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Characters: Afro Samurai
The cast of characters for Afro Samurai

"Afro"

"Nothing personal. It's just revenge."

The protagonist, hell-bent on revenge for his father, who was killed by Justice before his very eyes.

Appears in: All Versions (Naturally).

  • Afro Asskicker
  • Ancestral Weapon: His father's long katana.
  • Badass: In every way possible. Would you expect anything less from a guy voiced by Samuel L. Jackson?
  • Byronic Hero
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: This is combined with Jumped at the Call. Afro went after the Number 2 headband in his youth, regardless the danger that associated with it. Unfortunately, this meant that everyone around him had to pay the price when he decided to answer the call.
  • Death Seeker / Damn You, Muscle Memory: He becomes one of these at the end of the manga. Unfortunately, his skills are so sharp that when Kotaro comes to get revenge, Afro dodges his strike and beheads him, all subconciously.
  • Determinator
  • Doom Magnet: It comes with the territory of being the wielder of the Number 2 headband. Danger follows him where ever he goes.
  • The Dreaded: Afro earned and keeps the reputation of the Number 2 headband: the second most powerful being in the world, who's aiming to kill the equivalent of God himelf. Best shown in episode one, where everyone reacts to him as fearful regard.
  • Funny Afro
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Gets these in the manga whenever his inner demon is awoken.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: The first attack he makes in the entire series is to cut a bullet in half, sending each half into an attacker behind him. He can also learn to do this in the game, as well as reflect bullets.
  • Harmful to Minors
  • He Who Fights Monsters
  • Heroic BSOD: In the manga and game, he goes into the king of these when he finds Justice long dead.
  • It's All About Me
  • Manly Tears: In the manga, Afro cries these as he puts on the Number Two headband.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: The sole time he ever shows regret for his actions was at the very start of his journey, after he caused his friends' deaths and killed his master for the Number 2 headband.
  • No Name Given
  • Not So Different: His own actions parallel Justice's. Right down to killing Kotaro's father before his eyes.
  • Punny Name: In Japanese; "Afro" sounds like "afuro", which means "overflowing". Now look at his head.
  • Revenge Before Reason
    • Subverted in the Manga: He tries to forget what Justice did to his father, but confides in Jinno and Otsuru that he just can't.
    • Justice himself told the child Afro that witnessing the event would control his life from then on.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge
  • Scary Black Man
  • Shaggy Dog Story: In the manga and video game, when he finally reaches Justice and tries to stab him. Only to find out Justice is long since dead and his body crumbles to dust. In the video game, Afro fights representations of Justice in his mind to eventually comes to terms with himself. In the manga, well..the quest more or less is just meaningless and Afro actually has a Heroic BSOD for a few years before Kotaro comes and unwittingly snaps him out of it.
  • Smoking Is Cool
  • The Stoic
  • Talking to Himself
  • Trademark Favorite Food: In the Anime. "Lemonade. Ice cold."
  • Tragic Keepsake: His father's pendant (which he ties to the end of his sword's handle), and head (for a time). He later receives Otsuru/Okiku's hairpin, though how he gets it varies depending on the version.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Tries note  to kill a guy for information on the Number Two Headband as a kid. Later kills the guy's friends in self-defense.
    • Averted in the manga, for the most part. While living with The Swordmaster and the other orphans, he actually leads a relatively normal life.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Afro has no problem attacking Tomoe in Ressurection and there are female enemies in the game that can be killed just as brutally as the male enemies. Justified as both examples are generally in self defense.
  • Villain Protagonist: In the manga.
  • You Killed My Father

Afro's Father

"Wait here, son... it'll soon be over."

Voiced by: Greg Eagles

Father of the protagonist, and bearer of the Number 1 Headband. Killed by Justice in order to claim said headband. Resurrected by Sio in Resurrection.

Appears in: All versions.

Ninja Ninja

"If you don't stop dissin' me, I'm gonna stop following your brutal ass around."

Apparently Afro's only friend, he follows Afro on his quest for revenge. He seems to disappear before every fight. It's heavily implied, if not outright said that he is the personification of what's left of Afro's humanity.

Appears in: All versions.

  • Badass: In the manga, he demonstrates that he could kill Afro at any time.
  • Break The Fourth Wall: In the Video Game.
    "I can tell what you're thinking. You think you know how this ends. You saw the T.V. show right? Right? But that was a T.V. show, and T.V. shows demand a happy ending. You know this ain't the kind of story that has a happy ending..."
  • Doppelgänger Spin: In the game.
  • Foil
  • Greek Chorus
  • Hallucinations
    • In the manga, there are hints he may be more than that.
    "Man, quit makin' crazy shit up. I am what I am, ya dig?"
  • Hidden Depths
  • Highly-Visible Ninja
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red Oni to Afro's Blue.
  • Sarcastic Devotee
  • Spirit Advisor: In the manga, his stated purpose is to guide Afro to Mt. Sumeru to fight Justice.
  • Talking to Himself
  • You Can See Me??: Takimoto can see him (and talk to him) in the manga. In the anime, Justice can see him, but never interacts with him.
    • The latter case may have just been based on Justice's observation of Afro, since he does occasionally talk to Ninja Ninja but stops after the fight with Kuma.

Justice

"With this band, across my forehead... I will rule this world, as God himself."

Voiced by: Ron Perlman

A gunslinger who before the series began became the Number Two, he becomes the Number One when he kills Afro's father, setting the plot in motion.

Appears in: All versions.

Jinnosuke

"My dream is to fulfill the dreams of my father, to become a master swordsman and open up a dojo."

Voiced by: Yuri Lowenthal

Afro's childhood friend and rival at the dojo, he thinks of Afro like his brother. When The Number Two Headband is tracked to the dojo, Jinno is nearly killed, but survives and is transformed by Dharman into Kuma.

Appears in: All versions.

  • Ancestral Weapons: In the manga, the Sword Master says the katana he presents Jinno with came from Jinno's father, Jintaro.
  • Big Brother Instinct
  • Dual Wielding
  • Idiot Ball: Jinno, when your choices are rushing into battle to save two warriors at least as skilled as you, and protecting a group of kids who (with the odd exception) can't handle themselves, you don't choose the first.
    • The manga portrays the massacre as being much less his fault.
  • Shipper on Deck: In the manga, he actively supports Afro/Otsuru, and tells Afro as much.
  • The Rival
  • True Companions: To Afro, Otsuru, and everyone else at the Swordmaster's dojo.

"Kuma"

"Long time, no see, Afro..."

Teddy-bear mask-wearing cyborg, created by Dharman. He waits on Mt. Shumi (Sumeru in the Manga), guarding the path to Justice.

He eventually reveals himself to be Jinno, rebuilt after he was nearly killed.

In Resurrection, he returns, serving Sio in her plot to revive Afro's Father, his personality almost entirely gone due to the constant repairs to his cybernetic body.

Appears in: All versions.

The Empty 7

"Dear brothers, it seems that our long-awaited day has arrived! Our prayers, like paved stones, have led us to the door of the Number One!"

Voiced by: Phil LaMarr (Brothers 1, 3 and 5), John DiMaggio (Brother 2), Terrence C. Carson (Brother 4) and Greg Eagles (Brother 6)

The leaders of a cult that worships the power of the headbands, and seek to gain control of the Number One in order to become gods. To do this, they must kill Afro, to which end they hire assassins from all over the world, and build various cyborg warriors when those assassins prove inadequate.

Appear In: All Versions.

