When one thinks of different countries or cultures, there are certain things that are always thought of. What people most often associate with America, for example, is probably baseball and certain grilled foods like hot dogs. Whether or not people know a lot about Japanese culture, the samurai is probably most often associated with Japan. And what is better than an anime focusing on not just any samurai, but the first African samurai?
Yasuke is a man who was the “first foreign-born man to achieve the status of a samurai warrior.” If you want to know more about his story, you can read this BBC article. Did you read it? Great. Now we can talk about the series that Netflix has created, based on Yasuke.
Here is the official synopsis:
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.
So while this sci-fi anime is not the exact story of Yasuke, you can tell how it is loosely based on this historical figure. And if you couldn’t tell from the synopsis, this tale takes place in an alternate-reality version of feudal Japan. Either way, I am all for this.
The series won’t start streaming until April 29th, but I plan to spend the next couple of weeks reading up about the real Yasuke. One of the categories for this year’s reading challenge is historical fiction.
In the meantime, here is the trailer for the upcoming series: