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- Alternative Character Interpretation: Afro and Justice are both enormous bait for this. Since it's a story about revenge, and it is only told from Afro's perspective, it gives a lot of interpretation over who the true villain is of the story. Afro wants to avenge his fathers death, and leaves a path of destruction on his way to do that. Jutice is completely power hungry, but is using his power to bring order to an unruly world.
- This also stretches to Afro's father, the least focused on and developed character in the series despite being the source of Afro's motivation. It's implied that Justice kills him because his father refused to do anything with his authority and instead wanted to quietly retire.
- Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The main character is a borderline sociopathic Villain Protagonist with little redeeming moral features who cares about nothing but killing the person who killed his father, resulting in him killing large amounts of people just to find his father's killer. The person who killed his father, Justice, while having well-meaning but not necessarily morally good intentions, is very morally gray. The only reason the audience only sympathizes with Afro, in spite of his goals being identical to those he fights, is because we saw his back story, and didn't see theirs.
- Designated Hero: The only thing that makes Afro even a little bit heroic is that he's avenging his father's death. The only reason he gets any sympathy from the audience is that this is his story and so he gets the sympathetic point of view. The story itself plays with this trope due to Ninja Ninja's lines, and the contrast with Justice; I.E. the dissonance at the core of the trope is fuzzier than the standard.
- Designated Villain: Justice himself points out that he is only a villain from Afro's perspective due to the father killing, and that Afro has done worse than he himself. Thus, because this is Afro's revenge narrative, the story paints him as a villain.
- Ethnic Scrappy: Ninja Ninja is a likely an aversion of this. He is the repressed side of Afro, also voiced by Samuel L. Jackson and thus is intentionally different. Also, he is often more help than harm, as in the anime it is hinted that Afro would be lacking sanity if not for him.
- Narm: The whole thing with the teddy bear head. Really, Kuma?
- Stoic Woobie: Afro
- The Woobie: Jinno. Life just doesn't seem to want to be kind to this guy. The closest he gets to a happy ending is dying for Afro. Which isn't much of a happy ending at all, depending on who you ask.
- Unintentionally Unsympathetic: It can be very difficult to sympathize with Afro, considering how many innocents he's murdered.
- Moral Event Horizon: You may think that it doesn't get much worse than using a young boy as a human shield against a group of ninjas, until Afro uses the dead boy's crippled sister as a shield against a man toting a minigun.
- No Problem with Licensed Games: The first Afro Samurai game is considered a decent or good use of the license for fans and most critics. The sequel on the other hand...
- The Problem with Licensed Games: Afro Samurai 2: Revenge of Kuma is an example of a horribly broken action game. It landed on many worst-of video game lists for 2015, such as Angry Joe's. The release of Volume One had such poor reception that the publisher took responsibility for it and refunded willing purchasers of the game. They also canceled the other two planned volumes.
- Sequelitis: Revenge of Kuma, for the reasons listed above.
- That One Achievement: The Kunoichi Suicide Queens, and good luck getting it.