of black face among other things ), I honestly think the creator got Afro right for this. I have no complaints about the animation. It flows beautifully. I don't think I could like the anime nearly as much if the art wasn't as good as it is.
Sound: The sound is very good in Afro Samurai also. The wind blowing scenes do very well, as you can hear their clothes blowing smoothly, not choppy crappy sound effects you get in a lot of anime or recycled sound effects used in some movies. The music is done by RZA, and if the name isn't familiar then you're probably not familiar with the Wu-Tang Clan. The soundtrack is dare I say it...and I think I do, "dope". It is amazing, it is a mixture of not only hip hop but some rock for some tunes. Not to mention the voice acting. Samuel L. Jackson is the icing on the cake for the voice. I could listen to this man's lines over and over again. "DO THEY SPEAK ENGLISH IN WHAT!?!"
Character: Afro is pretty flat. He only has one objective: "Get the headband."
I'm honestly not sure what compelled me to like Afro, by all means he's kind of boring minus his awesome blade skills. The other characters aren't really developed upon much, but toward the end of the series we see a lot more into Afro's thoughts through flashbacks. However, Afro himself remains stoic, even though his previous incarnation was quite animated. Due to the events we witness through flashbacks, it's safe to assume when we find Afro now he's sealed himself off. He doesn't grow through out the series visibly, I'd say he's not very round at all.
Enjoyment: I really enjoyed this anime. There are good animes ( that win awards ), and there are AWESOME animes. The difference is, awesome animes aren't always good or thought provoking, and good animes are not always awesome ( think A Whisper of the Heart, good anime, but not awesome ). If you're the kind of person who watches movies lots of action movies and frequently says "There weren't enough explosions." chances are you'll like Afro Samurai for it's awesome factor.
Overall. I give it an 8. read more
Dec 4, 2007
First of all, the story as a whole is VERY mediocre: boy loses father, boy gets revenge on fathers killer, etc. It's like something from Daredevil. But the thing that really, REALLY pisses me of is this: he hardly ever fights humans. Seriously. He fights killer robots, humanoids and weird monks (one armed with a bazooka!), and finally a guy with 3 arms.
That is why this series comes off as poor.
However, this is saved by the excellent animation with unique styling and excellent sounds. The artwork is great, and the voice acting by Samuel L Jackson adds the extra bad-assery that the show needs.
The charaters were pretty bad. You know how I feel about the enemies, but even Afro-Samurai is badly portrayed. He's a 2D character, and the writers thought that if loads of bad stuff happened to someone, I'll automaticly feel sorry for him and be on his side. No, it doesn't work like that.
Overall, not a series worth avoiding, but only because it's so short. There are plently of better anime to watch in the mean time. read more
Mar 19, 2009
Story: The story was short, but it got straight to the point. Their are two rankings of Samurai in the world, The Number One, and The Number Two. The whole series is really about Afro Samurai, being the Number Two samurai trying to become The Number One and Avenging his father who was killed for the number one spot. I liked the story because as it does follow the traditional style of anime, it is different in it's own right.
Art: I found the animation to be really good, but that's just in my opinion. I thought the detail of everything in the settings was animated very well, and the characters themselves as well. The gore is brought out the best way it could be without being excessive.
Sounds: The music for this anime was different being more of a rap song, with a sweet beat. It's not something you would expect in a normal anime, but compliments this show very well, and the music throughout is also very good.
Overall I would give Afro Samurai an 8, because it was very good even thought it was only five episodes, it had the copasity to be so much longer, probably even as long as a traditional anime being 25 to 50 episodes. It's a good anime that I myself would recommend to others that are looking for a action filled anime that they can watch in one sitting.
Thanks for reading, and this is my first review!! ^_^ read more
May 4, 2009
Anyway, this is a pretty butt kickingly awesome anime about a samurai. While this samurai does not want to know what's the up with the mother-f*cking snakes on his mother-f*cking plane, he does want sweet, smelly revenge for the decapitation of daddy Afro.
Art has some cool fight scenes, like in Samurai Champloo, just more violent. The sound has excellent hip hop origins, so that's good too. So is Samuel mother-f*king L. Jackson's voice.
Afro and the dude who is his annoying sidekick never grow or change, but damn aren't they funny and cool, anyway.
