Netflix has revealed the release date for its upcoming Yasuke, an anime based on the African samurai who served under Oda Nobunaga. Netflix also released some first-look photos of the series.
The streaming service revealed that it was working on a Yasuke anime back in 2018 and now, nearly three years later, the series has a release date of April 29, 2021. The six-episode series will center around Yasuke, the greatest ronin ever known, in a war-torn feudal Japan filled with mechs, magic, and more, trying to live out his remaining days in peace, according to Netflix. Yasuke’s peaceful days don’t last, however, as he’s forced to take up the sword once more.
“[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 blog post reads.
The series is produced and directed by LeSean Thomas (Cannon Busters) and animated by MAPPA (Attack on Titan: The Final Season, Jujutsu Kaisen). The anime’s character designs come by way of director and animator, Takeshi Koike (Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine) and Yasuke will be voiced by LaKeith Stanfield (Sorry to Bother You, Judas and the Black Messiah). Grammy Award-nominated artist, Flying Lotus, is behind the music for the series.
“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 says in Netflix’s blog post. “Part of me deep down feels I was meant to create this adventure series with MAPPA, Flying Lotus, LaKeith, and the rest of this talented team.”
Thomas said he remembers reading the children’s book, Kuro-suke by Kurusu Yoshio, and the excitement he felt when he learned Yasuke wasn’t just a fictional character, but a real person.
“I’m excited for both longtime fans and newcomers to enjoy our reimagined take on this historical figure,” he continued.
While waiting for Yasuke to release on April 29, check out IGN’s thoughts on Yasuke director’s previous Netflix project in our Cannon Busters review and then read our list of the top 25 best anime series of all time. Check out this story about the 2021 Crunchyroll Anime Awards winners after that.