Netflix has released the trailer and key art of their most awaited 2D anime series, Yasuke, a reimagined story of the first African Samurai. The six-episode series will premiere worldwide on 29 April 2021.
Yasuke is produced by a Japanese animation studio MAPPA, which has produced many popular anime series like Attack on Titan: The Final Season, Jujutsu Kaisen, Inuyashaki, and more. LeSean Thomas is credited as the creator, director, and executive producer of the series. The series features design from the world-class director and animator Takeshi Koike, with music by Grammy award-nominated artist Flying Lotus. Along with Thomas, Nick Jones Jr. and Alex Larsen have co-written the series.
Earlier this month, Netflix released the first official teaser for Yasuke, which narrates the rise of eponymous characters from servant to samurai. After becoming a legendary samurai, he leaves everything behind to live a humble life as a boatsman. Yasuke is told of a prophecy that a black warrior will one day come to save the people.
In the trailer released today, we see Yasuke in a war-torn feudal Japan fighting against an arrogant noble after the man tries to draw his sword on a small child. The story not only shows a biopic of Yasuke but also features a young girl’s ailment having a supernatural component to it – and that some immensely powerful and malevolent forces are after her in order to claim this magic for their own nefarious purposes. The trailer is full of magic and fantastical creatures set in historical backgrounds.
Here’s the official synopsis of Yasuke :
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 Academy award winner Lakeith Stanfield (Judas and the Black Messiah) stars as the legendary black Samurai and voices the titular character Yasuke. The English cast includes Takehiro Hira as Oda Nobunaga, Maya Tanida as Saki, Ming-Na Wen as Natsumaru, Paul Nakauchi as Morisuke, Dia Frampton as Ishikawa, Don Donahue as Abraham, Darren Criss as Haruto, Julie Marcus as Nikita, Amy Hill as Yami no Daimyо̄ and William Christopher Stephens as Achoja.
Other credits include Satoshi Iwataki as the chief animation director and Takeru Satō as the chief technical director. Kenichi Shima oversees sub-character designs, and Minoru Nishida is in charge of the world art design and art setting. Junichi Higashi directed the art, Yuki Nomoto is the 3D CG director, and Hyo Gyu Park is the compositing director of photography. Azusa Sasaki is the colour key artist, and editing is done by Mutsumi Takemiya.
Yasuke is set to premiere on Netflix on 29 April 2021.