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Afro Asskicker

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"You mess with the 'fro? You got to go."
Undercover Brother, Undercover Brother
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Afros are funny.

A particularly large one, no matter how awesome, can be a liability. Especially in physical battle.

So why do countless badasses, many of whom know karate, have them? Because they're funny and awesome. A sub-trope of Funny Afro, an Afro Asskicker originated in either Africa or from the African diaspora in Asia but solidified in America's Blaxploitation era and are usually black Americans and / or connected to the tropes Jive Turkey, Soul Brotha and Sassy Black Woman. One thing you don't want to do to an Afro Asskicker is mess with their hair. They can be rather sensitive about it and it will make them fight even harder. (A case of Truth in Television, mostly resulting from the fact that afros take a long time to style and must be attended to every day; messing with one undoes up to an hour's worth of work).

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Examples

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    Anime & Manga 
  • The title character of Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo. To the point that his afro will sometimes be part of his attack.
  • Afro of Afro Samurai has an afro and is a samurai. He cuts people.
  • Subverted in Dragon Ball: Anyone with an afro will be at least a overhyped fighter, if not a Fake Ultimate Hero (See: Pamphut, Chapa King and Mr. Satan). They're all Badass Normal though, just not in level of our Charles Atlas Superpower-sporting heroes.
  • One Piece:
    • There's Brook, a skeleton. Even after his death his afro remained due to having "Deep roots". His hair is actually a plot point as, being a skeleton, he will be no longer recognisable to the whale he met 50 years ago except for his afro; due to him being an skeleton, it won't grow back if damaged. He does anything he can to protect his afro. Luckily for him he has all the strength of a living body with all the weight he's lost from being reduced to bones and hair, which is to say he's really strong.
    • Wapol's magistrate Kuromarimo not only had an afro, but fights with afros! They get stuck to the opponent via static electricity, whereupon his partner Chess can set them on fire.
    • Then in the Davy Back Fight, when Luffy had a boxing match, it was decided he should wear an afro wig, since that would make him stronger. It was Played for Laughs at first, but it ultimately worked.
    • There's former Fleet Admiral Sengoku, though you rarely see it as he wears a hat. He leads the Authority Equals Asskicking Marines and later shows that he ate a Devil Fruit that gave him the ability to turn into a giant golden Buddha-like moving statue, afro and all.
  • Mugen from Samurai Champloo. He not only goes into battle with an afro, he conceals weapons in his afro.
  • Spike from Cowboy Bebop and his green, fluffy (and fitting?) Jewfro. It does not hinder him in the slightest while hunting bounties.
  • Special mention must go to Chiba of Beck, whose 'fro and musical style were directly influenced from Zac De La Rocha. Doesn't hurt that he knows martial arts.
  • Subverted with Aizawa from Death Note, who has Character Development and takes some levels in badass... when he cuts his afro short.
  • Bleach: Love Aikawa ( an ex-captain Shinigami in the side of good) and Privaron Espada Gantebaine Mosqueda (for the Arrancar), though since they are technically projections of dead people the usual draw backs of long hair don't really apply.
  • Gintama: Shimaru Saito, a high-ranked member of the shinsengumi and a very competent fighter, sports an afro.
  • Megalo Box: "Gearless" Joe sports a black afro in the first season. He's also a Megaloboxer who decides to fight in Megalonia, a Megaloboxing tournament, without using Gear.

    Comic Books 
  • Misty Knight, Monica Rambeau, and Luke Cage from the Marvel Universe. Whereas Monica has updated her hairstyle each decade, Misty's afro is so iconic (she was Marvel's answer to the Blaxploitation craze), she has kept it up to the present day. Cage, meanwhile, has simply shaved his head and regards his Afro days as something of an Old Shame (though more because of outfit he wore with it than the Afro itself).
  • Blade used to wear a fro back in the 70s in all his vampire killing glory.
  • In Last Man Standing, Abel has one. His pet monkey, Kane, sometimes sports one as well. And he beats things with a baseball bat while a boom box plays.
  • Red Robin: In the Ünternet Tam Fox decides to wear her hair in an afro and the imagination based powers of the place mean she's a far more effective fighter against than normal. Even in the real world she has Kickboxing and Krav Maga training but she prefers to stay an Action Survivor rather than endanger herself needlessly where the consequences are more lasting, and she usually keeps her hair relaxed.
  • Wonder Woman villain Cyborgirl keeps her hair in an afro, and as a villain who goes up against the likes of Wondy and the Teen Titans she's a bona fide asskicker.
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    Films — Animation 
  • Batman: Soul of the Dragon: Fitting for the 70's setting, Ben Turner / Bronze Tiger has an afro and an expert martial artist. As said so by himself, always eager to whoop someone's ass.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The title character of Black Dynamite, a spoof on Blaxploitation movies. That said, he's technically on the side of the law, so if one complies this trope will not come into play.
  • Coffy, the precursor to Foxy Brown. Attempt to grab her hair will just get you cut, as she stores razor blades in it just for that, and it never manages to get caught on anything.
  • Domino in Deadpool 2 is this not just from how big her afro is, but also kicking major ass during the prison transport scene while Wade's spending most of the time trying to play catch-up!
  • Dolemite, for laughs yes but an ass kicker none the less. He's basically invincible in hand to hand combat.
  • Williams in Enter the Dragon (played by Jim Kelly) is, if not the Ur-Example for films, then and Trope Codifier for martial arts movies.
  • Foxy Brown (the character of the film, not the rapper) was not as much of an example as Coffy, as she actually did get roughed up a lot more often, but in the end she does win and does so with her fro intact.
  • ''Savage'', the baddes dude with the biggest gun, and the biggest Afro.
  • Foxxy Cleopatra (a parody of Cleopatra Jones and Foxy Brown) in Austin Powers in Goldmember. That said, her Afro does inexplicably compress when she's forced to go diving into the villains' lair, though it just as mysteriously returns when it's time to do battle on dry land. None of this applies however to Rosie Carver, the Faux Action Girl whose role she's been inserted into.
  • Speaking of such, Cleopatra Jones herself was also this, specializing in "Kung Fu" and vehicular combat. Jones was not in the sequel Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold however.
  • Samuel L. Jackson's character in Pulp Fiction, has a Jheri curl rather than a true afro but is still a badass. Apparently they tried dozens of afro wigs and couldn't find anything they liked. They tried the Jheri curl last, almost as a joke, and decided it was perfect.

