Afro Samurai

Takashi Okazaki’s Afro Samurai is a Japanese seinen djinshi manga series written and illustrated by him. From November 1998 to September 2002, it was serialised irregularly in the avant-garde djinshi manga magazine Nou Nou Hau. It is based on Okazaki’s love of soul and hip hop music, as well as American media, and follows the life of Afro Samurai, who as a child witnessed the murder of his father, Rokutaro (owner of the No. 1 headband), by a male gunslinger named Justice (owner of the No. 2 headband). As an adult, Afro embarks on a mission to assassinate Justice and avenge his father.     

Afro Samurai Anime Synopsis

When Afro was a child, he witnessed his father being killed in a duel by a man only known as Justice. After murdering Afro’s father, Justice discarded his Number Two headband in favour of the Number One, claiming its godly powers as his own.
Years later, having obtained the Number Two headband, which allows him to challenge the Number One, Afro continues his hunt for vengeance on the man who murdered his father. Only one thing stands in his way: everyone else in the world! Though only the Number Two can challenge the Number One, the Number Two can be challenged by anyone. As his enemies gather to vie for the title of Number Two, Afro must overcome a slew of foes and obstacles if he is to become Number One and claim vengeance once and for all.

Afro Samurai

Afro Samurai Info

  • IMDB Ratings – 7.7/10
  • Genres – Action, Adventure, Samurai
  • Season – 1
  • Episodes – 5
  • Movies – 1
  • Status – Finished Airing
  • Aired – May 3, 2007 to May 4, 2007
  • Premiered – Spring 2007
  • Duration – 27 min. per episode
  • Rating – R+ – Mild Nudity

Afro Samurai Anime Characters


Main Characters

Afro Samurai

Afro Samurai is the series’ main protagonist, who as a child mourns for his father and wears the Number Two headband on his quest to kill Justice and reclaim the Number One. He smokes hand-rolled cigarettes, drinks lemonade, and has a deep, calm voice as an adult.

Ninja Ninja

Afro’s partner is Ninja Ninja, who mostly speaks in a normal voice while Afro refuses to respond to conversations. Ninja Ninja has white hair and wears a ninja motif. As the series progresses, Ninja Ninja observes Afro as he seeks vengeance. At the start of Episode 5, it is revealed that Kuma kills Ninja Ninja, who saves Afro. Afro confronts Justice, who claims to have seen him shed his “imaginary friend” about halfway through the episode.
Ninja Ninja is confirmed to be emanated from the Number Two Headband in conjunction with the wearer’s mind, restored to Afro with the band itself in Afro Samurai: Resurrection.

Jinnosuke/”Kuma”

Jinnosuke is a swordsman who wears a cybernetic teddy bear helmet (the same design as Otsuru’s teddy bear from their dojo days), earning him the nickname “Kuma” (Bear in Japanese). He is dressed in a black keikogi, hakama, and toe strapping metal geta sandals while wielding twin katanas. Afro Samurai is also his best friend and brother, according to him. In the series, he blames Afro for their master’s death and even steals the Number Two headband. Jinno weeps for the other dojo members, suffers injuries during the Midnight Battle Under the Bodhi Tree, and falls from the cliff. Dharman saves him and builds him a robotic body. Afro appears to destroy his life-support system in order to defeat Jinno, but he recovers his body, straps it with the rest of the ranked headbands as bandages, and sees Afro, who wears the Number 1 headband, fight.
In Afro Samurai: Resurrection, he collaborates with his younger sister Sio, who grew up with foster parents. Jinno quickly mutes his voice and is unable to communicate with Sio until Rokutaro appears to kill Afro. Rokutaro impales and kills Jinno and Sio before Jinno’s robotic body’s electricity travels through Sio’s blood and resurrects Afro.

