Afro Samurai Vol.2 (Graphic Novel)
by Takashi Okazaki
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Pub Date 17 Jan 2023 | Archive Date 17 Jan 2023
Titan Books, Titan Manga
Volume 2 of the brand new “director’s cut” edition of the classic manga sees Afro continue his quest for revenge. With a specially commissioned cover and unseen content by creator Takashi Okazaki, this is a must have for fans of cult manga and anime!
Japan has become a land of warriors, warlords and assassins, where the technology of the future exits alongside the brutal traditions of the past. This world is ruled by whoever possesses the legendary No.1 headband.
When the boy Afro Samurai’s father, Rokutaro, is challenged as No.1 and killed by the No.2, a lethal outlaw known as Justice, he swears revenge, starting on a bloody path of retribution that will make him the No.2 warrior and allow him to challenge Justice.
After having defeated the Empty Seven Clan, Afro is forced to face a new threat: a deadly warrior who wears a teddy mask called Jinno. Will his bloodthirsty campaign of vengeance be thwarted, or will he finally face Justice and claim the number one headband?
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 3 members
A fun read, matches the show I remember watching as a kid. Artwork styles matches what I expect, though sometimes hard to see what details in the fight scenes, like I remember from the show.
My thanks to both NetGalley and the publisher Titan Books- Titan Manga for an advanced copy of this adventure featuring samurais, technology and a classic tale of revenge.
Every story has a beginning and an end. A story of revenge begins in sadness and ends that way, also. Friends become enemies wearing Teddy Bear heads and great battles are fought in cities of the Gods with one man facing a lot of robots. A story about a world that looks to the past for honor, but to technology to fight it, and where headbands decide who is the strongest and most powerful. Welcome to the world of Afro Samurai, a world about a future which culls much from the past, where children watch parents die, and give up their innocence to take up the blade. A time when revenge is not served cold but with the warm tang of blood, and maybe motor oil from the many robots. Written and illustrated by Takashi Okazaki, Afro Samurai Volume 2, continues the adventures of this singular samurai and his attempts to destroy those who killed his father and made Afro take this dark road to damnation.
The book begins with a wounded Afro recovering from his numerous fights from the first volume, in a quite village, helped by both a local doctor and a young woman. This hamlet has found a new god one that has shown them that the path of violence and revenge is not a good path, but one that leads to sadness and destruction. Afro is reminded by the young woman of his days training at the dojo, and his friends who were there from the beginning of his quest for vengeance. Afro remembers the nicknames, the feeling of belonging, and another young woman who vowed to wait for him. Soon Afro has had to move on into conflict with a warrior from the past, wearing a Teddy Bear head, a conflict that Afro is hard pressed to win. For after this awaits a city of Gods, numerous foes, and possibly redemption.
The story is a standard revenge story, with swords set in a feudal looking high tech society. Afro is interesting, though a little stubborn and single-minded. The story is good, not remarkable, but similar to many stories about vengence, sword play and being made an orphan. The art though is really good. Clear, concise, and highly kinetic with action in almost every panel, and if the characters aren't moving, the feeling remains that violence could break out at any second. The use of color is good, the characters are all very crisp and consistent and when technology is suddenly injected into the story the feeling is both jarring, as it should be, and gives a different feel to the story. I would suggest reading Volume 1 first just to get an idea of the story, and to figure out where things are going. The ending is a little what just happened, and might need a reread or two but ties up things well, until the inevitable sequel.
Not for everyone. This is violent with a lot of blades, blood and betrayal. For fans of manga stories, especially for those who like stories about samurai, revenge, and lots of blood. Fans of the TV show will also enjoy it, especially if you can get keep the show's cast in one's head while reading.