Watch Afro Samurai. Mother-f*cker. read more
Aug 15, 2011
The art in this show is pretty bad. It suffers from the fact that it has no artistic value to it and what probably is the worst part is the fact that most of the time it is dark. REALLY REALLY DARK. So dark that you might as well be watching a black screen set to dialogue and the only animation being sword slashes and blood. In fact, that is exactly what happened most of the time, every scene is just of blood and flashes of light. Character models were even lazy as all the characters just fell to standard design choices not making any effort to standout above the rest at all. The animation is the worst aspect of the show because honestly the supposed style that this anime wants to convey brings absolutely nothing new to the table and is just a big mess.
Now moving on the best part of the show, but not enough to save it, the sound. If there was one reason to watch this show and the reason that I myself was interested in the first place, then that would have to be the most notable feature: Afro is dubbed by Samuel L. Jackson. What I can say, he's the only thing you are going to remember about this show as everything else is forgettable. If it weren't for the badassery that was Sam Jackson, then I honestly would have left this show alone. Thank god Sam Jackson delivers because the rest of the cast does not. Note to all the casting directors, never ever cast James Arnold Taylor in a serious role again because honestly the voice of Tidus from FFX is the last person I want to see do a serious role. The music is what it is, nothing special but not unlistenable.
Story and Characters:
Afro Samurai is boring. Just like that it is boring. The story doesn't come out across well and most of these characters are completely unmemorable. One could argue that the story isn't great because they were stuck with five episodes and a movie. That's stupid though because most anime fans know that FLCL is only six episodes and managed to actually see a plot in it despite all the random insanity that happens. I will tell you one thing though that I will give Afro Samurai points for. One of the characters. Ninja Ninja (the character where Sam Jackson does what he does best) who follows Afro around, is actually the one aspect of the show that I actually thought was interesting as we don't know whether he is real or Afro's conscious. It's a thing like that can actually make Afro Samurai more interesting to watch, however everything else is just makes the show not entertaining.
Afro Samurai is a huge dissappointment. From the way it is presented, it would seem like that this would be a cool show especially when you get cinema badass Samuel L. Jackson. However, since the show lacks a lot and is so lazy I can't highly recommend it. If you are a Sam Jackson fan like me, then check it out and give it a try, for the rest of us, spend your time on an anime like Samurai Champloo. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to put the head of a bear costume and get revenge? This anime doesn't give me a good send-off. read more
Apr 17, 2009
Afro's plot is just plain stupid really. It starts off with the always reliable revenge story, but then it turns into a lot of stupid crap about trying to be #1 in the world. The character motivations to kill the hell out of each other never really make sense, so it's frustrating that so much time is spent on them.
They try really hard to make Afro the coolest man ever, but well, he ends up not really standing out from any "badass" character I've ever seen. Pretty much every other character in the show is basically annoying.
Afro's main redeeming point is the fights, in which there are sadly not enough of them. All the fights in Afro are ridiculously gory, stylish, and satisfying. I might even say jaw-dropping. It's easy to look forward to the fights, but sadly, they don't occur nearly as often as they should. The amount of the fights on the show do start to increase a bit as the show goes on, but for the most part, they don't seem as good as the show goes on. I think that after the initial shock and awe of the blood and gore, the fight scenes kind of lose their effect, but they are still pretty fun.
Afro Samurai's attempts to be stylish and cool really work when it comes to the fights. When it comes to the plot, the attempt to make a classic tale super cool and stylish end up falling completely flat. Afro Samurai was a shot with high potential to be an awesome guilty-pleasure. Instead, I just felt guilty that I devoted an hour and a half of my life to it. I wouldn't reccomend watching this, even if you are a total action freak. read more
Dec 4, 2007
I have to say I was very disappointed. The story is just a cliché, and there is virtually no character development. Had Samuel L Jackson not done some extra voices (like the annoying Ninja Ninja character, who is just a tad more tolerable than Jar Jar Binks) he would've had about 5 seconds of dialogue since the 'hero' isn't much of a talker.
The only saving grace for this is the quality of the animation, which is nothing short of superb. It would've been so much better if they ditched it as an anime and used it as a music video or something like that.