Antagonists

The Empty Seven

The Empty Seven are six monks who believe that obtaining both ancient headbands will grant them immortality and godhood. They use robots and mercenaries to do their dirty work because the monks have far inferior fighting skills to Afro and Justice, possibly due to their age difference. Brothers 1–5 appear to be identical wizened old men with long beards dressed in robes and other accessories:

Brother 1 was the Clan’s apparent leader (although such an authority was never outright stated). His demeanour and demeanour were a cross between an Evangelical preacher and a street pimp. He was almost always seen with a beautiful, almost naked woman by his side. He, like the rest of the Clan, was a wise old man with a long beard and a prosthetic gold left arm (which can be switched out for a machine gun). Brother 1 was paralysed and held in a stretcher with a catheter by Brother 3 in an attempt to ambush Afro from atop the elevator leading to Kuma following the Afro Droid’s destruction, making him the only monk to fight Afro directly and lose but survive. In Afro Samurai: Resurrection, Brother One’s woman is seen working as a stripper in Brother 3’s gambling house, where she excels.

Brother 2 was the Clan’s eyes and ears, frequently seen scoping out Afro from afar with a pair of high-tech binoculars. Typically, Brother 6 was seen assisting him. During his reconnaissance, he reported all of his observations of Afro to Brother 1 via cell phone. He was shown using an extending Buddhist staff, or kunai, in combat. When Otsuru turns against the Empty Seven for the sake of Afro, it is Brother 2 who stabs and kills her. Later, as he was preparing to kill Afro, he is surprised from behind by poking his eyes and shoving his binoculars deep into the wounds. The brutality of his execution was most likely in retaliation for Otsuru.

Brother 3 was unique among the brothers because he was the most laid-back. While the other Brothers plotted Afro’s death, Brother 3 was usually content to stand off in the corner, listening to music through his circumaural headphones and bobbing his head. He was shown to have a Southern US accent during the few times he actually spoke. In terms of decision-making, he appeared to be far more pacifistic than his comrades. When deciding which assassin to hire to kill Afro, Brother 3 suggested looking at their individual credentials rather than resorting to violence. Later, when Afro invaded the Empty Seven’s temple, he was waiting by the door with tea and rice crackers prepared, calmly chanting Hachimaki o kudasai (Japanese for “headband please.”) simply asking for the Number Two Headband rather than fighting for it. Afro declined the rice and tea offered to him, but Ninja Ninja accepted. As a result, Brother 3 escaped while the other monks were killed or injured. Brother 3 uses the dice remote controller to change numbers in Afro Samurai: Resurrection, but Afro disqualifies him for cheating the game.

Brother 4 was a gruff, deep-voiced green-robed monk who carried a Buddhist staff and wore a metal kasa. He was frequently seen standing next to Brother 5. In battle, Brother 4’s preferred weapon was a sansetsukon. When it came to deciding who would face Afro, Brother 4 insisted that Ivanov the Russian was the obvious choice, which sparked an argument with Brother 5, who disagreed and felt Foo from China was more capable. Brother 1 solved the problem by proposing a battle royale, which both 4 and 5 thought was a great idea. Following Brother 6’s defeat at the hands of Afro, Brothers 4 and 5 emerged from their hiding place in Brother 6’s backpack and attempted to gang up on Afro from both sides. This strategy failed miserably, and both monks were easily assassinated.

Brother 5 was the arrogant and sadistic monk who wore a plain white robe, smoked a long pipe on a regular basis, and spoke in a high squeaky voice. In battle, Brother 4’s preferred weapon was a jian. When it came to deciding who would face Afro, Brother 4 insisted that Ivanov the Russian was the obvious choice, which sparked an argument with Brother 5, who disagreed and felt Foo from China was more capable. Brother 1 solved the problem by proposing a battle royale, which both 4 and 5 thought was a great idea. Following Brother 6’s defeat at the hands of Afro, Brothers 4 and 5 emerged from their hiding place in Brother 6’s backpack and attempted to gang up on Afro from both sides. This strategy failed miserably, and both monks were easily assassinated. In the manga, Afro Samurai kicks Brother 5 over the waterfall and is later discovered face down in the water.

