Select one of the keywords
Afro Samurai    by Takashi Okazaki order for
Afro Samurai
by Takashi Okazaki
Order:  USA  Can
Seven Seas, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The back cover recommends Takashi Okazaki's Afro Samurai for Older Teen (16+). This dark manga - the basis for the Spike TV anime series starring Samuel L. Jackson - tells the tale of a son's quest for vengeance against the power hungry man, Justice, who murdered his father in front of him. That killing gave Justice the No. 1 headband. Now Afro Samurai wears the No. 2 - if he can survive all those who want to wear his own headband, he's going after Justice.

In this future world, the warrior who wears the No. 1 headband is powerful and may only be challenged by whoever wears No. 2. The manga (done in black, white and grey that emphasizes the regular touches of red gore) opens on the child's horror over seeing his father die. He grows up quickly and is next seen being challenged by what looks like an army for his No. 2 position. He takes them down by slicing through bullets! Meanwhile the Empty Seven (quintuplet monks) plot and send waves of assassins against him, resulting in a fair bit of collateral damage.

Afro Samurai - which reminded me of Kill Bill as its hero wades through rivers of blood to reach his ultimate enemy - will appeal to those whose tastes run to action-packed manga with constant carnage.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Teens books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews