Afro Samurai is made up of 30% action, 33% style, 30% badass and 7% everything else. It's main purpose is to show how awesome Afro is, and nothing more than that. Straight up, this is a tale of revenge; Justice kills Afro's father and Afro goes for revenge. That right there is the story. There are flashbacks to Afro as a child to give him more depth, but that's pretty much it. Unfortunately, Justice doesn't appear much, but it is mostly about Afro journey to get revenge, so that probably explains it. It's also a mix of modern technology and samurai-era weaponry, which works quite well. The battles are the bread and butter of the series and is what you should be watching this for. Violent and pours out style just like a slash wound. Fights where Afro is against a group of foes are basically curb-stomp battles but are fun to watch and the best ones are 1 vs. 1, particularly some of the ones later on.
The animation is nothing short of style, that's for sure. From the character designs to the setting, it oozes style. It's fluid, slick and is simply stylish. Not to mention the decapitations, dismemberments and slashes are met with blood and lots of it. Unsurprising, but damn, does it look good. Which is part of the reason to watch this.
For VO, you have Samuel L. Jackson as Afro Samurai and Ron Perlman as Justice. Music is done by The RZA, which I enjoyed quite a bit, especially the song that plays in the fight scene Afro's Father vs. Justice. The amount of violence goes with the hip-hop soundtrack, as a more feudal-like one or classical music sounding one (Or something you would find in a more traditional samurai series) would sound out of place.
Characters... Afro is badass, he's a killing machine, he's out for revenge and makes it look good. The already mentioned flashbacks give him more depth but to go too much into that would spoil it a bit but his present form is for the most part an emotionless killing machine of style. Ninja Ninja, his travelling companion is more talkative by a mile and provides some commentary throughout, which is kinda nice. Otherwise, everybody else is there to be killed by Afro or share a few words to him. Probably before he kills them.
It's not about the story, it's not about character development, it's not about any of that stuff this show would call filler. It's about violence, style, action, badassery, stylish violence and fighting. It does what it does and if you expect that, then you'll have a fun time. I expected action, style with some good music and more style in terms of fighting and that's what I got and am perfectly content with that, hence why the final score doesn't entirely match the other sub-scores.
Still needed more Ron Perlman. Seriously, he was amazing for what few lines he had.