Netflix's Yasuke Gives Us a First Look at Its Black Samurai

Yasuke readies himself for battle.
Yasuke readies himself for battle.
Image: Netflix

LeSean Thomas’ first post-Cannon Busters series for Netflix has been known about for a while, but now the streamer has dropped new details about its story of a wandering warrior—voiced by LaKeith Stanfield—protecting a young girl from dark forces, as well as a first look at how it’s being brought to life.

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Revealed in a blog post released last night, Thomas, who created and executive produced Yasuke, collaborated with Jujutsu Kaisen’s animation studio MAPPA as well as creative design from The Woman Called Fujiko Mine’s Takeshi Koike to help bring the world of the six-episode series to life.

Set in an alternate Feudal Japan “of mechs and magic, Yasuke follows the titular warrior—inspired by the history of Oda Nobunaga’s real-life African retainer—as he returns to his life of combat when he finds a young girl in danger from forces she can’t understand. Check out a few more new pictures below:

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Image: Netflix
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Image: Netflix

“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,” Thomas wrote. “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.”

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Yasuke will hit Netflix April 29.

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James is a News Editor at io9, where you can find him delivering your morning spoilers, writing about superheroes, and having many feelings about Star Wars. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!

DISCUSSION

inefficientandmiserable
InefficientAndMiserable

I recommend the book about the real life Yasuke, called African Samurai. Not much is know about him, especially his early and late life, so there is a lot of filler but if you don’t know much about the Warring States period in Japan then it is pretty useful info.