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Anime / Afro Samurai

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"Nothing personal. It's just revenge."

Set in a Schizo Tech version of something that may or may not be feudal Japan, the story revolves around the titular character (played by Samuel L. Jackson) and his quest to avenge his father's death by defeating the strongest warrior in the world. The idea goes that whoever wears the "Number One Headband" is the unquestioned biggest badass on Earth, but he or she can only be challenged by the person with the Number Two band — which is, at the moment, Afro. Making Afro's life a lot more complicated is the fact that any regular schlub can challenge for the Number Two and with it, the right to try for the big prize.

The five-episode series premiered in North America and aired between January 4, 2007 and February 1, 2007 on Paramount Network (then known as Spike TV). The sequel movie, titled "Afro Samurai: Resurrection", premiered on January 25, 2009. Tired of all the killing, Afro has retreated away from the world. Unfortunately, Kuma and his sister, Sio, find him and take the Number One Headband. Sio plans to resurrect Afro's father, and force Afro to fight him to atone for all the lives he's ended. Afro must once again find the Number Two Headband, to earn the right to challenge her before she's able to do so.

There's also a ten-chapter manga version. It uses elements, characters, and events from both movies, while changing many things. According to the creator, it's the closest to the original doujinshi the series is based on. It was released in two volumes between 2008 and 2009 published by Tor Books and Seven Seas Entertainment. The manga went out of print for years until 2022 when Titan Comics picked up the license and has since rereleased them under a "director's cut".

A video game adaptation of the first season was released in February of 2009. An Interquel starring Kuma tiled Afro Samurai 2: Revenge of Kuma was released late in 2015 as an episodic game, but was later cancelled by its publisher after a string of poor reviews.

Not to be confused with flash game developer Afro Ninja.