Jan 4, 2009
As far as story line goes there isn't much, partly because of the series only lasting 5 episodes but also that it wasn't developed that much either. The plot line of why things are the way they are in this twisted universe is not explained, we're given a VERY brief reason to why and it doesn't make much sense aside from 'everyone wants to kill everyone'. Sadly to say the story can be summed up in one line and that is "All warriors want to be Number One". With all its flaws and open holes in the story, it still remains interesting because there has been nothing else quite like it. Seriously, when is the next time you'll see a animation about a Black Samurai with a rippin' Afro kicking some serious butt? Probably not for a looooong time.
The art style can well referenced to being very similar -if not the same as- to the art used in Todd McFarlane's "Spawn" the TV series. It can be described as a very flowing but detailed art style with often a dark tone to it. The attention put into the finer details in the art form to make the action really come to life and defining the scene, it gives a surreal feel to the series. I particularly like this art style for its detail alone but the dark overtones really sets off really dark series like this one very well.
The characters in this series are movie motion perfect for an action series and fit greatly into their roles but something is lacking. We learn very little to nothing about the characters in the series and what we are given we have to use our own imagination to fill in, which isn't too bad I guess (again, if it was more than 5 episodes I'm sure there would have been more). Artistically the characters are well formed but they lack strong vocal characterization. What I mean to say is that most of the characters and dialogs sound as if a poor designed robot is try to articulate emotions it knows nothing about. More work could have been put in.
Overall? This is a series that should be watched just for being what it is, a super-awesome-bad-ass-black-samurai-adventure. Not the greatest animation out there but like I said before, when else are you going to run into something this different. read more
Jun 26, 2013
Apr 14, 2013
Although first things are first, this video will contain Spoilers. If you don't want this show to be spoiled on you, leave the video... Also I want to point out that this Anime is rated 18+ as there is a gore and some adult themes within the Anime, so anyone under 18 you have been warned.
The Anime that we will be reviewing today is none other than "Afro Samurai!". A heavily Action, based Anime with a lot of sword fighting and violence.
The Manga Artist behind the Dōjinshi "Afro Samurai!" series was Takashi Okazaki!
The Company that made the Anime are Studio Gonzo. Studio Gonzo is a Japanese animation Studio that was owned by its corporate parent the GDH Group. Studio Gonzo are also well known for releasing other Anime's such as "Rosario & Vampire!" and "Gantz!"
As well as many Anime's, they also released many Video Games such as "Street Fighter VI!", "BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger!" and "BlazBlue: Continuum Shift!"
In the late of 2008 - 2009, the Studio Gonzo eventually got overcome by financial problems and stated its deficit was estimated over 30 million dollars. That's Quite a lot!!
Only having 5 episodes in the Anime series Studio Gonzo tells the Story of a Samurai with an Afro played by Samuel L Jackson.
On the dark path of swordsmanship in a "Futuristic" yet Feudal Japan, it is said that the one who becomes No.1 will rule the world. But the only rule in this world is that only the No. 2 is allowed to fight the No. 1. The No. 2, the Afro Samurai, travels the road looking for revenge on the man who murdered his father in front of him when he was just a boy, a three-armed gunman who is the lord of the dark swordsman's road and the current No. 1.
Afro Samurai was a Self-funded Dōjinshi, brought out 1999, releasing 10 chapters within 2 volumes. The Anime follows the Manga series somewhat but ends before the Manga. The Manga's story continues on.
The Main characters to this Anime are "Afro The Afro Samurai" and "Ninja-Ninja!" Played by none other than the legend that is Samuel L Jackson.
Other Characters in the series are "Kuma/Jinno!" his sister "Sio!" who only appeared in "Afro Samurai: Resurrection!" & "Rokutaro!" The father of Afro!
The antagonists in this series are "Brother 1, Brother 2, Brother 3, Brother 4, Brother 5 & Brother 6!" and The main antagonist "Justice!"
My Favorite Characters to this Anime series was Afro and Ninja-Ninja both played by Samuel L Jackson. I loved how different these two characters were from each other and yet they worked well together. Ninja-Ninja had his sadistic moments, with his clever unique jokes whereas Afro was calm, cool, cruel and collective letting things pass by without phasing him.
