Netflix’s Original Anime Yasuke Is The Story Of A Black Samurai In A World Of Magic And Mechs
Yasuke is an original Anime from Netflix releasing soon. The new anime series features a new story and looks unlike anything we’ve seen before. While it’s from a familiar fantasy genre, there’s a lot in the Yasuke original anime official trailer to set it apart from Netflix’s other anime series. The anime looks fresh and action-packed with a fascinating lead character, voiced by an Oscar nominee. The story of Yasuke is actually based on the story of a legendary warrior, from the early 1600s. His story will now be fictionalized in this anime series, set in a fantasy setting.
Yasuke Original Anime Official Trailer Focuses On Character Than Spectacle
Image via Netflix.
There’s a lot to love in the Yasuke original anime’s official trailer. The trailer itself very much acts as a beautiful story on its own, until the last parts tease much more to come. The trailer begins in an alternate take on Feudal Japan, as traders try to sell their wares. During a confrontation, a Black man intervenes to protect an innocent. To everyone’s surprise, the man is a skilled Samurai warrior, the first in this world. Called Yasuke, the trailer then dives into this mysterious man’s backstory. We then learn how Yasuke earned respect from a noble Lord by proving himself in battle. However, after the demise of his mentor, he relegated himself into obscurity and peace.
When a helpless mother requests his help with her sick daughter, Yasuke becomes part of an unexpected adventure. The young girl has powers, sought by many who have ulterior motives. Falling back on his previous honor and life of a code, Yasuke takes it upon himself to protect the girl, getting involved in otherworldly threats, as seen in some amazing sequences. What follows are great visuals of brutal Samurai swordfights, mixed in with massive battles with magic and steampunk-looking mechanized robots. It’s all exciting and awesome!
Yasuke Official Synopsis Provides More Details
Image via Netflix.
Netflix’s official synopsis provides even more insight into the story, and makes the anime sound a lot more exciting at the same time.
In a war-torn feudal Japan filled with mechs and magic, the greatest ronin never known, Yasuke, struggles to maintain a peaceful existence after a past life of violence. But when a local village becomes the center of social upheaval between warring daimyo, Yasuke must take up his sword and transport a mysterious child who is the target of dark forces and bloodthirsty warlords. The story of Yasuke, the first African samurai who actually served the legendary Oda Nobunaga, will be released to the world.
The series stars Oscar nominee Lakeith Stanfield as the titular Yasuke. The show also stars the voices of Noshir Dalal, Dan Donohue (For All Mankind), Dia Frampton and more. The series is created and directed by Lesean Thomas, whose credits include directing The Boondocks. Stanfield’s involvement in the anime series already makes the show very prestigious, given the actor is always starring in interesting projects.
A live-action Yasuke film was in development with the late Chadwick Boseman reportedly signed on in the starring role. Boseman’s passing seemingly shelved the film. Hopefully, the success of the anime series will breathe live back to a live-action adaptation.
How The Story Of The Yasuke Original Anime Harkens Back To The Classics
Image via Netflix.
From the trailer, the story very much feels like a drawn-out version of the Lone Wolf And Cub. A trope that The Mandalorian took advantage of with great success. The hook here is that the hero in question is a Black man as a skilled Samurai, at a time when that was not the norm. To say the least. However, it doesn’t look like it’s a novelty act, given that even the trailer addresses the character’s race, seemingly in the story as well.
I also liked how the Yasuke original anime official trailer did not open with the more fantasy elements right off the bat. The trailer established a character-driven story featuring Yasuke and then revealed the magic elements. This is smart, as the genre elements of anime usually make most general audiences reluctant to tune in. Grounding Yasuke in a dramatic story of a lone nomadic Samurai, hooks audiences in, before getting to the more niche elements of the story. The trailer does make the story and scope as legendary as the synopsis promises.
Yasuke premieres on Netflix on April 29.
What did you think of the Yasuke original anime trailer? Let us know in the comments below.
Featured image via Netflix.
Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.