  • Agent Scully: Brother 2 in the manga doesn't believe that the headbands have any divine power.
  • Artificial Arm: Brother 1. In the manga, they're both artificial.
  • The Big Guy: Brother 6
  • Cain and Abel: Brother 2 tries to pull this on 1 in the manga, after learning of his intention to betray Justice. 1 turns this around on him, punching a hole in him.
  • Cool Hat: Brothers 4 and 6 wear round straw hats bearing their numbers.
  • Disney Villain Death: Afro kicks Brother 5 over the waterfall in the manga. Subverted in that we very clearly see his dead body floating face down in the water later.
  • The Dragon: In the manga, they have a contract to protect Justice.
  • Dual Boss: Brother 4 and 5 attack simultaneously, alongside 1 in the game, and jumping out of 6's backpack in the anime and manga.
  • Dual Wielding: In the manga, Brother 5 wields a pair of tanto. In the anime, he uses a jian.
  • Eye Scream: Brother 2 in the anime, and Brother 4 in the manga, both courtesy of Afro's fingertips.
  • Genre Savvy: Brother 3 was well aware The Empty 7 stood no chance against Afro, and wisely avoids fighting him.
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: Brother 3
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Brother 6 in the anime and game supplements his staff with a flamethrower and a Muthafuckin' RPG, in his backpack.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Several examples related to them:
    • 2 inflicts this on Okiku in the anime.
    • Afro stabs both 4 and 5 through the head in the anime.
    • 1 punches through 2 in the manga. Then tears his insides out.
    • Afro kills 1 this way in the manga.
  • Meaningful Name: Rokutaro ("Roku" is "6" in Japanese).
  • No Name Given: For all except Brother 6, who in the Manga is named Shinojiryu Boujutsu Rokutaro, or "Rokuta" for short.
  • Not Blood Siblings: Rokutaro is explicitly stated in the manga not to be related to the other 5, and in fact is never referred to as Brother 6 (though he still has "6" tattooed on his head and painted on his hat).
  • Not Quite Dead: Brother 1 shows up in Resurrection, in 3's care, strapped to a stretcher and hooked up to a catheter.
  • Simple Staff: Brother 4 and Brother 6.
  • Technical Pacifist: Brother 3 in the anime. He just simply asks for the #2 head band and offers Afro some tea and rice crackers. When Afro meets up with him again in Resurrection, he instead wages information on the current Number Two against Afro's life in a dice game.
  • Tykebomb: In the manga, Brother 6 was raised from early childhood by the Brothers to be their enforcer.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: All of the brothers save 6 (who may not be related: see above) look exactly the same, to the point where they have their numbers tattooed on their heads.
  • Voice Grunting: Brother 4 in the manga only speaks in "Mmm." of various lengths (and screaming when Afro rips out his eyes).
  • What Happened to the Mouse??: Brother 3 simply disappears during the showdown with Afro in the manga. It could be argued that he was killed as collateral damage during Afro's fight with Brother 1, and/or that the brother shown crushed under debris was him and not Brother 4.

Otsuru

"Lenamode?"

"When things get hard, look at this comb and think of Master and the rest of us, and of this mountain."

Voiced by: Tara Strong

One of the orphans adopted by the Sword Master, she acts as the heart of the family, and always carries around a teddy bear.

Only appears as a child in the anime and game sort of, but in the manga, she grows up alongside the rest of Afro's True Companions, even developing a romance with him.

Appears in: Season 1, Manga, and Game.

  • Faux Action Girl: In the manga, the Bokken tied to her back when she was little suggests that she was actually training in the use of swords along with the other orphans. By the time we see her grown, though, she seems to have given it up.
  • Iconic Item: Her teddy bear. In the manga, she keeps it tied to her back even after she reaches her (presumably late) teens.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted in the anime, as she's thought to be killed at the battle under the Bohdi tree. She actually survived, and grew up to be Okiku.
    • Also averted in the manga, as she is fully grown when the sword dojo is attacked.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: In the anime, she appears the same age in all of Afro's flashbacks, despite the flashbacks taking place over many years (as evidenced by Afro's own growth). Subverted when it's revealed that the very, very grown up Okiku is Otsuru.
    • Averted in the manga, as she is actually somewhat older than Afro, and grows up alongside the rest of Afro's True Companions at the Sword Dojo.
  • Precocious Crush: She has one on Afro in the anime (though how precocious it is is unclear, given that unlike Afro, she is Not Allowed to Grow Up.
  • She Is All Grown Up: In the manga. Also in the anime, though by then she is known as Okiku.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Her hairpin, which was found with her by the Sword Master. She later gives it to Afro before he leaves the Sword Dojo to search for Justice.
  • Victorious Childhood Friend: Afro confesses his love for her in the Manga after the graduation, promising to return to her after he has taken his vengeance on Justice.

