In order to hype up viewers for the debut of their new anime series, Yasuke, Netflix released a new trailer, key art, as well as confirm additional voice cast members for the anime. The series will be produced by the well-known Japanese animation studio MAPPA (Attack on Titan: The Final Season). LaKeith Stanfield (Knives Out, Death Note) is not only voicing the eponymous main character, but also sharing an executive producer credit with director LeSean Thomas. Grammy award-nominated artist Flying Lotus will be producing music for the series.
The main trailer for the show is two and a half minutes of satisfying, samurai-themed anime goodness. Yasuke, a black samurai in war-torn feudal Japan, is first seen fighting against an arrogant noble after the man tries to draw his sword on a small child. Next, we get a hint at Yasuke’s backstory: after shamefully losing a battle against invading forces and being betrayed by everyone he knows, Yasuke is ordered by his commanding officer to behead him. Yasuke complies, and the painful loss of his commander sends him into exile.
The story of the anime feels like something straight out of an Akira Kurosawa movie, with Yasuke running into a young mother who begs him for help and protection as she journeys with her sick daughter to somewhere they can get treatment. Not to be content with a straightforward biopic, the trailer strongly hints at the young girl’s ailment having a supernatural component to it – and that some very powerful and malevolent forces are after her in order to claim this magic for their own nefarious purposes.
The key art for the show features a sword-wielding Yasuke with the little girl he has sworn to protect shielding herself behind him. She’s surrounded by a cool blue aura. Glowing red eyes and shadowy figures animate the background, and the show’s tagline – “fight with honor” – is emblazoned at the top. The announcement also includes the confirmation of 11 more members of the voice cast, including Takehiro Hira (Nobunaga), Maya Tanita (Saki), Ming-Na Wen (Natsumaru), Paul Nakauchi (Morisuke), and Noshi Dalal as the Dark General, Kurosaka.
If you love anime, samurais, action, and a classic good-vs-evil narrative, be sure to tune in on Thursday, April 29 for the show’s Netflix debut. And be sure to check out the action-packed trailer below.