In a futuristic and wild west-inspired Japan, there are only two rules: the Number 1 rules the world and only the Number 2 can challenge him; these ranks are worn with pride in the manner of headbands. In these harsh times, Afro is a samurai who is on a mission for revenge – an evil gunman killed his father to become the Number 1, and it’s up to Afro to take him down in a shower of blood and entrails. He has mastered the art of the sword and become Number 2, but many others want to hold his title and the title of Number 1 for themselves. With competition and sword fights at every turn, can Afro finally exact his revenge?
The hillsides of feudal Japan are no longer safe; men are being brutally murdered by mysterious, grotesque ninjas that don't seem to die, leaving a wake of terror in their path. In the midst of the chaos, a young girl named Rangiku wanders the land with a ninja named Manajiri, searching for the man who murdered her family and stole their most prized possession: a doll that has the ability to move on its own. With gruesome enemies to conquer and revenge at hand, Rangiku must use her skill of controlling her wooden dolls to destroy everything in their path, or die trying!
These two series are nearly two of one kind. Both feature samurai who fight mechanical beings and have a lot of dark and noir about them. The main difference between the fighting in both series is that while Puppet Princess only involves swordplay, Afro Samurai has more modern weapons and technology like swords and bazookas, but also cell phones.
Besides the fighting, the main difference between the two series is the characters. Where there is actually some humor in Puppet Princess, Afro Samurai is bitter and sadistic, rather than a bit lighthearted.
Kotarou is a brash young orphan in war-torn Japan, on the run from mysterious pursuers with Tobimaru, his faithful canine companion. Clueless as to why anyone would want him, much less imperial warriors from mainland China, a chance encounter with a strange wandering swordsman could not be more unwelcome in Kotarou's skeptical eyes – especially when the stranger has a secret past that has caused him to seal his blade. Forced by circumstance to work together for survival, the unlikely duo forge a tenuous friendship that is threatened all too soon when Kotarou's pursuers thrust the two into a dizzying whorl of clashing ambitions between men both big and small. Will the stranger manage to overcome his past and save them both from peril with his blade?
Stranger -Mukou Hadan-, aka Sword of the Stranger matches Afro Samurai in terms of beautiful swordplay and attractive characters. Both anime sport beautiful images, can be found in High Def and have smooth animation that is some of the best I've seen. Over the top style sword fights are found in both. For some great action sit down for 1 hour and 40 minutes and watch Sword of the Stranger.