"Okiku"

"Will you stay and watch the fireworks with me?"

Voiced by: Kelly Hu

A village healer who find Afro after his battle with Brother 6. She nurses him back to health, but at the same time probes his dreams to extract his skills for use in the Empty 7's Afro Droid. She eventually receives orders to kill him, but can't bring herself to go through with it, and is killed for her betrayal.

She is revealed in the Anime to have been Otsuru, having survived the massacre at the sword dojo. Curiously, no mention of her past identity of Otsuru is made by her in the game, which is odd, as she narrates her own chapter.

Appears in: Season 1, Game.

O-Sachi

"This man is bound by his past..."

A young woman who found Afro after his slaughter of the Empty 7 and subsequent asskicking at the hands of Kuma. She belongs to an isolated community that follows the teachings of "The One". As she cares for Afro, she seems to develop an attraction to him, and it appears that Afro might reciprocate. Unfortunately, it turns out that "The One" would probably be more accurately referred to as "Number One". When she learns that Afro cannot forgive Justice, and intends to kill him despite all the good he's done, she attempts to kill Afro first. This leads to Afro slaughtering the entire community.

Appears in: Manga.

  • Absolute Cleavage: In her spy catsuit.
  • Action Girl: She reveals herself to be a former ninja when she attacks Afro.
  • Expy: Okiku is hers or vice-versa.
  • In Name Only: A character named Osachi appears in the game as an elite mook. Apart from her sister having been killed, she bears no resemblance to the manga's O-Sachi.
  • Rescue Romance: She asks Afro to return to be with her once he has finished his quest for revenge. Of course, she then finds out that his target is her messiah.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: She went on a "hellish journey" seeking revenge for her sister, until she was found by "The One", and taught forgiveness by him.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko

Sword Master

"We are born men in order to live, not to kill."

Voiced by: Terrence C. Carson

An old warrior who owns a small dojo, where he trains orphans in the art of the sword. He finds Afro after his father's death and he takes him in, attempting to sway him from the path of revenge. Eventually, Afro discovers that he has become the Number Two, and he challenges him for the headband.

Appears in: Season 1, Manga, and Game.

  • Combat Pragmatist: "The point of dueling is to kill your enemy. Not twisting and turning, demonstrating flowery form."
  • I Let You Win: Implied in the anime and game. He definitely uses this trope in the manga, secretly using a bamboo sword.
  • Made of Iron: Keeps fighting after being stabbed with numerous spears in the anime.
  • Old Master Swordsman
  • Secret Test of Character: His duel with Afro, especially in the manga.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: His duel with Afro ends in one of these.
  • The Stoic: Less so in the manga, where he cracks smiles more frequently.
  • Turn the Other Cheek: He tries to drill this into Afro, though it's not so much revenge he discourages as seeking to become Number Two, and entwining his fate with the constant bloodshed.
    • In the manga, he's more understanding, acknowledging that Afro is a man, and must make his own decisions.

Sasuke, Jiro, and Matasaburo (And the rest of the Sword Master's Students)

Voiced by: Jason Marsden (Sasuke), Tara Strong (Jiro), Dave Wittenberg (Matasaburo)

The students at the Sword Master's dojo, they collectively help to try and bring Afro out of his shell.

And then they all die in the battle beneath the Bodhi Tree.

Appear in: Season 1, Game (Sasuke).

Kazuma

"I welcome you wholeheartedly and will gladly teach [drowned out by Big Boy] within my know-[drowned out again] you sho-[interrupted once more.]"

