It’s taken years for someone/anyone to help realize the legendary tale of the first Black samurai, Yasuke, in some capacity. Alas, Netflix has since taken the reigns on its own end for an animated adventure from creator, executive producer and director LeSean Thomas, revered Japanese animation studio MAPPA, anf world class director and animator Takeshi Koike, and with none other than award-winning actor LaKeith Stanfield voice cast for the title role.
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 upcoming six-part season will stream April 29, and will also feature music by Grammy Award-nominated artist Flying Lotus. The company also provided a statement from Thomas below:
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.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.