Afro Samurai

Common Sense Media says

Stylish animation can't mask extreme violence and language.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The primary message is simply "You have to kill to get what you want." Characters use violence to achieve their goals, never once attempting to discuss problems with their adversaries. Verbal communication not a priority in this world.

Positive role models

Afro is a killer, no two ways about it. The fact that he's ultra-cool certainly sends a mixed message, but in the end, he's definitely not someone you'd want your kids to emulate.


Even by anime standards, this show reaches extraordinary levels of violence. Beheadings, rivers of blood, body parts flying -- you name it, and someone's likely going to slice it off.


It may be animated, but there's still nudity -- bare breasts, as well as some pretty steamy sex scenes.


Lots of gritty, adult-level cursing, including "f--k," motherf--ker," and "s--t."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Many characters smoke, and no one shies away from any of the major vices.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although Afro Samurai is animated, it's not a cartoon for kids. There's extreme violence (including beheadings, rivers of gushing blood, and more), sex (including some bare breasts), and adult language ("f--k," "s--t") throughout.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

As a child, young Afro (voiced by Samuel L. Jackson) witnesses his father -- the "number one" samurai -- being murdered by the number two samurai, Justice (Ron Perlman), who then usurps the title. Afro spends his whole life in training, and, upon adulthood, goes after Justice. He defeats one foe after another in increasingly violent fights before reaching the mountain where Justice lives -- where he prepares for the most important battle of his life.

Is it any good?


While it's decidedly not for children, AFRO SAMURAI is surprisingly well made. Its primary strength is in its art, which is lush and detailed. Many critics have argued that the story is somewhat generic, which is probably true. But fans of anime and martial arts likely won't be swayed by such concerns.

Teenage boys will love this one -- if they're mature enough to handle its themes of violent retribution and sexual conquest. The awesome soundtrack by The RZA (of legendary hip hop group The Wu-Tang Clan) is just icing on this (very bloody) cake.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what it means to seek revenge. Why is Afro so single minded in his pursuit of Justice? Do the ends ever justify the means?

  • If this is a show for adults, why do you think it's animated? Should cartoons only be for kids?

  • How does the violence compare to that in other shows you've seen? Does it have the same impact that it would if it were filmed in live action? Why or why not?

TV details

Cast:Phil LaMarr, Ron Perlman, Samuel L. Jackson
TV rating:TV-MA
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Afro Samurai was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byjoshua martinez September 22, 2011

17 and up.

this drama anime cartoon afro samurai is an average cartoon animation but parents you need to beware that this cartoon has over the top violence with lots of blood shown and much more there is one sex scene and lot's of nudity shown there's also a lot of constant strong language used and some drugs used such as smoking.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written bythatanimechick July 13, 2011

Annoyance at how anime is generally treated.

I agree that this particular anime is NOT for young children but i have a beef with people who think that anime which isn't watered down bullspit is horrible. My Sis-in-law was shocked when she saw that i had a great collection of japanese media. She said how can i allow Bellatrix and Vash (Yes my fangirlism is that bad. I named My Daughter Bellatrix after the Harry Potter charter and My son after Vash the Stampede) to see such filth. She, like most people, believe that unless its shown on 4kids or on Cartoon Network's morning block it is pornographic and violent. I highly reccomend parents screen such shows before d***ing them.

Teen, 13 years old Written byLedZepFan98 April 24, 2012

Violent but good Anime

This is one of the greatest anime TV shows but it is not recommend for anyone under 15. The Violence is Strong there are beheadings, stabbings, shootings and beatings. The Sex is strong in one episode the main character has sex with the female lead her breasts are shown. The language is strong with frequent usings of the "F word" and the 'S word". In every episode the main character smokes majiuana.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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