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Afro Samurai is an anime that combines inspired American media (MTV influenced soul and hip-hop) and the epitome of the samurai, the "Way of the Warrior" or bushido, as idealized by Yamamoto Tsunetomo's book, Hagakure. Bushido is a spiritual guide that an idealized samurai would abide by, but is also the center of conflict in Afro Samurai, clashing with the anime's morbid theme: revenge. The five-episode series shows the trials of African protagonist, Afro, and his struggle between the "Way of the Warrior", his obsession to avenge the murder of his father, and to become the number one warrior in the world.

Bushido is a Confucian-influenced Japanese code of conduct that can be compared to Western chivalry. This code focuses on seven core virtues: moral righteousness(rectitude), courage, benevolence, respect, honesty, honor, and loyalty. Two associated virtues include respect for elders(filial piety) and wisdom. The ultimate aim in life, according to bushido, is to be in constant preparation for death and die a good death with his honor intact, and to die a 'good death' is its own reward. In Hagakure, it is said that "When there is a choice of either living or dying, as long as there remains nothing behind to blemish one's reputation, it is better to live."

But, "


                Afro Samurai, immediately ascertained from the title and the opening scene, contains the genre of mostly samurai. However, Afro Samurai is different from typical samurai anime genre. Bushido (the Way of the Warrior), often seen in the samurai genre, is rarely seen because of the series’ plot. In a system where the strongest win and the rest die, it is not surprising that there are no elements of Japanese chivalry or morals in Afro Samurai’s feudal world. The plot allows the anime to be categorized under the seinen genre, because revenge is always involved in any plot that contains casualty from combat. Also, the styles of the anime, violence and sex (influences from American media), are used under the seinen genre and in combination with the samurai genre to bring a serious tone to the series, rather than the light-hearted feel of other samurai anime. However, atypical of action anime that combines the samurai genre, there are multiple scenes that combines entertaining action with unique styles of drawing and angles. 

The theme present in Afro Samurai is focused on revenge, as it reoccurs several times in the main character and in the plot, in general. After witnessing his father's death, Afro as a child to adulthood becomes obsessed with avenging his father and slaying "Justice", the second strongest titled cowboy-guised fighter, because he killed Afro's father for the title of the greatest warrior in the world. The story of the series delivers the same moral message that a fable may come up with, that revenge should never be the only existence to live. Afro Samurai reflects upon this, following Afro's quest in his search for the man who killed his father. But revenge, as the series shows, demands sacrifice and Afro sacrificed his friends, his master, his lover and a part of himself to avenge his father. Afro, by taking up the title of second strongest in the world in order to challenge his nemesis, bears the burden of slaying all who challenge him for his title.

The series also shows that revenge affects anyone who is involved in the process. Afro, after killing his master for the number two headband, realizes the atrocities he committed and forges an imaginary person who preaches out the thoughts that Afro doesn't say aloud. Jinno, Afro's close and best friend who treats him like a brother, is consumed by hatred that Afro would choose the path of killing instead of living life with the family that took care of Afro. Otsuru, who was mistaken dead by Afro, had planned to kill him but still remembers the innocent boy Afro was when she found him. Revenge comes in a full circle when Afro duels with Jinno, presumed dead, who taunts and fights Afro with rage.


Rough Draft - Not Finished Yet.

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