Yasuke will soon bring history’s first Black samurai to the small screen in a Netflix original anime series. The show’s dazzling and more than worth the binge, and LaKeith Stanfield is here to do the honors of voicing a larger-than-life figure. All of this will happen in a world full of magic, both dark and light, as the title character who buried his ronin past finds himself compelled to pick up the sword again. That’s what happens when, you know, a freaking werewolf and a robot come charging at you, and a young girl with mysterious powers must be protected. It’s just a day in the life of Yasuke, as much as he’d like to permanently retire into the quiet life of a boatsman.
One telling note: Chadwick Boseman signed onto a Yasuke feature film before his death, so you know that you’ve got a worthy character on your viewing hands. Well, Stanfield does the honors well while writers LeSean Thomas and Nick Jones Jr. take the story beyond the limited view of history books and into legendary territory. The animation (from Japanese studio MAPPA) is more stunningly rendered than we deserve, the action scenes are flawlessly executed, and the Flying Lotus score will climb inside of your soul. Oh, and that young girl? She can kick some magical ass. From the synopsis:
The tale is set 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.
Netflix’s Yasuke streams on April 29. Here’s some key art, too.