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shoujoboy's Afro Samurai Tv Review

Afro Samurai

Afro Samurai tv Review

Story & Characters

Take a mental trip back in the day, well back in the day in the year 2001. Where were you and what were you doing that year? A lot of us were in high school, and knowing a lot of the inhabitants of this website middle school. I only bring that year up because that was the last time I watched any anime dubbed. Ever since Sakura Taisen dubbed, I've never let my ear be poisoned by horrible English voice acting. But Afro Samurai gives you no choice... oh and it has SAMUEL L JACKSON!

Afro Samurai starts with a young Afro and his father atop a mountain. A mysterious stranger appears to challenge his father to a duel to the death. His reason? To obtain the #1 headband that Afro's father possesses. After a short duel, Afro sees his father decapitated in front of his eyes and the stranger take the headband. This sight puts only one thought into his mind... revenge.

The entire point of Afro Samurai is our main hero Afro heading back to that mountain to regain that headband and revenge for his father. Afro wears the #2 headband which allows him to be the only one that can challenge the #1, but the #2 is fair game to anyone who wants a shot. So Afro while trying to get to #1 must fight all comers as they try to take it over and give themselves a shot at being the best fighter in the world. What this means is lots of fighting and lots of blood.

Afro Samurai can be comparable to a Ninja Scroll for this generation of anime fans. It's got lots of action and lots of mindless violence to give you that pure feeling of bloodlust. It has the same kind of crazy cast of characters, the same inclusion of sex (just not AS graphic) and that main character that can only be described as a "bad ass". Problem is... it's just kinda boring. The entire show consists of a fight between Afro and some kind of villanous character followed by a flashback showing Afro's upbringing, rinse and repeat. He eventually reaches the summit, wins his battle and that's game over.

Rating: 5

Art

Afro Samurai proves to be a love it or hate it show in the animation department. This is Gonzo Digimation so you can expect a high attention to detail and an overall great look. It has a certain feeling to it but it can prove to be distracting when the action gets hot and heavy as characters just become almost a bit too loose in their movements. Character designs on the whole are quite good but again remind me entirely too much of Ninja Scroll, just prettier. Afro's character exudes that pure sense of awesome in his dark complexion and smooth walk... well that and his gravity and weather defying hair. He can be inside a building where there is clearly no draft of any kind, and yet his headband will wave and wave. I know, it's anime that happens all the time, but still.

Really the animation is hard to describe, judge for yourself.

Rating: 7

Sound

As I said before, SAMUEL L JACKSON! I'll be the first to admit that seeing that name on the front cover of anything makes me want to watch it. Snakes on a Plane anyone? Anyway Sam Jackson delivers all the types of lines you'd want to hear from him... such classics as "What!? You got a mother f*%kin RPG in your backpack!?" Or "You's a crazy mother f*%ker". Problem is he never seems to shut up. Sam plays the part of Afro and his friend Ninja Ninja. Afro rarely says much but Ninja squared never stops blabbing throughout the entire show. He's always advising Afro to not fight and talking about "hitting that" and other various one liners. At first it's funny and overall kinda cool, but it never stops.

Sam Jackson aside, the vocal casting ends up varying dramatically. There are bright spots here and there in Ron Pearlman and others but other parts are quite horrible and shallowly played. Many of the parts sound as if they are barely able to read or trying to sound like old overdubbed samurai movies. Kelly Hu in fact sounded just plain pathetic as nearly all of her lines seemed like they were broken up by poor reading.

Music on the other hand was quite good. No composer by the Nobuo or Yuki here, instead you get The Rza (WU-TANG). The Rza "lays down his phat beats" (please forgive this man for saying that) for Afro Samurai and adds a nice feel to show. My only complaint is that the opening song's lyrics are pretty weak. Note to rappers, rhyming words is important, but matching syllables is equally important.

Rating: 5

Presentation

Afro is an unfortunate show. The whole premise of a samurai anime based on a hip-hop theme (and if you say Samurai Champloo I will stab you) is one that is just overall cool. Not only that but the prospect of Sam Jackson as an anime voice actor is just too cool to not watch. But you end up with a weak story that relies on one-liners and over the top violence that simply leads you to the conclusion you expect after watching the show for maybe 3 minutes. There's nothing wrong with a predictable conclusion just not one that you can predict from the very beginning.

There are those who will love this show and tell their friends of it's sheer awesomeness. It has crazy violence, breasts on occasion, a bad-assed main character and lots and lots of Sam Jackson saying mother f*%ker. Those reasons alone will give people a massive amount of enjoyment. But then there is the rest of the crowd that is going to feel extrodinarily dissapointed in the shallow nature of the show and the overuse of those very one-liners.

Well that's all, maybe you can expect another dub review from me in another 6 years.

Rating: 6

Final Verdict

5.67 (average)

Reviewed by shoujoboy, May 26, 2007

Comments

  1. jaderabbit May 26, 2007

    Ugh so its that bad?
    Glad i didn't buy it at walmart the other night...
    They had directors and original there and i couldn't make my mind up so i decided to read here about. Glad i waited.

  2. 5points May 27, 2007

    Nice review!

    Thanks for seeing past all of the fluff. I still want to eventually give the show a peep though.

  3. BossMac May 27, 2007

    Quote: Sam Jackson saying mother f*%ker

    It gets annoying sometimes, I know.

    You WATCHED this? Unbelievable...

  4. wecojail May 29, 2007

    Even with your review I will still give it a try to see if it is truley bad.

    Thanks

    wecojail

  5. ryanwho Mar 29, 2009

    I should love this show in theory but it just didn't click. Movie had some great moments, though.

  6. SchRita Jan 15, 2010

    Thanks for the review!

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