Created by Black Dynamite/The Boondocks‘s LeSean Thomas, Yasuke, set to air on Netflix, is a six-part series inspired by Japan’s historic first African samurai in 1579.
Netflix: Lakeith Stanfield to voice Yasuke
The series will star Lakeith Stanfield as the voice behind the samurai set in a fantastical alternative animation world of Japan’s feudal era.
In the real world, almost 500 years ago Yasuke, a tall African man (some say he could be Mozambican) arrived in Japan and went onto become the first African man to become a samurai warrior under the rule of Oda Nobunaga – a powerful 16th Century Japanese feudal lord who was the first of the three unifiers of Japan.
Netflix shared first look images on Monday evening describing the show as follows:
“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 centre 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.”
Thomas recalls having a very similar experience, saying:
“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.”
Where and when is this airing?
The series will be airing on Netflix from 29 April 2021, so save the date! If you don’t already have a subscription, check out this informative guide on the streaming services available in South Africa, with comparisons on content volume and value for money.