Japanime Review! Afro Samurai: Say what one more time! *Spoiler-Free*

Afro Samurai is what happens when you put professional anime artists together with Samuel L. “motherf*cking” Jackson. May sound like a strange pair, because it is, but damned if it doesn’t work.

Sam plays the son of the greatest samurai who ever lived, the samurai with the number 1 headband, the Afro Samurai; let me explain the headband thing. There are these headbands, number 1 & 2, and whoever has number 1 is the supreme badass of the land, and can only be fought by the wearer of the number 2 band. The wearer of the number 2 band can be fought by anyone. If you want to be number 1, go try to kill number 2, and then go try to kill number 1. Anyway, his father is slain by a wicked man, named Justice (Ron Pearlman), and has to give up his headband. Justice takes his number 2 headband and gives it little Afro, and tells him to come meet him when he’s ready.

Justice. You see him, it means your ass.

Cue Afro being all grown up, looking badass, going on adventures with his sidekick, Ninja Ninja (also Samuel), looking to reclaim his father’s position as the top samurai of the world. What follows is a lot of badass battles and backstory, as well as some great dialogue, especially from Ninja Ninja, and when Afro tells him to shut up.

Say “Yo, Afro” one more time. I dare you. I double dare you!

This is a very violent show, with blood, violence, and action brought to life by great animation. It sports a very dark, bleak color pallet, that works great with the show’s tone. There are some unbelievable action sequences, especially one during episode 4, that is just amazingly tense. Also, some nudity, that looks very well drawn.

The show sounds great, SFX-wise and VA-wise. It has Samuel L. Jackson in it. That’s all I should have to say, but it also includes Ron Pearlman, Phil LaMarr (Vamp), Greg Eagles (the good VA for Gray Fox), John DiMaggio (Jake, Bender, Marcus Fenix), Fred Tatasciore (tons of stuff; most notably the dark sounding side of the B&B Corps), and Tara Strong (every female voice for an animated show ever). Plus, music from the RZA! This show contains a lot of swearing, as well, if you don’t like that sort of thing.

The show manages to resonate on an emotional level. Seeing Afro’s journey, as well as the things he goes through (and loses) along the way, makes for a very fun, emotional, violently-charged drama, with some comedy from Ninja Ninja dropped in. This used to be my favorite anime of all-time (can’t really be called a series, since it only lasts 5 half-hour episodes, which is why I’m reviewing it like a movie instead of a series; plus I don’t want it spoiled for you), but that honor was usurped by another anime series I’ll be reviewing shortly. It’s a perfect example of America doing anime right (AKA not 4Kids). I recommend you either buy the Director’s Cut DVD for 10 bucks, or the Blu-Ray release, which also comes with the Emmy-winning Resurrection, which I’ll get to soon. I give Afro Samurai my “rigbybot127 Seal of Greatness”. It’s just short of perfect, some pacing issues, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t worth your time

 

9/10

 

James Flaherty

Video Game Reviewer/Critic at Leet Gamers Asia
Two things I love with a passion are video games and writing, and what's a better combination of those two things than being a game reviewer? 'Cause that's what I am. A reviewer for Leet Gamers Asia.

My tastes in games breach all genres, though my fortes are platformers and first-person shooters. My favorite game series is probably Super Mario, specifically the 3D games. I also love Rayman, Hitman, Bioshock, Half-Life/Portal, Uncharted, and Grand Theft Auto. As for my favorite game, it's hard to say: I love Portal 2, Shadow of the Colossus, Half-Life 2, Bioshock, Resident Evil 4, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Rayman Legends, Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, Grand Theft Auto IV, L.A. Noire, Fallout 3, Journey, and Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence all so damn much.

James Flaherty

Two things I love with a passion are video games and writing, and what's a better combination of those two things than being a game reviewer? 'Cause that's what I am. A reviewer for Leet Gamers Asia. My tastes in games breach all genres, though my fortes are platformers and first-person shooters. My favorite game series is probably Super Mario, specifically the 3D games. I also love Rayman, Hitman, Bioshock, Half-Life/Portal, Uncharted, and Grand Theft Auto. As for my favorite game, it's hard to say: I love Portal 2, Shadow of the Colossus, Half-Life 2, Bioshock, Resident Evil 4, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Rayman Legends, Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, Grand Theft Auto IV, L.A. Noire, Fallout 3, Journey, and Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence all so damn much.

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