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    General Examples 
  • Adaptation Distillation: The anime, manga and game are all slightly different, intentionally so. One noticeable example: In the anime and manga, the fight with Kuma takes place after defeating the Empty Seven. In the game, it's inverted. The manga is a mix between the first anime season with a few specific parts of Resurrection thrown in.
  • Afro Asskicker: Afro himself.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Two monks jump out of a backpack, a huge RPG fits inside a back pack, bullets are cut in half by swords, Wire Fu style jumps and more artistic breaks from real physics happen regularly.
  • Attack of the Town Festival: In Afro Samurai: Resurrection, Afro battles the new Number Two during the town festival. At the same time, the Big Bad sends a bunch of assassins to ambush him. Everyone but Afro, the DJ, and the Number Two dies. Then Afro kills the other two.
  • Back from the Dead:
    • Afro's father, the entire point of Resurrection. In addition, Afro himself near the end.
    • Happens to Jinno and Justice in the first season.
  • Berserker Tears: Due to injuries, emotional trauma, or both, Jinno never stopped crying after the battle under the Bodhi tree. They briefly turn to Tears of Blood during a flashback.
  • Best Served Cold: Afro has spent his life since childhood getting revenge on the man that killed his father for the Number One headband.
    • You mean this isn't about "Lemonade, ice cold."
    • Justice even lampshaded this trope.
      Justice (To Young Afro): "It's unfortunate you had to see this, boy. This moment'll always haunt you. You will be consumed by hatred for me. Challenge me...when you're ready to duel a god! *cue Evil Laugh* , YEE-HAW!!"
  • Blood from the Mouth: Frequent, but most often used when someone's about to die.
  • Braving the Blizzard: The peak in which the owner of the number 1 headband resides is surrounded by a powerful blizzard. Ninja Ninja is less than pleased about this.
  • Broad Strokes: All three versions of the story have a few differences, but the general plot is the same— Justice kills Afro's father, Afro becomes the Number Two to kill Justice and avenge his father's death, battling the Empty Seven and Kuma before he gets to him, and so on.
  • Carnival of Killers: Describes the rest of the world for anyone who puts on the Number 2 Headband. Afro routinely fought gangs of heavily armed killers determined to take the headband from him, even when he was just minding his own business.
  • Central Theme:
    • What is the real meaning of power?
    • Can revenge ever be justified?
  • Clean Cut: Justice decapitates Afro's father... with a pistol. Or so it looks. He actually has three arms, the last one holding a sword and tucked under his cape.
  • Comfort Food: Afro's Trademark Favorite Food is lemonade, his first drink of it being the high point of his generally crappy childhood.
  • Cycle of Revenge:
    • In his quest to kill Justice, who killed his father, Afro kills The Swordmaster to get the #2 headband. This causes Jinno to attempt to kill Afro.
    • Resurrection continues this theme. Not only are all of Sio's actions based on revenge, but in the second major battle, all Afro's opponents have lost a loved one due to Afro's actions.
      • And then there's the hinted-at future of Kotaro, who saw his adoptive father killed by Afro. At the end of Resurrection, Afro, accepting how destiny is going for him, drops the #2 headband in Kotaro's hands and tells him, "Anytime you're ready."
      • Kotaro's case goes further in the manga, near the end of the second volume Kotaro, now an adult, blasts at The Number One's (Afro) fortress and openly states that he is the little boy who saw his father getting killed in front of him, the enraged current Number Two takes on a seemly crazed Afro, it was to no avail as even in a depressive state Afro managed to kill Kotaro, apparently even if Afro didn't really want to fight anymore his skills were still sharp enough that he countered the offender with muscle memory alone.
  • Days of Future Past: The world has a culture of honour combat and sword fighting, in what looks like feudal Japan. With guns, mobile phones and robots thrown in.
  • Decapitation Presentation: Justice does this with Afro's father in the first episode. In Resurrection, Sio does this in reverse, bringing the newly-regenerated head to show Afro that she means business.
  • Designated Villain: Justice. Both stated by Word of God and lampshaded by Justice himself during his "Break Them by Talking" lecture in the Video Game.invoked
  • Determined Expression: The young protagonist takes this expression very shortly after seeing his parents killed. This is the moment he is truly destined to become a badass.
  • Doomed by Canon: Okiku, she dies in all versions.
  • Dramatic Wind: Both the Headbands and Afro's hair are constantly billowing dramatically in the wind.
