The badasses of Afro Samurai

We profile the friends and foes of the most stylish killer in feudal Japan

Pretty much your standard orphan fare. Otsuru’s a little girl who idolizes Afro (duh, he’s awesome), but clings to Jinno because he’s such a nice boy. She also has a gigantic teddy bear (probably hiding several Sais or butterfly knives). Doubtful, but that would be sweet.

Dork alert! This nerdlinger wishes he were as badass as Jinno and Afro. Side note: no one is as badass as Afro. While not exactly a rival at Sword Master’s school of Hard Knocks, Sasuke looks to SM for paternal gratification. Today’s lesson: book smarts don’t matter when you have demons and gods to cut down. Take that home with you. Chew on it, if you will.

The Daimyo
Politicians don’t get more ruthless than the Daimyo. When he’s not overseeing the Sword School as administrator, he’s being extremely practical by cutting his losses and using his power to get what he wants. Wait… this description sounds like every politician ever. But does President-elect Barack Obama wield a katana? Who’s bringing the real change? Think about it.

Finally! Something for the men! Okiku’s the kind soul of the game. A yin to Afro’s yang, if you will. She nurses him back to health after a particularly nasty beating. She sees something pure in Afro’s heart, which is incredible despite the fact that he’s a known killer. Guess some ladies are always drawn to the bad boys. Fun fact: Okiku moonlights as a silk-maker when not running away from her past.

Guh! What the hell is that? Legend has it that a mysterious man-bear-abomination haunts the red gate on Mount Shumi. To pass him, you must answer the most existential riddle of all: “Who am I?” This is where it gets confusing. Do you answer the question assuming you’re Kuma? As in, “I am a hideous amalgam of man and beast!” Or do you answer as if questioning yourself - “I am Features Editor Shane Patterson.” Ah! But you see, therein lies the riddle. This simple question is actually quite meta. We’re pretty sure Kuma is not just some fairy tale used to scare children, considering we have art of the character. Be warned if you see him howling in the night!

Nov 14, 2008

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