The soundtrack to this Anime is very unique; The album was produced by RZA of the Wu Tang Clan, and features big names such as Big Daddy Kane, Talib Kweli, Q-Tip, and GZA.
In my opinion the Anime was excellent, it had a great story and the action really draws you in and engrosses you in it. There is plenty of Action, Blood, Comedy, Fighting & Violence in the Anime from people being cut up til Ninja-Ninja and his hilarious endeavours.
The only problems that I found with the Anime, was that there wasn't enough episodes to really get into it, it tried really hard to convey so many hidden messages throughout the series such as "violence only creates more violence", but then maybe I am being to critical as this message is easily overlooked.
There was also a Video Game brought out based on the Afro Samurai Anime, with a slight retelling brought out on the Xbox 360 and PS3. It was developed by Namco Bandai Games.
The Anime had a good OST but the Video Game OST was by far better and stranger...
I rate this Anime 4/5, it was a great Anime, had an amazing dark twisted story, amazing soundtrack, the main characters are awesome, good voice acting and what I felt let it down slightly was because it was so short, if they had of made it maybe 12 episodes rather than 5 they might of been able to build up the characters better.
I highly recommend this Anime to anyone who is interested in dark stories, Samurai's and action filled Anime's! Overall though, I enjoyed the show, and recommend it for any fans of action flicks.
Well guys, that's it for this Anime Review, hope you liked it.
Feel free to leave a Comment, like the video or Subscribe to our channel, this has been Andrew from TheMediaHoundsShow Stay Tuned
Don't forget to check us out on our Facebook page, Twitter Account, Google+ and Deviant Art. Links are in the description. Anyway Later! read more
Jul 16, 2007
The plot is pretty much about a man seeking revenge for a samurai killing his father. In a way, the plot isn't that original, but with the voice talents of samuel L jackson, it brings a little comedy into the "seriousness" of the plot.
The animation I would say is quite good, not outstanding, but not too bad. Alot of samurai action, which I would say is the main point.
The fact that it's 5 episodes is really a plus, because this kind of plot couldn't go on forever. So.. really, if you want to watch something short and sweet, and isn't drawn out, give it a go. read more
Feb 8, 2010
The story follows a young black man, I think he's 30 at the most, and his quest for vengeance against the man who killed his father. In this world, there are two headbands that "rank" a warrior's strength. The number one headband and the number two. Only the person with the number 2 headband can challenge the number one, so many people are after this thing. The black man, Afro, had a father who was number one, but he was killed by a gunslinger named Justice. So, from there on, Afro trains himself to be the world's strongest warrior. Very generic, I know, but the whole father-son thing touched me quite a bit.
This series had a very high budget. The animation was amazing and the art style reminded me of some old samurai anime. Afro was portrayed very well and I thought he had the coolest hair and outfit ever. Nothing much to say really. Alot of money was spent on this series, so you get what you pay for. Oh yeah, and the fight scenes were cool as shit. I have never once seen a guy cut a bullet into tiny pieces and kill the guys surrounding him with the shrapnel.
Nice hip-hop beats and some jazz mixed in there. The RZA did really well with the soundtrack. It reminded me of the BGM from Samurai Champloo, but alot edgier and more "oomf" to it. If you are a fan of hiphop/rap, you will not be dissapointed with the soundtrack. Oh, and Samuel L Jackon's voice was sexy. He got like 20 lines, but each line was cool as shit. And Justice had a pretty nice voice as well.
Afro, Justice, and the Ninja are the only characters I really liked in this anime. I really didn't give a crap about Afro's childhood peers, so I disliked all of them. Afro is a very chill dude. He smokes his joints and keeps to himself. The typical "lone wolf" but more badass. Justice had some very good quotes in my opinion. He was a man who had gotten drunk with power and it really reflected in his mannerisms and such. Ninja was funny as hell and he kept Afro's sanity in check.
This anime was just cool as hell dude. I know it might be just me, but modern Samurais are the coolest thing ever. Whats cooler than a joint smoking samurai who fights with a style of breakdance and disciplined swordmanship? Anyway, if you like samurai stuff and/or hiphop, definitely check it out. It's very different from your conventional anime, but that's because it's Western. I fucking loved this series, but I can't guarantee the same for you. read more
Nov 17, 2009
The story is rather simple. Afro Samurai is out for revenge for his fathers death, and he'll f*** anyone who stands in his way.