Brother 6 was a large, muscled man in monk regalia who wore a metal kasa and had cold inhuman eyes. He was the only Brother who didn’t have the appearance of an old monk with a long beard. His true name is Rokutaro, as stated in the manga, and he is the youngest of the Empty 7. Brother 6 was violent and impulsive, and he never hesitated to use excessive force in his actions. He fought with a long Buddhist staff and a backpack loaded with weapons such as a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and a flame thrower. Brother 6 was the man who saved Jinnosuke and Otsuru from certain death, but he felt it would have been more merciful to just let Jinnosuke die. He was the one who set fire to Otsuru’s house and blew up the bridge following Afro’s initial confrontation with Afro Droid (much to Brother 1’s chagrin). When that tactic failed, Brother 6 went one-on-one with Afro. He was a difficult opponent, and when defeated, he held Afro’s sword within his body, disarming the samurai and giving Brothers 4 and 5 the upper hand over Afro.

Otsuru/”Okiku”

Otsuro is a young woman who specialises in healing, cooking, and enjoys watching fireworks. She met Afro in the shrine as a child after he lost the Number Two headband and took him to the Sword Master’s dojo. That night, Otsuru witnesses the deaths of the remaining assassins and the Sword Master’s pupils. Otsuru survives and becomes an agent for Brother 1 with the Empty Seven Clan.
Years later, Otsuru saves Afro, who has survived Soshun’s poisonous crossbow infection and Brother 6’s cliff-side RPG explosion. Despite changing her name to “Okiku,” Otsuru spends time with Afro in the bamboo forest. She employs her one-of-a-kind ability to extract memories from anyone’s dreams and imitates Afro’s sword style for the Afro Droid. She tries to murder Afro, but realises her mistake. Then, Brother 2 murders Otsuru for assisting Afro and betraying the Empty Seven.

Dharman

Dharman is a deranged cyborg scientist who works for the Empty Seven Clan to create their machine-ninja army and the Afro-Droid. He uses his protective “Teddy Bear” helmet to repair Jinnosuke’s body. His name derives from his resemblance to a Japanese Dharma doll. When Afro defeats Jinnosuke, Dharman is most likely the one who repaired and rebuilt him. Many fans assumed he was Brother #7, as indicated by Brother #1’s use of the word “brother,” but the official site states that this is not the case. He also does not like to think of himself as a member of the group, and in the second-to-last chapter, he refers to them in the third person.
Dharman works for Sio in her vicious plan to exact revenge on Afro in Afro Samurai: Resurrection. He is able to create a clone of Afro’s father from a jawbone stolen from the warrior’s grave using advanced bio-technology. He transforms Sio’s foster siblings Bin, Michael, and Tomoe into cybernetic warriors. Dharman is aroused by Sio’s seductive beauty and sadistic nature as she plays with him, despite his reprimand for interfering with Rokutaro’s resurrection process. Before resurrecting Rokutaro, Sio stabs Dharman for forcing her henchmen to fight Afro.

Afro-Droid

The Empty Seven Clan created the Afro-Droid, a semi-sentient robot copy of Afro Samurai. Otsuru created it using combat data extracted from Afro’s mind, and it replicates all of his learned techniques and abilities. While Afro Samurai and Afro-Droid are the same, Afro-Droid has guns, lasers, and explosives. Afro destroys the robot and the memory chip in the third episode after fighting his way from the air to the ground.

Justice

The heinous gunslinger who assassinates Rokutaro and steals the Number One headband. At the end of the miniseries, he stays in the throne room to live on Mount Shumi, where Afro cuts his pair of arms and the third one behind him holding a sword for execution. Afro slices Justice’s body into smaller pieces after he regenerates himself and declares that all ranked headbands on corpses will remain there.