  • Doujinshi: The series started off as one of these.
  • Emergency Transformation: Jinno is turned into a cyborg, after losing an arm, a leg, and falling off a cliff.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": We never find out if "Afro" is his real name or simply what everyone calls him because of his hair. Ninja Ninja lampshades it by saying "Who names their kid Afro Samurai anyway?", but a boss in the first video game reacts to the name by stating that's "what they are calling him now", saying it's "uninspired, but accurate."
  • Failure-to-Save Murder: When Kuma calls out Afro for what happened the night their True Companions were slaughtered, he says that Afro is the one who killed them. Though he does this in both the show and the books, Afro didn't actually kill anyone that night except the Sword master.
    • In fact, he wasn't even so much as indirectly responsible for their deaths.
  • Fanservice: The second episode as well as Sio. The video game has the "Polecats," sexy topless stripper ninjas that act as the Daimyo's Bodyguard Babes.
  • Foreshadowing: In a flashback in the first movie, Jinno explains to Osturu why he uses two swords rather than one. At one point, he says "...and even if I got one of my arms cut off, I'd still be able to fight..." At first, this seems like a Fauxshadow, as he makes it through all of the first movie with both arms. Late in Resurrection, however, he does get one arm cut off, and is in fact able to continue fighting.
    • The fact that Afro is the only one to react to Ninja Ninja hints that he only exists in Afro's head.
    • Except in the movie when a character shoots him with a dart.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Afro frequently smokes cigarettes while Justice loves his cigars. In between the ending of Resurrection and the Distant Finale of the anime's first season, Jinno is revealed to have taken up smoking, even ripping out a piece of his Kuma mask's snout to have a place to chomp down on his cigarettes.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: "Oishii!" , "Hachimaki kudasai".
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: So many people are motivated by revenge (especially in Resurrection) that no one's actions could be considered pure good or pure evil. Even Justice had a good reason for killing Afro's father to take the Number One— He wanted to use the headbands' ultimate power for ultimate peace.
  • Greek Chorus: Ninja Ninja to Afro.
  • Grooming the Enemy: Justice is implied to have indirectly indulged in the trope. Justice challenges Afro to fight him again when he's ready to duel him for revenge. He acts unsurprised at their final meeting before stating he put Afro on the path to revenge and power lust so that he could be strong enough to bring him the Number 2 Headband so that he may obtain true Godhood.
  • Hachimaki: The series' plot revolves around attempting to get one of these to supposedly challenge the one who wears another one which supposedly grants the wearer godhood.
  • Harmful to Minors: The child who would grow up to be Afro Samurai saw his father, at the time the Number One, get decapitated by Justice. The head was then tossed to the ground at his feet and tried to speak. It didn't get much better for him afterward.
    • In Resurrection, Afro cuts down Kotaro's adoptive father right in front of him, with scenes of Justice killing Afro's father flashing as he does so. In his defense, he didn't know the kid was there.
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: Brother Three of the Empty Seven wears headphones throughout the entire series, and sits with his back to the rest of the group when they're all shown together. He serves Afro food and tea when he arrives at their lair, and is the only one to survive, possibly implying he knew they'd fail and wanted no part of it.
    • In addition, while serving the tea, he simply says "Headband, please," in Japanese, rather than fight him. During the game, he appears in one scene, kisses his hand, thumps his chest, and gives Afro the peace sign while walking out.
  • Hero Antagonist: Several of the "villains" are at least as sympathetic, if not more so, than Afro.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Afro is reminded of this often, by good and bad guys alike. This doesn't stop him from continuing on his path, however. If Afro struggles with becoming the monster, he does it quietly.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: Ninja Ninja is loud-mouthed and ridiculously visible (although he's somewhat stealthy in the second episode of Season One, hiding in the rafters of a house), especially considering that he's hanging out with a samurai who kills everyone he meets. But then, he's a hallucination anyway. The manga version hints that he may be something more, as there is a similar character who only Ninja Ninja can see or be seen by.
