Thursday, 2 February 2012


matioAfro Samurai is one of those anime's you could be forgiven for thinking isn't going to be very good.  Others like me see the title and assume it's going to be awesome in a 'so bad it's good' way.  However, it's neither.  Sure, it's basically just sheer entertainment for the sake of entertaining, with lots of violence and humor thrown in for good measure to a certain extent, but in there is also a great story.  It's a simple story of revenge and overcoming the obstacles of being a target, but it's intriguing.

Afro Samurai is a cyberpunk, action, adventure story set in a futuristic feudal Japan.  It begins with our hero witnessing his fathers death as a child at the hands of a man named Justice.  As a result of killing our hero's father, Justice became the number one fighter in the land.  From that day on our hero took on the duty of number 2 fighter in the land, which gives him the right to challenge the number one.  However, being number 2 comes at a price, as the headband he wears to prove it attracts enemies who want to be number 2.  He also has to face bounty hunters, thugs and monks on his quest to be number one, and more importantly, avenge the death of his father.

Afro Samurai combines elements of Blaxploitation and sci-fi with a traditional Japanese Samurai story.   There's modern day technology as well as traditional Samurai swords and settings.  Furthermore, we're treated to a a soundtrack by the greatest producer on Earth, The RZA, who delivers a hybrid of ancient Japanese music intertwined with hip hop. In addition to all that awesomeness, voice talents are provided courtesy of Samuel L. Jackson and Ron Perlman.

There is more style than substance here, but there is a good story to follow.  It really does look amazing, and there is plenty violent action and savvy humor to keep us entertained throughout.  I really wish there was more than one season of this, because it is great fun that you can watch over and over.  If you like anime check it out, if you want to start watching anime but don't know where to start then Afro Samurai I'd say is a good gateway, but it's not for everyone so maybe start with Akira.  It's only 5 episodes, followed by a movie.  There's also a great video game of the series as well I recommend for when you're in the mood for easy going violence.

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