Netflix has unveiled the teaser trailer and teaser art for Yasuke, an all-new original anime by LeSean Thomas and Studio MAPPA. Yasuke stars and is executive produced by LaKeith Stanfield.
Yasuke is a six-episode series set in alternate fantastical Japan during the feudal era. The story is about a samurai warrior of African descent who must return to his life of sword and violence in order to protect a mysterious girl from the dark forces.
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. Yasuke will debut globally on the streaming service on April 29.
Yasuke is created by LeSean Thomas (Cannon Busters) who also serves as executive producer and director, revered Japanese animation studio MAPPA (Attack on Titan: The Final Season, Jujutsu Kaisen), with director and animator Takeshi Koike (Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine) responsible for character designs, music by Grammy Award-nominated artist Flying Lotus and award-winning actor LaKeith Stanfield serving as executive producer and the voice of Yasuke.
“From Tokyo to Los Angeles to New York, we’ve brought together the very best global talent to make this show — 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 have reimagined this story of the first African samurai,” said John Derderian, Netflix, Vice President of Japan & Anime.
“Yasuke is a six-episode anime series created by LeSean Thomas, set in alternate fantastical Japan during the feudal era. The story 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. The story, just like the passionate creative team, transcends borders, cultures and languages and is one that we’re so proud to tell at Netflix and share with the world.”
“There is a serendipitous nature about this project, how an African-American man goes to Japan to live and work amongst the very best in Japanese anime to create an anime about an African who goes to Japan to live amongst the Japanese elite and become a warrior. Part of me deep down feels I was meant to create this adventure series with MAPPA, Flying Lotus, LaKeith & the rest of this talented team,” added LeSean Thomas, Creator, Executive Producer and Director.
“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. I’m so excited for both longtime fans and newcomers to enjoy our reimagined take on this historical figure.”
The additional staff includes Chief Animation Director: Satoshi Iwataki; Chief Technical Director: Takeru Sato; Sub-character Design: Kenichi Shima; World Art Design & Art Settings: Minoru Nishida; Art Director: Junichi Higashi; Color Setting: Azusa Sasaki; 3D CGI Director: Yuki Nomoto; Photography: Park Hyo-gyu; and Editing: Mutsumi Takemiya.
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