Lady Sio

Lady Sio appears in Afro Samurai Resurrection as Jinno’s younger sister. She begs Jinno to kill Afro, but Jinno refuses, referring to Afro as “his brother” of the sword with whom he has a stronger bond. Sio and her brother are orphans, unlike Otsuru, and while Afro and Jinno went to train with the Sword Master, Sio appears to live with her wealthy and powerful foster family, who have their own castle and a replacement daughter who treats Sio as the princess. Sio dislikes Afro and learns that he killed them when he was young, though the words of her servant, Tomoe, imply that their lands were destroyed in the chaos that ensues after Afro takes the Number One headband, implying that her family’s death is not Afro’s fault. Rokutaro uses the broken sword to impale Sio and Jinno’s battered bodies.

Bin

Bin is Sio’s guardian. When Sio was younger, he was a member of her foster family and was known for making people laugh with his amusing mask. However, after the town where he lived was destroyed (which Sio blames on Afro), he was nearly killed and reconstructed as a cybernetic fighter by the mad professor Dharman (similar to Jinno’s situation). He wears the same amusing Hyottoko mask he wore in the past to conceal his robotic appearance now that he is no longer laughing, but a hateful shell of the man he once was. Bin typically carries a boom box that can fire metal spikes and is capable of transforming his left hand into a blade and his right hand into a laser cannon, as well as making huge leaps with his robotic feet. He and the other henchmen despise Afro because they blame him for their loss of humanity and want to kill him to keep Sio from becoming a murderer. After the other two henchmen are dispatched, he grabs Afro’s leg with his last strength and attempts to detonate himself to kill him, but Afro dispatches him by kicking his head off.

Michael

Michael, like Bin, was a member of Sio’s foster family and used to entertain people by dressing up as a dragon. He was also reconstructed as a cyborg by the scientist Dharman after suffering near-fatal injuries. He’s dressed in a cloak and a red dragon mask that shoots flames and rockets when he opens his mouth. After Afro removes the mask and cloak that cover his body, it is revealed that the only organic parts of him that remain are his head and torso, the rest of his body being cybernetic and equipped with a pair of long, metallic chains and a massive machine gun. When his fellow henchman, Tomoe, grabs Afro and begs him to shoot them with his machine gun, he initially refuses, fearing that he will kill her, but at Bin’s request, he decides to fire. Afro, on the other hand, uses Tomoe as a human shield, and she is completely destroyed by Michael’s bullets. Afro kills him by first destroying his metallic legs and then cutting him in half with his blade.

Tomoe

Tomoe, a member of Sio’s foster family, was seen holding a shamisen (a Japanese guitar-like instrument) and was very nice to her (teaching her to dance among other things). She, like the other two henchmen, became a cyborg assassin after the tragic event in her town. She wears a wide hat and wields the same instrument she used to sing on, only now it can be turned into a lethal weapon. In order to conceal her burnt face, she also wears a Noh Mask that resembles her previous appearance. Her jet-propelled cybernetic feet allow her to fly, and her enhanced muscular tissue gives her strikes more power, making her a worthy opponent.
She injures Afro with her weapon, and after grabbing him with her enhanced arm, she is willing to sacrifice herself by telling Michael to shoot them with his machinegun. Afro, on the other hand, manages to poke her eyes out and use her as a shield against Michael’s bullets. Her damaged cybernetic body explodes after being ripped apart by bullets, ending her life.

Afro Samurai Anime Episodes

1. Revenge
Aired: Jan 4, 2007 (JST)

2. The Dream Reader
Aired: Jan 11, 2007 (JST)

3. The Empty Seven Clan
Aired: Jan 18, 2007 (JST)

4. Duel
Aired: Jan 25, 2007 (JST)

5. Justice
Aired: Feb 1, 2007 (JST)

Movie Name – Afro Samurai: Resurrection (2009)

People Also Ask

What Race is Afro Samurai?

Human

Is Afro Samurai Only in English?

Afro Samurai made its debut on January 4, 2007. The series debuted worldwide on Spike’s website, where the first episode was streamed online. The series debuted on Japanese television on May 3, 2007, in English with Japanese subtitles and completely uncut for the first time.

Also Read – Accel World

Source – Wikipedia

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