  • Hong Kong Dub: Generally, the timing of the Mouth Flaps matches the voices, but the mouths themselves move like puppet jaws; O sounds aren't accompanied by O-shaped mouths, and so on.
  • Honor Before Reason: Zig-zagged. Everyone in the whole world totally adheres to these rules: whomever wears the Number 1 headband cannot be challenged by anyone, except by the one who possesses the Number 2 headband, and anyone can challenge the wearer of the Number 2 headband. All honor is thrown out the window in regards to attacking the Number 2, and every possible dirty trick is encouraged. Anyone who's wearing the Number 2 will be constantly outnumbered and outgunned as a result.
  • Human Shield: In the manga, the boy and his sister in the Anti-Hero example— In Resurrection, he uses the DJ for the same effect.
  • Inner Monologue: Ninja Ninja functions as this, as he says whatever Afro is thinking, but no one else pays attention to him. Or indeed, can hear him at all.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Yes, kids, they can deflect bullets, cut rockets in half, crush rocks and, should the need arise, split laser beams!
  • Kick the Dog: Afro himself, multiple times, so much so that he's basically a Villain Protagonist to nearly everyone for understandable reasons.
  • Large Ham: Bordering the World of Ham (with the remarkable exception of Afro himself, who is the only one sticking to the honest-to-God silent asskicking), but Brother 1 is just...a ham to behold.
  • Losing Your Head: Justice kills Afro's father this way, then tosses the head at the young boy's feet to keep as a reminder of his victory.
  • MacGuffin: The Number One headband, and the accompanying Number 2 headband, drive the series' conflict.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The headbands that everyone's fighting over; it's never made clear if possessing the Number One actually makes the wearer divine, or if it's just an overhyped strip of cloth with a bloody history behind it.
  • Meaningful Echo: In Afro Samurai, Afro's father tells him "Fear not, it will all be over soon," before getting his head chopped off. In Resurrection, Afro says "Shut up. It'll soon be over[...]Fear not... Father." before trying to kill his freshly-resurrected dad.
  • Meatgrinder Surgery: When Jinno is turned into a cyborg. This might qualify as Black Comedy, or the cartoonish nature of the scene might make it worse.
  • No Name Given: Afro Samurai is just known as "Afro". In the video game of the series, it is implied by Ninja Ninja that Afro's Name is actually "Afro Samurai".
  • Nothing Personal: "Nothing personal. It's just revenge."
  • Nothing Up My Sleeve: One of the assassins the Empty Six hired to kill Afro had these. He played the "hidden blade" version of this trope to the hilt.
  • Off with His Head!: Afro's father, and eventually, Justice, who did the honors for Afro's father. Eventually, they both get better.
  • The Omnipotent: Anyone who gets the Number 1 Headband supposedly gets absolute, god-like power.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: It's actually the rule of the headbands: The only one allowed to fight the Number One is the Number Two. Anybody can fight the Number Two though, making them a Doom Magnet.
    • In Resurrection, this rule was subverted when Sio could take the Number One headband from Afro at the start because he wasn't wearing it at the time, even though she didn't have the Number Two required to formally challenge him.
  • Only Sane Man: Brother Three is the only character to never physically confront Afro at any point in any version of the story; in Resurrection, he makes it clear that he's seen what happens when people try to fight Afro. Not coincidentally, he's the only character not to die in any version.
  • Parrying Bullets: Evident in the first 5 minutes, and endemic throughout. Bullets are cleaved; memorably, the title character cleaves a bullet, and the shrapnel kills several of his opponents, leaving him unharmed. Upon seeing this, the man who tried to shoot Afro quite rightly says "What the...that's impossible!"
  • The Perils of Being the Best: Zig-Zagged. Whoever holds the #1 headband only needs to worry about #2 challenging them. Whoever carries the #2, however, has to worry about everyone challenging for ownership of it, and those attacks come constantly and ubiquitously. Carrying the #2 headband for any amount of time is virtually a death sentence, and requires one to be a paranoid uber-badass to simply stay alive. In effect, it plays out much like this trope.
  • Punny Name:
    • Hell, "Afro" sounds like the Japanese word "Afuro" - "overflowing". Which is what the afro does to the headband.
  • Rival Turned Evil: Oddly enough, Afro himself. While all Jinno ever wants is to protect those at the Swordmaster's dojo ad become a great swordsman, Afro chooses to continue along his path of revenge which ends up getting his and Jinno's sword master killed.