With each episode we learn just a little bit more about Afro and his haunted and blood filled history, and this all builds up to the final showdown. The plot overall, is rather simple and straight forward, but in the latter episodes things do become more heart and story driven. Not exactly the deepest story you'll find, but it still delivers the goods.
The art and animation is fantastic, that simple. Each movement is carefully animated creating a very smooth and often times beautiful animation. The action scenes are incredible to watch and should make any action junkie very happy. I'd even say the action scenes here rival Hellsing Ultimate. And that's saying something. So yeah, the animes budget is clearly seen here.
The voice acting was great, one of the best I've seen in an anime, with Samuel L. Jackson and Ron Perlman being the highlights. The soundtrack was also very good and fitting to the series, and even though I'm not much of a fan of rap, the slow rap intro was great to listen too.
The characters themselves were pretty interesting. While I thought the main protagonist Afro, was a walking badass, he was very cold... maybe even to cold. It was a tad hard to feel any sympathy for him, especially during a certain fight in episodes 4 and 5 (in which I had a tough time figuring out who I was routing for). Ninja Ninja, Afro's sidekick was pretty damn annoying, though it was interesting seeing the true role he played later on.
The antagonists weren't really that interesting in my opinion, save for 2 (one's a twist and the other being Justice the main antagonist) the others were just meh. The main bad group of characters 'Empty Seven Clan' are made up of identical monks and a big dude... yep, nothing very interesting there.
Overall, I say this is one hell of an anime and something which I wish had lasted a bit longer. An entertaining story, beautiful animations, superb voice acting, a badass protagonist, you really can't go wrong here.
So yes, this get's my stamp of awesomeness :D
Sep 22, 2008
The shortest anime ever, consisting of only 5 episodes. Even though the anime was 5 episodes, it kinda felt like a big anime. I kinda liked Afro Samurai because the whole 20 minutes of the anime they stayed on the story other than fillers and other stuffs. The story wasn't the best ever but for a small anime it was great. I gotta say that the action are off the hook. Through out the story all you see is is fights and lots of blood. The violence in this anime is off the chart, every second you will see someones head chopped off and blood spurting. I like when they have violence such as like Afro Samurai in animes. The music was also awesome, it had a hip pop kinda theme that went great with the anime. Every song was kinda fast and it would have been great if they could have put some melodies here and there.
Well i think everybody should spare a few hours of there time to see the short 5 episodes. Its an awesome anime but watch out children it has a lots of violence and sexual content. I dont seriously recommend it but, I liked it and maybe you will too
Mar 30, 2008
To start (extremely) positive the animation is pristene and the direction of battle is executed exceptionally well with the animation style. Granted it the cliche blood physics are kept, but it is used to great effect during both battle and character development.
My one criticism of the story is the not so original main character motivation of revenge and the reason for it. However, the character, or rather characters, formed from this origin is far from predictable. As well as the underlying plot is not very imaginitive but what is seen on the surface is pure gold.
The main character(s) is pretty much unbeatable: silent type, vengance driven, efficient killing machine samurai played by Samuel L. Jackson with an afro (black), and a loud mouth, weed smoking, counterpart also played by Samuel L.Jackson with an opposite afro (white). The villains are very unique and give new meanings to: never-ending supply, creepy, robotic ninjas, gunslayer, and insane teddy bears. Their motivation is not unique i.e revenge or power but still the story behind the explained is rather moving.
One more, and final criticism I make, is sound during battle. I don't know why but I prefer to be able to tell which sound goes to what action to the extents that I think I'm supposed to. Yet, with this the awesome sound track as well as fast paced cool fighting sequences threw me off a bit.
It's fair to say I really enjoy watching this series, because I do and I watch each action and blood filled episode with a feeling of great anticipation. read more
Jul 8, 2009
It's not trying to be thoughtful and original. It's not trying to be a masterpiece.
Rather, it's a typical samurai-looking-to-avenge-his-father story, the only difference being that here our protagonist is black, and enjoys an icy glass of lemonade. The series does manage to succeed with its characters; while they're mostly cliches, they're also humorous and light-hearted enough that one enjoys their presence.