The youngest of the orphans adopted by Sword Master until Afro comes along. Talks a lot.

Appears in: Manga.

Daigo "Big Boy"

"I'm gonna be the WORLD'S GREATEST CHEF!!"

The last of the orphans adopted by the Sword Master, his defining trait is his lack of indoor voice.

Appears in: Manga.

Dharmannote 

"Nothing is mightier than the fundamental laws by which all things in this world operate."

Voiced by: Phil LaMarr (S. Scott Bullock in the Director's Cut)

A mad scientist in the employ of Justice (in the manga) and the Empty 7 (in the anime). He was responsible for Jinno's conversion into Kuma, and was the creator Afro Droid.

In Resurrection, Sio hires him to perform the revival of Afro's father. After she interrupts the process, she kills him.

Appears in: Season 1, Resurrection, Manga.

  • The Dragon: He serves the Empty 7 in the anime (though even after they are destroyed, he continues to order Kuma to take the Number Two headband). In the manga, he works for Justice under Takimoto, maintaining Bhava-Agra's machines.
  • Eye Scream: In the manga, he is killed when Afro throws a spear through his eye.
  • Insult Backfire: Nothing Sio says to him about his depravity seems like anything less than the highest praise to him.
  • Mad Scientist
  • Punny Name: A dharama is a round wish doll, common in Japan. They feature a beard and mustache, and the eyes are left unpainted. When you make a wish, you paint in the right eye, and leave the left blank until your wish is fulfilled. Dharman is a bearded, mustachioed Mad Scientist in a round robotic body, with a blank left eye.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Sio kills him once he has restored Afro's Father to her satisfaction (letting her vassals go into battle to either die or ruin her plans probably didn't help).

Afro Droid

"Danger! Danger! Danger!"

A Terminator-esque robot built in Afro's likeness (or in the manga, his father's), complete with a false skin covering. It is meant purely for battle, and it does it well, utilizing Afro's moves with a 20% increase in physical strength.

Appears in: Season 1, Manga, and Game.

Shichigoro

"There's no place in this world for dangerous men like us, don't you think?"

Voiced by: Liam O Brien

A fisherman that Afro comes across in his travels, along with his son Kotaro. The two end up in a duel, though the reasons why differ greatly between Resurrection and the manga:

In the manga, Shichigoro and Oi-chan are former assassins for the Empty 7. After Oi-chan botched a job, Shichigoro betrayed the clan, protecting the old man from the Empty 7's cleaners, and the two, along with Kotaro, began traveling the province with a hotpot stand, trying to stay under the 7's radar. When Shichigoro realizes who Afro is, he challenges him in the hope that presenting his head to the Empty 7 will settle his debt, making the world safe for Kotaro.

In Resurrection, he is in fact the new Number Two, but chooses to hide the headband, hoping that by hiding it, humanity will forget about the headbands and their so-called power. He meets Afro when Afro cuts down the man trying to kidnap his Kotaro, and recognizes him as the former Number Two. He reveals to Afro that Kotaro is in fact his adopted son, and that the boy's father was one of the many warriors who died seeking the Number Two headband. Shichigoro promised his dying friend that he would end the wars over the headbands.

Appears in: Resurrection, Manga.

Kotaro

"Daddy!"

Voiced by: Zachary Gordon

Shichigoro's young son (adopted in Resurrection). He watches Afro kill his father in a duel, mirroring how Afro saw his own father slain by Justice.

Appears in: Resurrection, Manga.

  • Cycle of Revenge: At the end of Resurrection, Afro gives a young Kotaro (who has been following him) the Number Two headband. In the manga, he shows up many years after Afro becomes Number One, having become Number Two the old fashioned way.
  • Harmful to Minors
  • Ironic Echo: Everything about him echoes what happened to Afro as a child.
  • Morality Pet: To Shichigoro
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Presumably went on one of these to become Number Two.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: When he shows up for revenge in the manga, Afro cuts him down effortlessly.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In the manga, he shows up many years later as the new Number Two.
  • You Killed My Father: In Resurrection, this trope is in effect twofold: Afro killed both Shichigoro and Kotaro's birth father (though Kotaro only knows about the former).

