History’s Real Black Samurai Becomes an Anime This April

by Tito W. James

Yasuke is a Netflix original anime series created by LeSean Thomas (Cannon Busters) and inspired by a true historical figure. The anime is produced by Studio MAPPA (Attack on Titan: The Final Season) with music by Flying Lotus. The voice of Yasuke will be brought to life by LaKeith Stanfield (Sorry to Bother You). The characters will be designed by anime legend Takeshi Koike.

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.

“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. Part of me deep down feels I was meant to create this adventure series with MAPPA, Flying Lotus, LaKeith & the rest of this talented team” – LeSean Thomas

Yasuke is an incredibly inspiring historical figure. The creative team assembled to create this story is better than I could have imagined. It’s unknown how or when Yasuke died but I sure if his spirit saw this he would crack a smile.

Yasuke will be streaming on Netflix April 29th.

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