But ultimately, this series is all about the action.
And in that capacity, this anime succeeds; the fights between Afro and his enemies are visually stunning and well-choreographed. The movements are original, the enemies are bizarre and detailed, and motion feels very fluid.
As with "Snakes on a Plane", the title tells you all that you need to know; "Afro Samurai" is a fun, entertaining series, which is all it ever strove to be. read more
Jan 8, 2008
Story - Non-existent, if you're looking for one, try any harem series. Although if it's action you're looking for, this maybe for you.
Art - Gritty animation gave Afro Samurai it's own style, highlight of the series.
Sound - Samuel Jackson's performance as Ninja Ninja, the apparent comical side-kick didn't work for me. His chit-chatter of Afro Samurai's foreseeable demise is a common irritation throughout.
While the voice acting was mediocre, RZA can be commended for his polished musical score for the series.
Character - Being 5 episodes long, there was no chance of any character development whatsoever, you either loved the protagonist from the start or loathed him, which would explain why sympathy was used as the initial attention puller. For me, it failed, I've seen this too many times, done better.
Enjoyment - No story=snore. There is a stiffy moment in there for you H fans, though. *raises hand*
Overall - The series caused more sparks than lighting anything imaginative. Was AS a big disappointment? It has to be said, initially I felt AS would not interest me at all and it didn't fail in that department.
Watch this series once then put it with the rest of the pretenders. read more
Mar 31, 2010
GONZO is one of the worst anime studios in existence and Afro Samurai is yet another example of that. It even ruins the minds of the people it employs; just look what happened to poor Kizaki Fuminori. His first work was the rather good Basilisk. Instead of improving, GONZO turned his brain to mash potatoes and afterwards he directed this lame Afro Samurai anime, while later on the complete flop X-Men anime. DAMN YOU GONZO! But enough with that; let’s now talk about the anime and how horrible it is even if we don’t know it was GONZO who made it.
[Where have I heard that one before?]
A black samurai (!) wants to revenge his father’s killer, the holder of the No.1 headband. Because he is wearing the No.2 headband, he is targeted by all those who want to make a name for themselves… That’s it.
For starters, an action-based series with revenge being the only excuse for the plot is not original nor it is smart. The series doesn’t try to go any further than that, leaving all characters with a depth in personality that even toadpoles would find hard to live in.
[All show and no meaning]
- Afro is another cool heavy-dude, ultra-powerful no matter what his opponent may be. He talks too little and doesn’t care about anyone else other than himself. He never tries to reason with someone and simply solves all his problems with brainless violence. He doesn’t care about anything else, other than revenge, making him distant and hard to believe that someone can actually spend his life like that (is this even called life?).
- There is a sexy woman in the story, supposed to soften his heart. She is there to show him that happiness doesn’t evolve killing a dozen people every day. But all her presence is wasted on that brainless Afro and in reality she’s just there for fan service.
- There is this funny imaginary guy that follows Afro everywhere. In a way, he is Afro’s inner voice of reason, and is supposed to question his motives of revenge. Again, his words are also wasted on “I don’t care what you say” Afro and becomes just the comic relief in the story.
- The bad guys are typical insane megalomaniacs that engage with an obviously superior opponent but are too stupid to realize that they can’t win. The only thing they care about is wasting their lives on becoming the No.2 in the world. Why? So murderers like themselves will target them for the rest of their lives. What the hell are they thinking? They can be much better by being just Afro’s famous lap dogs.
What is there to praise about the characters? The cool way they fight? That’s not personality, nor character development. Personally, I have left behind any respect I had about muscular/shallow heavy-dudes. No matter how awesome they fight, if they don’t have a descent backdrop story or personality, they are like the drone characters of every MMORPG: Cool to look at but without a hint of reasoning behind anything they do (pressing a button is hardly called a reasoning).
But you know what? I bet the GONZO retards thought that all it mattered was to have some famous dude giving his voice to one of the characters. And thus we have Samuel Jackson voicing the main hero. There you go, half the people ran to watch this just to hear his cool voice. And that is as far as good personalities went.
