Netflix has revealed the first look at a new anime series that will reimagine the story of the first African samurai. “Yasuke”, which arrives on April 29th, is a 6-episode series from a global talentpool: creator, executive producer and director LeSean Thomas, revered Japanese animation studio MAPPA, world class director and animator Takeshi Koike, award-winning actor LaKeith Stanfield, and Grammy Award-nominated artist Flying Lotus will all be involved.
The series is set in alternate fantastical Japan during the feudal era and follows a samurai warrior of African descent who must return to his life of sword-fighting and violence in order to protect a mysterious girl from dark forces.
Yasuke is a fascinating, mysterious figure in Japanese history that’s drawn a growing interest in today’s media over the decades. I first learned of Yasuke’s role in Japanese history over a decade or so. The children’s book, Kuro-suke by Kurusu Yoshio, featured images that piqued my curiosity. To eventually learn that he wasn’t just a fictional character, but a real person, was exciting material for an adventure story.
LeSean Thomas, Creator
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.