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Afro Samurai

TV review by
Scout Davidson, Common Sense Media
Afro Samurai TV Poster Image
Stylish animation can't mask extreme violence and language.
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 17+
Based on 4 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

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 & Representations

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."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult 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 horrib... Continue reading
Adult Written bychristian2011 August 11, 2013

Dark and edgy anime series loaded with graphic violence and profanity.

Afro Samurai is truly one of a kind with it's interesting characters with a flamboyant "swag" attitude, including Afro, whom is a professional ki... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old June 5, 2012

Violent but highly entertaining animation!

First thing you should know: This is very violent and bloody with beheadings, guns, and the like. Language is frequent and strong (f-ck, sh-t, motherf-cker) etc... Continue reading
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 be... Continue reading

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.

Talk to your kids 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

For kids who love action

Our editors recommend

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