Little by little, anime is becoming a great asset for Netflix, be it of Japanese origin or it is made by American hands. The streaming platform is looking for animated formats that satisfy fans of the medium, and its latest find is a series that could not look better: Yasuke. Composed of six episodes, the anime is developed by MAPPA (the studio responsible for the last season of Attack the titans) and its main responsible is LeSean Thomas, creator of series like Black dynamite or The Boondcocks.
The other big name that stands out in front of Yasuke is none other than the rapper and music producer Flying lotus, who debuted as a filmmaker in 2017 with the unclassifiable Kuso. The musician is responsible for Yasuke’s soundtrack and co-author of the story with LeSean Thomas, but what is this story? Well, one that dates back to a surprising episode in the samurai era, when an African slave from Mozambique joined the order and became a fearsome warrior. It was, in effect, the first black samurai, and as such it already inspired a manga (and later anime) in 2000 entitled Afro Samurai.
Yasuke has also appeared in various video games and novels, and Thomas met him precisely from a children’s book that fell into his hands ten years ago. Interviewed by Entertainment Weekly, the artist has revealed his intention to add to the character “A point of fantasy and romanticism, in a similar way to how the Japanese approach their historical figures”. As for the attractions that the series can offer for Western audiences, he has no doubts: “I’m sure there will be people who will say something like ‘well anime is not my thing, man, but there is Lakeith’ or ‘wow, Flying Lotus!'”
With Lakeith he refers to the interpreter Lakeith stanfield, who voices Yasuke in the series and is currently nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for Judas and the black messiah. Netflix intends to release Yasuke next April 29, and has just released a trailer where we can admire a most powerful aesthetic, as well as verify that its creators are not going to spare violence and blood to describe the deeds of this warrior. Check it out.