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Nightmare Fuel / Afro Samurai

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You can never escape the Cycle of Blood!
Despite it's action-packed awesome moments, the story of Afro Samurai is a blood-curdling tale of horrendous death all for the sake of revenge and power. Even worse, it's implied it will never really end as long as the Headbands exist.
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  • The whole idea of a person having a headband strictly trying to kill another person that has a headband that shows that person higher social status than the other.
    • Not only that, the Number One headband is held to make the wearer a god. This motivates people all over the world to endless murder and atrocity simply to possess the Number Two headband, which is required to take on the Number One and anyone can try any means necessary to claim it at any time, putting the wearer in constant peril. Afro's whole life revolves around these two mundane things, thanks to people obsessed with the whole system. Society in Afro's world is fighting and killing countless innocents over a mere superstition. There's little evidence to suggest that these headbands are more than just pieces of fabric, which Shichiguro lampshades later on in an attempt to convince Afro not to kill him for the Number Two Headband to no avail.
  • Just the whole intro of a child Afro having to watch his father, the Current Number One, being decapitated by Justice, having his father's head thrown at his feet, and hearing his father's slowly dying disembodied head whisper its last words to Afro before Justice beckons Afro to come back and challenge him one day for revenge while Laughing Mad. No wonder he grows up to be so messed up.
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  • The slaughter of the Dojo students is pretty horrifying as it shows that not even children are safe when the Number Two Headband is around, as the assassins gunning for it ruthlessly slaughter Afro's friends and surrogate family in front of his eyes before he decides to cut down the Sword Master simply because he can't let go of revenge.
  • Afro's mindset is also pretty disturbing, considering all he thinks about is the day he watched his father die while all his other emotions are shunted into becoming Ninja Ninja, who criticizes Afro constantly for how monstrous he has become while spurring him forward. His mind is a mixture of Roaring Rampage of Revenge and suicidal self-loathing all in one. Afro also continuously hallucinates horrifying visions of his dead father calling to him, which gets worse after he comes the Number One.
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  • Afro himself is Nightmare Fuel In-Verse, seen as a "Demon That Challenges God" that ruthlessly and solely slaughters whole armies in his wake, leaving nothing but Ludicrous Gibs, uncaring about doing nothing but moving forward. He's even used as fable to scare little children, until it's revealed he completely real and as deadly as the legends make him out to be.
  • The world of Afro Samurai is described as being completely crapsack because of the influence of the Headbands, with people killing each other for generations just to get their hands on them and ruled by assassins longing for power. It's so bad that the monstrous Justice taking the Headbands to give the world some type of order is seen as a good thing and his death only makes the world even more crapsack since people simply killed out of the joy of killing with no headbands to give them a purpose.
  • What happens to Jinno is also pretty tragic. He went from a plucky kid who wanted to open a dojo to protect his friends and new brother Afro to being mutilated, having to watch his younger surrogate sister and father-master die, nearly falling to his death, and being painfully reconstructed into a cyborg to serve the Empty Seven Assassins. His appearance resembles a stitched up naked rag doll than a humans with a constantly crying human eye while insanely obsessed with the sole purpose of getting revenge on Afro for killing his master, blaming Afro for the death of his fellow students, and betraying him. He spends his time stewing in his hatred for decades atop a mountain guarding the Justice slaughtering anyone who comes by, and by the number of funeral stones around him he's slain thousands, waiting for the day Afro will show up so he can get his revenge at last.
  • Justice, despite being a Well-Intentioned Extremist, is pretty nasty to look at considering he's an emaciated gunslinging cackling blank-eyed cowboy that regenerates using blood with chemical burns all over his body and a third arm on his back. He only gets worse when he uses Body Horror to sprout spikes from the ground and reattaches his own head after talking with it dangling from his neck. Not to mention he's voiced by Ron Perlman.
  • Whatever happened to Sio's retainers in the Afro Samurai: Resurrection film is pretty awful, as despite being a Noodle Incident, the incident was so bad the retainers had to be turned into monstrous cyborgs to survive with one having the skinned face of her husband on her weapon. It's enough to make Sio pathologically hateful of Afro until the very end.
  • The clone of Afro's father is pretty nightmarish considering its Implacable Man status with Black Eyes of Crazy as it mindlessly tears through and kills whatever is in front of it. It's essentially Afro as a mindless killing machine!
    • Worse is Afro can't bear to fight it since it's a clone of his own father and lets the thing give him a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown until it chokes him to death.
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