    Literature 
  • Frank Todd, titular character and one of two main protagonists of The Generalist, has a well-kept afro that he needs to pat down from time to time after the action has settled down.

    Live-Action TV 

    Music 
  • The Lady of Rage rocked ruff 'n' stuff with her Afro Puffs
  • Jimi Hendrix had a huge part in popularizing the afro. He was also a genuine asskicker, having had much shorter hair a few years earlier as a paratrooper.

    Pro Wrestling 

    Video Games 
  • Afro Thunder is among the selectable fighters Ready 2 Rumble Boxing and Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Round 2
  • Big Wallop, a fighter in Atari's Ready 2 Rumble Revolution.
  • Mr. Jones of Power Instinct Matrimelee and Rage of the Dragons.
  • Tiger Jackson from Tekken can keep his Afro intact while playing capoeira and is no less capable than the "main" capoeira player Eddy.
  • Shinobu Jacobs from No More Heroes. As an assassin he really shouldn't need to be, but he does put up a fight when you try to assassinate him.
  • Team Fortress 2: The Demoman can enter firefights with a Jimi Hendrix-style afro if the player so chooses.
  • Sazh from Final Fantasy XIII. His afro is so awesome there's a baby chocobo living in it. He is not very willing to get into fights, and has been dragged into the action by Lightning, but he can nonetheless withstand and deal out just as much damage as she does and even manages to create his own summon.
  • Pokémon Black and White has Bouffalant, a buffalo Pokémon with Afro hair. It has Head Charge, an Afro-based Signature Move which is very strong and accurate but does recoil damage to it.
    • The Japanese version makes it even more obvious that Head Charge is an afro-based attack: it's actually called "Afro Break!"
    • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl has Flint of the Elite Four, who has a very cool looking red afro and is a rival to region's strongest gym leader.
    • Miror B. from Pokémon Colosseum has a gigantic afro modeled after a Pokéball. He's also a Cipher Admin in the first game while he's a wandering thief in the sequel who captures the Pokémon you fail to snag.
  • Andrei Ulmeyda, killer7's Badass Normal, wears an afro. Later becomes his weak point after turning into an Heaven Smile and killing all members of the military in the area with his acidic blood. And he has the chance to One-Hit Kill you.
  • Saturno, one of the more balanced competitors from Capoeira Fighter.
  • Kid Quick and Title Defense Disco Kid, boxers from the Punch-Out!! series.
  • Todd, the butler of the Schrodinger Family in Wild ARMs 3 has an afro. Unlike most examples of the trope, it is to your advantage to attack his hair; by setting it on fire, it will deal him Damage Over Time.
  • In Fire Emblem Awakening, a Female Avatar with the Second/Younger Build can be given an afro as one of her potential hairstyles. If the afro's her chosen 'style, the player will have a tiny, fluffy-haired girl laying absolute devastation on the battlefield.
  • Male Octolings in Splatoon 2 can have a bulbous octopus head in lieu of tentacle hair to replicate an afro, and it has no effect on their combat performance.
  • Kodan, one of the four main characters in Fernz Gate, sports a giant afro and is the best melee fighter in the game.

    Web Original 
  • Subverted by Afro Ninja, a popular viral video where the man attempts to show his asskicking skills and fails miserably. Double subverted when you figure out this guy is a total badass, missed the stunt only because of jet lag, and after resting up, got the job. And in the movie based on the viral video, he certainly does kick some ass.

    Western Animation 
  • Huey Freeman and Bushido Brown from the The Boondocks. That said, Huey tends to end up losing by attrition against any accomplished adult martial artist, he nonetheless managed to outperform an sports team in a comically violent game of kick ball. A Team that has members of Black Water Mercenary Company on it. And Busido Brown, he's one of those accomplished adult martial artists, who can take on entire armed gangs with nothing but a sword and even shrugs off being electrocuted by Freeman.

    Real Life 
  • Pam Grier was famous for keeping her Afro while in her many action roles. She's played played everything from gladiator to gangster.
  • George Foreman, the heavyweight champion of the world, in his prime. Muhammad Ali and Yannick Noah had smaller, compact Afros in their boxing primes.
  • One of the reasons why the Badass Biker Marco Simoncelli was so famous.
  • In addition to starring in films like Enter the Dragon and Black Belt Jones Jim Kelly was a middleweight karate champion.
  • Mixed martial artist Alex "Bruce Leroy" Caceres.
  • The Secondhand Bandit of Chicago robbed banks with an afro wig.
  • This one's Older Than Radio, going all the way back to the late Victorian Mahdist War in Sudan. Some of the fiercest fighters in the resistance against The British Empire were the Hadendoa people (a nomadic subset of the Beja ethnic group), known for their elaborate afro-like hairstyles that earned them the nickname Fuzzy-Wuzzy.


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