  • Rule of Cool: A series absolutely built on this, up to and including afros that billow dramatically in the wind.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: Afro and Justice pull this off with the headbands.
  • Schizo Tech: Feudal Japan? Check. Cell phones? Check. Robots and Cyborgs? Check.
  • Seeking Ultimate Strength: In the setting, possessing the Number One Headband is considered to be one of the greatest thing one could ever accomplish, but it can only be obtained by the owner Number Two Headband challenging the current wielder of Number One in the duel to the death. Nobody actually knows what the Headband grants, and their wielders aren't known to do much afterward aside waiting for the next challenger.
  • Sidekick: Ninja Ninja to Afro.
  • The Stinger: At the end of the first season, Justice is seen coming back to life. Yes, despite being sliced to pieces by Afro. At the end of Resurrection, he's seen talking with Takimoto, a character from the manga.
  • The Stoic: Afro, in contrast to Ninja Ninja.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Afro has a preference for lemonade. His first drink of it was a high point in his generally crappy childhood.
  • True Companions: Young Afro has these at the dojo, until nearly all of them are killed at the battle under the Bodhi tree. In Resurrection, Sio's vassals function as a set.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Afro, Jinno, and Otsuru, especially in the manga, though Jinno mentions that even if Otsuru asked to marry him, he'd turn her down.
  • The Unfettered: Revenge is pretty much all that on Afro's mind. Especially evident in the manga version of the series in which a story features Afro using two innocent bystanders (a boy and his handicapped sister later on) as shields to avoid attacks, showing no remorse in causing their deaths. That he killed his master to reclaim the No. 2 further establishes him as one.
  • Unwanted Revival: The creator commentary mentions that Jinno would have rather died than come back as a cyborg.
  • Victor Steals Insignia: The Number One Headband certifies you as the best fighter in the world, and the Number Two Headband certifies you as the only person allowed to challenge for the Number One Headband. Obtaining either, therefore, requires you to fight whoever's wearing it, kill them, and take the headband from their corpse. A flashback in the first episode shows Afro's father being killed for the Number One Headband, right in front of Afro; the series itself revolves around Afro trying to avenge him father and claim the Number One Headband while fending off the countless people trying to take the Number Two Headband from him.
  • Villain Protagonist: Afro falls somewhere between this and Anti-Hero— He's not evil in that he actively wishes to harm others, but he's a pretty dark character who will kill anything and everyone to get his revenge.
  • Volatile Second Tier Position: One of the driving plot points is that owner of the Number Two Headband is the only one who can challenge the owner of the Number One Headband, since having the Number One Headband theoretically makes you the biggest badass in the world. However, anyone can challenge the owner of the Number Two Band, and in fact must do so to get the Number One. As such, the Number Two headband makes Afro a magnet for trouble as soon as he gets it.
  • Walking the Earth: The series actually comes at the end of this, when Afro is about to end his journey.
    • Resurrection has Afro doing this all over, with a Lampshade Hanging by Ninja Ninja.
      "This pissed you off so much that you gon' hit the road again, to find the Number Two Headband again, just so you can kill the Number One, again."
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Jinno was nearly killed the night of the battle at the Bodhi tree. After he stumbled backwards and fell off the cliff, he was found by the Empty Seven, and brought to Dharman to be made into a cyborg.
    • A bit worse in the manga - He still nearly got killed in the fight, but instead got caught in the burning dojo while trying to rescue Afro and the Swordmaster.
  • Western Samurai: The eponymous protagonist is a black samurai with considerable skills in a Schizo Tech version of feudal Japan.
  • World's Best Warrior: The only people comparable to Afro are Kuma, Justice and his father. By the end of Resurrection all three of them are dead allowing Afro to retain this status. Though it's heavily implied that Justice is still alive.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Opposition: Anyone with the Number Two Headband is a victim of this trope.
  • World of Badass: Most certainly. Anyone living in this world has to know how to kill basic bandits who rob and kill on a daily basis, and the most powerful warriors are all focused on challenging each other for the headbands.
  • You Killed My Father:
    • Justice killed Afro's father right in front of him, to take the Number One headband.
    • In Resurrection, Afro does this to both Kotaro's adoptive AND real fathers.

