Afro Samurai is, in my opinion, wasted potential. That may seem unfairly harsh as an opening statement, but watching a show that had the potential to be great get ripped to shreds in the face of cliché bordering on generic action-hero dialogue from everyone but the show’s saving grace, Ninja Ninja, was painful. There is very little character development, and what there is seems incredibly forced, as if the characters are only grudgingly growing as people, and even then exerting the least energy possible—it would actually be ten times more interesting as an anime if it were actively acknowledging how two-dimensional all the characters were, but I digress. The show takes place in Japan, sometime in the past, but with clearly anachronistic technology, which would have been really interesting—had they given any time to explain it at all. They seemed to be trying to keep it purposely ambiguous, but with the lack of any sort of info about the setting, exposition based or otherwise, it made it difficult to get into the story. The animation overall was awesome, but became very difficult to follow during scenes of heavy action. Sound fell into a similar problem—the music and voice acting was lovely, but seemed to fall apart during heavier scenes, sabotaging basically any chance of becoming attached to any character or the story. Sadly, I can say with fair certainty that I would not recommend this anime to anyone I know, unless they were looking for something to be disappointed by.
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