Oi-chan

"We took countless lives. Just like you."

Voiced by: Mark Hamill

An old hotpot stand vendor and friend of Shichigoro, Oi-chan becomes Kotaro's caretaker after Shichigoro's death.

Appears in: Resurrection, Manga.

Kougansai Takimoto

"Humans cannot survive without a god to control them. That's the truth of things."

A mysterious watcher who serves the Number One, working to kill the Number Two.

In the manga he works as Justice's eyes and ears out in the world or presumably did before Justice died.

In Resurrection, he only appears at the very end in the old Mt. Shumi sanctuary, welcoming back Justice.

Above all else, he believes in the power of Number One to free the world from chaos and pain.

Appears in: Resurrection, and Manga.

  • Air Jousting / Single-Stroke Battle: Engages in one of these with Ninja Ninja. He loses.
  • BFS: Well, the nodachi is certainly bigger than he is.
  • Complete Immortality: Claims to be. Ninja Ninja proves him wrong. [[supersecretspoiler: Turns out he was another type.]]
  • The Dragon: Serves Justice in the manga. Resurrection seems to set him up to fulfill this role in the anime.
  • Mask Power
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Serves the Number One and will ally himself with the former Number Two should that warrior become the Number One.
  • Mysterious Watcher: He claims this is his job.
  • The Napoleon: Even smaller than Ninja Ninja. He is about as far from hotheaded as it gets, though.
  • Razor Floss: Wields a series of wires to entrap his foes, or control his sword from a distance.
  • Stepping-Stone Sword: The scabbard of his sword has an office chair wheel specifically so he can perch on top of it.

Gorokube

"Even the great No. 2 can't do nothin' besides run off and hide at the site of my great, big cannon!"

A warlord contacted by the Empty 7, Gorokube engages Afro in battle at the parade, wielding an RPG and a minigun. In exchange for his help acquiring the Number Two headband, he demands all of the Empty 7's wealth. His arsenal gives Afro a bit of trouble, but Afro bests his assassins and the man himself through a horizon-crossing use of human shields.

Appears in: Manga.

  • Enemy Mine: His alliance with The Empty 7 might count as this, since his first words to Brother 1 are a complaint about the assassins sent after him by the 7.
  • Fat Bastard
  • The Hedonist: Is seen surrounding himself by chained-up naked women. One of whom he eats off of. Silverware and all.
  • More Dakka: His minigun.
  • Off with His Head!

The Daimyo

"There are no 'sacred' headbands; there are no gods keeping us in check. There is only man."

Voiced by: William Morgan Sheppard

The lord of the province in which the Sword Dojo resides, and Sword Master's elder brother. He was present when Afro was first found by the Sword Master. Afro raids his castle seeking The Number Two headband, eventually facing the Daimyo in combat.

Appears in: Game.

Sio

"Do you remember me? I remember you. And all that you've done. How many hundreds of lives have you ended? How many thousands have you made mourn the loss of their loved ones?"

Voiced by: Lucy Liu

Kuma's long lost sister, who was apparently adopted by a rich family while he studied swordplay. She kicks off the plot of Resurrection by breaking into Afro's home and stealing the Number One headband. She also plans to revive Afro's Father and torture him in retaliation for what Afro did to Kuma.

Appears in: Resurrection.

Bin, Michael and Tomoe

"We must not allow our Lady Sio to tread the path of darkness, such a sweet lady she is. We will not allow her to fall from grace. Instead, we will be the sinners..."

Voiced by: Mark Hamill, none and Grey DeLisle

Sio's "vassals", who helped raise her in the rich household she was adopted by. When their town is destroyed, they are revived by Dharman, and continue to serve Sio, aiding her in her revenge. Secretly, they plan to kill Afro before her plans come to fruition to keep her from becoming a murderer.

Appear in: Resurrection.


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