Afro Samurai is a black, afro-headed samurai and the main character of the series. In the story there are several head, but only two headbands are sought after the Number Two and the Number One. The wearer of the Number One is seen as the Number One Fighter, a god, who is granted incredible power that is unmatched. The Number One can only be fought by the Number Two (the person wearing the Number Two headband), but anyone can challenge the Number Two, so many people fight the Number Two to gain the headband; When Afro was just a child, he watched his father die at the hands of Justice for the Number One Headband and from that day on, Afro swore vengeance on Justice. Sometime after the death of his father, Afro was found by a Sword Master who taught him the art of Kenjutsu and hand-to-hand combat. While under the teacher of his Sword Master, he befriended many of the students at the Swords Master’s school, one in particular being Jinnosuke and Otsuru. Over the years, Afro’s skills developed from an amateur with basic skills into a Master Swordsman. For years he put his quest for the Number Two Headband on hold, till he honed his skills and found the location of the Number Two. He discovers his Master has the headband and he challenges him. However their duel is interrupted by men looking for the number two. The students join in the battle and nearly all die, including Jinnosuke. At the end of the battle, Afro and his Swords Master face off and Afro kills him, becoming the Number Two Warrior by gaining the Number Two Headband, giving him clearance to hunt down Justice.
Years pass and Afro is now accompanied by Ninja Ninja (who may or may not be a figment of Afro’s imagination). Because of the danger and violence the Number Two Headband brings, Afro can’t have relationships with anyone, so when he comes in contact with anyone, he says little if anything. He also has a fondness for lemonade, for which he has a fancy gold-encrusted straw to drink it with. Soon Afro comes very close to finding and killing Justice. However, he is being tracked by group known as the Empty Seven who are searching for both headbands. After being injured by one of there men, Afro is cared for a by a women named Okiku. She heals his wounds, but not only is she working with the Empty Seven to steal his memories, but is a friend of his named Otsuru who was a member of the school and was thought to have died like the rest. However, she could not continue to betray Afro and she was killed by one of the brothers of the Empty Seven.
Later as Afro begins his journey again, it turns out that the Empty Seven stole his memories to program a robot with his fighting style to kill him. At first the robots seems to be winning their fight, but Afro is able to fight from his subconscious and makes moves off of pure reflex, and even he won’t know what happens next. He defeat the “Afro Droid” and then moves on. He continues after Justice killing more and more members of the Empty Seven but is attacked again by the Afro Droid no longer wearing a skin to make it look like Afro. It begins to fight him using many concealed weapons but Afro is able to finish off the machine once and for all. His last fight before Justice is maybe his most challenging. He fights a man named Kuma. Kuma is revealed to truly be Afro’s friend Jinnosuke. Jinno survived the battle due to Dharman a cyborg who turned Jinno into a cyborg himself. Jinno wants revenge on Afro and almost does kill him but Ninja Ninja is some how able to take the hit and Afro then holds his sword with both hands to increase his speed to beat Jinno.
He finally makes it to Justice, who reveals he intends to claim ultimate power and stop the fighting over the headbands by collecting them all, revealing there are many more than just two and he in fact has a whole cave full of them. During the fight, he reveals he has the power to regenerate from Afro’s attacks. Justice nearly killed Afro when he made his cave spear Afro, but the spike went through Afro’s Afro missing his head and then Afro was able to slice Justice to peaces and becomes the new Number One. Later Kuma is seen alive covered in the other headbands from Justice’s lair challenging Afro.
Afro has seemingly given up his life of violence and seems to have now become a Buddhist. However, he is surprisingly attacked by Kuma on a motorcycle destroying Afro’s home and dragging him by his hair to his fathers grave. He beats him and his father’s corpse is stolen by a female warrior named Sio Jinnosuke’s sister, in an attempt to bring his father back to life to torture him and to use to kill Afro. Afro has to don the Number Two Headband and walk the path of the warrior once again when the Number One Headband now belonging to Sio and finding it being the only way to fight her. Ninja Ninja reappears despite supposedly dying and the two travel through towns looking for information on the new Number Two and Afro finds out from the remaining Empty Seven Brothers that the new Number Two is a man named Shichigoro. He begins to look for Shichigoro and finds him after he rescues a child he is caring for from a kidnapper. Shicigoro explains the boy is actually the son of a man who died fighting Afro for the Number Two and he is now watching him. Shichigoro promises to fight him and they duel outside of the town. At first it seems like Shicigoro will win and Afro runs into town. They continue to battle and then they are attacked by ninjas working for Sio. They kill the ninjas and Afro is able to kill Shicigoro and take the headband.
Afro now goes after Sio while the young boy from before follows Afro. Soon Afro is attacked by Sio’s cyborg agents who want to kill Afro so Sio won’t have to, but they die one by one like all the others Afro kills. Afro finally meets with Kuma, Sio and his now revived father. Afro’s dad is now a mindless weapon used by Sio, but Afro can’t bare to fight his father and he is badly beaten and soon killed by him, but seeing Afro die makes Jinnosuke reappear in Kuma as he saw Afro as his brother and cannot stand to see him dead. He tries to kill Afro’s dad but is (literally) cut to pieces. Sio even tries to kill Afro’s dad to save her brother but Afro’s dad ends up running the two of them through with the same sword. They both die embracing each other as brother and sister. Amazingly Jinnosukes body began to spark electricity from his damaged arm and one of the jolts makes it to Afro restarting his heart. He realizes that the thing in front of him is not his dad and with Jinnosukes sword he kills his father. He leaves the battle field with Ninja Ninja accepting that his fight will never end and he sees the young boy that had been following him earlier. The boy tries to draw his sword, but Afro instead gives him the Number Two Headband telling him to find him when he is ready.