    Season One-Only Examples 
  • Automatic Crossbows: One character wields one of these, with an attached Grenade Launcher.
  • Beam-O-War: Afro and the Droid cause this with a laser beam and a SWORD.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: The series closes on the image of Afro facing down his most lethal opponent: Kuma, his childhood friend. Will he win? We'll never know.
  • Book Ends: The series opens and ends at the exact same locale, with the exact same framing and colouring, as a sword duel is about to begin: Afro's father vs Justice in the beginning, Afro vs Kuma in the ending. It's clearly meant to represent the self-perpetuating cycle this world lives under.
  • Braving the Blizzard: The titular character is told that the keeper of the number 1 headband is at the top of a nearby mountain. To get there, he has to brave a very powerful blizzard. While he doesn't seem any bothered by the weather, his Imaginary Friend's grumbling shows that he's less than pleased with the situation.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Afro wears a white shirt, while the AfroDroid wears black. All of the silver accents on Afro's clothes are gold accents on the AfroDroid equivalents. As well, Afro's sword and scabbard are red; the Droid's are gold.
  • Cyborg: Jinno, or at least when he is reintroduced in episodes 3-4. He has certain human parts, like his head, arms, and legs, but has to rely entirely on a mechanical body for his strength, breathing, and possibly his vision. Oh, and it completely erases any sense of morality he had as a human.
  • Distant Finale: The last scene of the season involves Afro and a revived Jinno/Kuma battling at the summit of Mt. Shumi well after the events of the sequel.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: One of the Afro Droid's weapons is a very... suggestively-shaped laser cannon. As it charges, Ninja Ninja states "we came all this way just to stare down the barrel of that thing?" After he fires it, he states ecstatically: "That felt good." And then it goes flaccid, and then Ninja Ninja states "I think he blew his load".
  • Evil Gloating: Lampshaded.
    Ninja Ninja: Whoa, whoa, wait, wait... can't we talk about this? You ain't gonna monologue or nothin'? Give a bad guy speech?
  • Evil Knockoff: The Afro-Droid, which took its fighting style from Afro's memories, was 20% stronger, and had a laser cannon.
    Brother One: It took millions of dollars and thousands of man hours, just to build his head.
  • Fanservice Extra: Brother One's arm-candy, who later appears in Resurrection as a very, very enthusiastic and talented stripper.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: Justice reveals that the reason the Headband Wars are never-ending is that to attain true divine power, the Number One must have ALL of the headbands in their possession and there are more than just the two that everyone thinks exist. Since the new Number One understandably chooses to dump their former rank immediately after attaining their new one, they're unfailingly without the missing piece they need to ascend to godhood when they make their way to the top of Mt. Shumi and uncover the secrets (and the other headbands) within. Jinno (and whoever rebuilt him) has apparently caught on to this condition by the time of the Distant Finale, wrapping his new cybernetic body in the other headbands in preparation for his rematch with Afro.
  • Guns Akimbo: Justice.
  • Hypocritical Humor: During their showdown, Jinno mocks Afro's passive resistance before saying that he can't even take him seriously because of his ridiculous hair. Jinno seems unaware of the hypocrisy of saying this while wearing a big, silly looking teddy bear helmet.
  • Informal Eulogy: Ninja Ninja pulls one of these:
    "Add one mo' body to the body toll, may God rest this po' bastard's soul!"
  • Laser Guided Tyke Bomb: The Afro Droid, possibly Jinno too.
  • Meaningful Name: Kuma means bear in Japanese and refers to a type of African ceremonial mask representing symbols of great wisdom and danger. So, it only makes sense that the guardian of the current Number One's throne room (read: Jinno) wears a giant teddy bear mask that doubles as a life support system.
  • My Sensors Indicate You Want to Tap That: Ninja Ninja pulls this on Afro in regards to Okiku. In frustration, Afro swings at a laughing Ninja Ninja. Afro and Okiku eventually do have sex, but things go downhill from there.
  • Offhand Backhand: Done in the first episode, causing the recipient to go flying through a wall.
  • Robot Me: The Afro Droid. See Evil Knockoff.
  • Rocket Punch: Guess who? Afro Droid can launch his fists as rockets of war.
  • Sex–Face Turn: Okiku/Otsuru has sex with Afro. Conflicted, she finally decides not to kill him while they're in the act. Afterwards, she even goes on to kill one of the random Mooks that swoop in to finish the job. Unfortunately, she dies immediately afterwards. Though it's not a case of Sex Equals Love; Otsuru just can't bring herself to kill her Childhood Friend.
  • Shout-Out: Okiku's report she gives at the waterfall is identical to Haruhara Haruko's report that she gives to her superiors through Naota's cat.
  • Tranquil Fury: Afro uses this when fighting his Mirror Match robot double, the Afro Droid, calling on his subconscious to come up with a unique new fighting style on the fly.
  • Trash Talk: Jinno provides this. When Afro refuses to fight him, Jinno starts questioning the stories about his badassery, and then remarks that he can't even take Afro seriously because of his stupid hair.

    Resurrection-Only Examples 
  • Arson, Murder, and Admiration: Resurrection has this exchange between Sio and Dharman:
    Sio: "You truly are the world's most wicked, shit-faced, genius scientist. You'll burn in Hell for your crimes against nature."
    Dharman: "You praise me so wonderfully, Lady Sio! I am not worthy of your poetry!"
  • Battle in the Rain: Though it's less of a battle and more of a y'know mugging in the rain, Afro gets the Number One Headband taken from him in one of these in Resurrection.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Afro sports one of these in the beginning, after having been the Number One for quite some time
  • Car Fu: Or rather, Motorcycle Fu.
  • Crapsack World: According to Tomoe, the world descended into chaos after Afro slew Justice and failed to use the headband to exert his authority and things became even worse than they already were. Before Afro's seclusion, men supposedly only killed to obtain the headbands as part of the competition and now they killed each other for the joy of killing.
  • Creator Cameo: Takashi "Bob" Okazaki briefly appears in the gambling house fondling two strippers while a third blows him.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Implied by Sio to have happened to Kuma. She tells Dharman that he'd been repaired so many times, there's no human left at all, just a mindless "samurai doll."
    • At the end, this turns out not to quite be the case, and he rushes to protect Afro during the battle with his father.
  • The Dragon: Afro's father once he's resurrected.
  • Double-Meaning Title: "Resurrection" refers to both Afro's father's literal resurrection which kickstarts the plot, and the Career Resurrection of Afro himself as he returns to his life of bloodshed.
  • The Faceless: Tomoe - Her real, pre-cyborg face is never seen - In all the flashbacks and the Sio's photograph, it's always either hidden by her hat or a glare on the screen.
    • Almost. We do get an unobstructed view of her face when Afro has his series of still-image flashbacks before taking her and the rest of Sio's Quirky Miniboss Squad on at the ruins of the swordsmen's school—she's the woman with the shamisen and green kimono. However, we never, ever see her open eyes at any point.
  • Foregone Conclusion: As the final minutes of this movie's prequel revealed Afro and Jinno survive the events of the film to fight once more on Mt. Shumi.
  • A Friend in Need: Twice. Once when Afro cuts down a kidnapper on a bridge (though, the guy pointed a gun at him first), later when Jinno protects his "brother," Afro.
  • Good Costume Switch: Kuma. During the fight between Afro and his father, half his teddy bear mask is knocked off, and he begins struggling with his conscience. When he decides to protect Afro, he tears the other half off.
  • Heel–Face Turn/Face–Heel Turn: It's somewhat hard to tell exactly which one it was, since Kuma's Good Costume Switch occurs when he decides to protect Afro, who is either a Villain Protagonist or Anti-Hero.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Afro's resurrected father ends up killing Afro, then Jinno, and finally, Sio herself.
  • I See Them, Too: Bin shoots a dart at Ninja Ninja when Afro meets Sio's vassals for their showdown; he's saved by his oxygen tank. Ninja Ninja just does not have any luck when it comes to cyborgs.
  • I Will Fight No More Forever: At the beginning, Afro has given up being the Number One, sitting in a hut, carving statues of those he killed in the first movie. Then he get the crap stomped out of him...
  • Kill Us Both: Used by Tomoe towards the end. Unfortunately, Michael hesitates long enough for Afro to turn the tables and make a Human Shield.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: After Afro, Jinno, and Sio are killed by Afro's resurrected father, the electricity from Jinno's cyborg parts brings Afro back to life.
  • Machine Monotone: Averted. Bin's voice is dry and raspy, and Tomoe's is coarse, but despite having only a small amount of their old bodies left (excluding their necks), they still speak in relatively human voices and show emotion. Michael's the only one whose vocal cords have been destroyed entirely, but even then his vocalizations are simply the whine of a speaker.
  • Motive Decay: How exactly Sio plans to avenge herself on Afro changes throughout the movie, alluding to her not fully being as evil as she thought she was when she started her revenge plot.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Afro versus his father.
  • Offing the Offspring: Afro.
  • Past Experience Nightmare: Afro has a couple of these near the beginning, featuring such things as teddy bears with brains leaking out, and his father's half-rotted skull talking to him.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Near the end of Resurrection, Jinno runs to keep Afro's father from killing him, and is killed (again) in the process.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Afro's resurrected father's eyes glow red, as does Jinno's cyborg eye.
  • Red Sky, Take Warning: The final battle takes place under a red sky.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Sio is Jinno's sister, though there was no reason to mention her in the first movie, Afro'd met her before...
  • Removed from the Picture: Sio has a photo of herself, her vassals, Jinno, someone else, and Afro, with Afro's face burned out entirely.
  • Sequel Hook: One ending has Justice apparently coming Back from the Dead, and Takimoto makes his appearance. Only time will tell if there will be a sequel or not.
  • Sequel Reset: Afro is back to self-doubting his actions even though he made peace with them at the end of the first series, Jinno now has a previously unexplained sister plotting revenge against Afro Samurai, and Ninja Ninja returns even though his entire purpose in the first movie was to be Afro's repressed emotions and his death symbolized Afro finally making peace himself.
    • Heavily lampshaded by Ninja Ninja, who has a hard time believing all of the above and repeatedly mocks Afro over it.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Afro has to revert to his killing ways, though he doesn't do it right away.
  • The Stinger:
    "I been waiting a long time for him" followed by a swift shot of Justice.
  • Time Skip: One of unknown length has happened between this and the first movie. One background character remarks that Afro hasn't held his blade in years, and Ninja-Ninja says that Afro's starting to look old, but exactly how many years is never stated.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Sio's vassals, Bin, Michael, and Tomoe. At one point, Bin says this:
    "We will not allow [Sio] to fall from grace. Instead, we will be the sinners."
    • That said, it's not like Sio would have had too far to fall...
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Turns out all those armies of mercenaries and assassins that Afro regularly destroyed had families and friends that cared deeply about them. Bad people or no, they were still people.