The artwork is weird. Rough edges and as black palette colors as the samurai’s race. It was hard to get used to it but then again I prefer this sort of drawings to those so-cute-that-you-want-to-puke Air or Kanon artwork. So, I won’t say they are bad but rather they are “alternative”. More reminiscent of dark-themed American graphic novels than anime; it’s up to your personal tastes if you like them or not.
Action scenes are the whole focus. Animation and sound effects are greatly detailed and flashy but also hardly realistic. Again, it’s your tastes that will decide if you find them to be cool (it’s high-octane action!) or fake (it’s a brainless slug-fest). If realism is set aside, you get to see some of the best fighting a series can offer.
Villains with cool gadgets and an insane look will engage the grimace-less Afro in faster-than-sound speeds. The speed of the battles is extremely high and has no intervals (like in typical shounen).
There is apparently a lot of air in the world of the series, as a breeze seems to run through everything and makes headbands, coats and hats to flap endlessly. This gives a non-stop movement to even stale images. You could even say that the breeze is in fact the strength of the characters’ resolve and lust for power! … Or just hot air coming out of those airheads… Whatever it is, it makes everyone a lot cooler and imposing.
The “air effect” also causes a lot of dust. As an optical trick, every action lifts considerable amounts of dust, giving the feeling that the characters are not fighting in a stale image, called the background. It also helps to hide the outcome of every attack … and the mistakes in the animation of the action’s reaction. It makes the battles much more interesting but also more confusing as many moves are hidden and leave you to imagine what happened.
Swords versus rocket launchers and laser guns may sound ridiculous to compare but then again Hollywood is famous just for being extravagant. And this series sure tries to follow Hollywood’s footsteps.
Music themes are African American-oriented and appeal mostly to people that are accustomed to them (the rest of us are used to hearing J-pop). Personal tastes decide yet again. But they sure do fit with a story that has a black man as a protagonist. Being a combination of rap and techno, there is a lot of strength (and beat!) present to the point of reminding you all those AMVs some make with action clips from anime while awesome music themes play in the background. I still think that Rock and its variations is the best kind of music for battle themes. African American music is about fighting the system and describing the cruel society of the Ghettos black people were left to live; a theme not present in the series. So, it’s not that fitting with the action and becomes another thing that only those accustomed with it will appreciate.
But to heck with whatever I said about the music so far; most people will only care about the hero being voiced by Samuel f-ing Jackson himself. And he is cursing, and killing, and doing stuff. And that’s pretty much all there is to it.
Ever heard of another black samurai? How many series with so well made action scenes are there? These are the good parts that stand out. How many myriad series/movies with heavy-dudes bound on revenge have you seen? This is the bad part that ruins most of the replay value. Meh, besides the quality action scenes, you get a hollow cast and a pitiful story. In other words, a typical GONZO show.
P.S. This series reminded me of the song Dust In The Wind, performed by Kansas. It is full of dust and air. And it dissolves with the slightest wind before other good Samurai series.
Sword of the Stranger
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 8/10
General Artwork 2/2 (well-done)
Character Figures 1/2 (weird looking; they stand out but non in a particular positive way)
Backgrounds 1/2 (basic)
Animation 2/2 (fluent although it has its problems with the wind and stuff)
Visual Effects 2/2 (basic)
SOUND SECTION: 8/10
Voice Acting 3/3 (Samuel f-ing Jackson’s voice is in it)
Music Themes 3/4 (not great but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Sound Effects 2/3 (ok I guess)
STORY SECTION: 3/10
Premise 1/2 (typical)
Pacing 1/2 (erratic)
Complexity 0/2 (zero)
Plausibility 0/2 (none)
Conclusion 1/2 (cheesy)
CHARACTER SECTION: 3/10
Presence 1/2 (cool in a blunt way)
Personality 0/2 (cheesy and barely founded)
Backdrop 1/2 (generic and simplistic but it’s there)
Development 0/2 (none)
Catharsis 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)
VALUE SECTION: 3/10
Historical Value 0/3 (none)
Rewatchability 1/3 (low because there is very little to see in it)
Memorability 2/4 (Samuel f-ing Jackson offers some reason to remember it but that is all)
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 5/10
Art 1/1 (looks cool)
Sound 1/2 (cool songs, stupid dialogues)
Story 1/3 (generic as hell)
Characters 2/4 (cool but shallow)
VERDICT: 5/10 read more