    Manga-Only Examples: 
  • Anti-Climax: In volume two of the manga, Afro finally makes it to the top of the mountain, ready to confront Justice. When he finally makes it to him, he attacks and Justice turns to dust and falls apart - Apparently, he'd been dead for quite awhile. Ninja Ninja even remarks that "Afro finally got his revenge, even if it doesn't feel like it."
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Big Boy.
  • Gainax Ending: After Afro "kills" Justice he goes into an almost depressive catatonic state and only snaps back to his sense after killing a now grown up Kotaro. It turns out years have gone by in the meanwhile and the world has fallen to chaos due to Afro's failure to maintain balance the way Justice did before him. The series ends with Afro finally finding a new purpose to set order to the world once more.
  • I See Them, Too: Ninja Ninja getting seen by Takimoto.
  • Messianic Archetype: At the end of the second volume the world has turned into a endless warring chaos as Afro didn't rule as Justice did, meaning he spent years in a depressive state instead of being a great figure of worship and respect like Justice, but at the very end Afro managed to pull himself back together and as Ninja Ninja and Takimoto suggested he must begin his journey to put the world back in order.
  • Motor Mouth: Kazuma.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Kazuma again.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: See Anti-Climax above.

    Game-Only Examples: 
  • Adaptational Alternate Ending: Much like the Manga, Justice is already dead by time Afro meets him. Instead of going into despair though, Afro is instead forced to deal with his mental demons, facing Justice in his mind. After defeating him, Afro finally comes at peace with himself and his past, and decides to throw both the #1 and #2 headbands away.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Sword Master's background (otherwise a cypher in both anime and manga) gets expanded upon a bit with the addition of his Canon Foreigner brother and furher scenes he gets to expand more on his past. Okiku likewise gets a lot more monologuing to do.
  • Adaptational Villainy: This game has Afro be directly responsible for the massacre at the dojo, as it's done in revenge by the Daimyo's men after Afro butchered him and several of his men (with no provocation). In the manga and anime it's more incidental (as men hunt the N.2 headband without Afro needing to do anything).
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Two. The first, with Ninja Ninja prior to his Split-Personality Merge, the second with Justice.
  • Battle Theme Music: There's a gigantic original soundtrack of rap and hip-hop supervised by none other than the RZA, so there's a lot of variety to the battle music with bosses often getting unique vocal tunes to suit the mood. The boss battle The Daimyo, a Warrior Poet Death Seeker, gets the fitting "Soul of the Samurai" ("If you live by the sword / you must die by the sword...").
  • Bittersweet Ending: Afro learns that Justice died long before he made it to him, making his entire journey, along with the deaths, including his best friend, mentor and lover, completely meaningless and preventing him from avenging his father, but he also finally overcomes his single-minded obsession with revenge and throws away the number one and number two headbands, potentially ending the eternal struggle for ultimate power for good.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: The Android Ninja enemies have these.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Ninja Ninja does some serious tapping on the fourth wall during the game - among them, calling the player a "Button mashin' motherfucker", and suggesting that just because you watched the TV show doesn't mean you know what's going to happen here.
  • Boss Banter: Every boss talks to Afro as they fight. Interestingly, instead of just taunts and the occasional threat, the bosses go on speeches about how Afro's obsession is self-destructive, how many people he hurt, how he's wasting his life in something meaningless and etc.
    Ninja Ninja: You thought I was yo' friend!? Man, you ain't got none! They're all dead, and because of you...
    Justice: You think I'm the one who made you, boy?! Oh, no... All the people you killed, all the lives you ruined. That was all you, I just lit the way...
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Ninja Ninja implies Afro may carry this attitude about the people he kills and does not remotely keep track of the people he kills.
    Keisuke: They call me Keisuke. You killed my son!
    Ninja Ninja: That don't help none. He has killed a lot of motherfuckers. Can you be more specific?
  • Canon Foreigner: The first boss of the game, the Daimyo, appears only in this version of the narrative. Interestingly, he's the Sword Master's brother and adds some context to his life.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Most chapters have Ninja Ninja as a narrator, but Chapter 3 (fittingly called "Okiku's story") is largely narrated by Okiku, who monologues to Afro and the player about the cruel world they live in.
  • Enemy Within: Ninja Ninja discusses with Afro what he represents (suppressed emotions, guilt over Afro's actions, etc.), and forces Afro to fight him to take on the burden again.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Justice mentions this trope to Afro as part of his "The Reason You Suck" Speech, describing how Afro's simply using his father's death as a poor excuse to cause untold suffering just to get even with Justice.
    Justice: So don't pretend you're doing all this for your pops. You think if he hadn't died, you'd be any different? You'd still be what you are right now, a stone cold killer; you're just a killer with an excuse.
  • Godhood Seeker: Justice makes this speech to Afro:
    "My desire was to become a god. In the pursuit of revenge, you made me yours. Searching for me. Obsessing over me. Killing for me.[...]Each life you took was a tribute to me. Your actions gave me substance, let me live. You've been doing my good work."
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Number Two Headband and Number One Headband.
  • Lemony Narrator: Ninja Ninja. "You think I should be watchin' his back!? FUCK you!! I've been watchin'. I've seen ev-rything!"
  • Limit Break: Afro's Over Focus.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Justice makes a speech to this effect, although it's explicitly metaphorical in that Justice gave Afro purpose and influenced his life as a form of Evil Mentor.
  • New Game Plus
  • One-Hit Kill: Focus Slashes, against most Mooks, if done perfectly, will kill them in one shot, literally chopping them apart.
  • One-Winged Angel: Justice, after his arms are sliced off.
  • Stance System: In Revenge of Kuma, there are three stances available: Afro style (which lets you lock on to enemies and perform guard breaks), Kuma style (which lets you perform finishers) and Master style (which lets you perform a crowd-clearing spin attack).
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Gun Daniels in the sequel is a smooth-talking, homicidal gunslinger in search of the headbands, much like Justice was from the first game.
  • Walk It Off: Afro heals by killing people. In Number One Headband, though, he has to pick up Otsuru's bears in order to get his health back - making it much more difficult. It's still possible to heal by killing enemies, but only if you can pull off a perfect decapitation.


Video Example(s):


"Is that a motherf***ing RPG?"

This is easily one of Samuel L. Jackson's most overlooked quotes.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (16 votes)

Example of:

Main / OhCrap

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