Another exciting anime is coming your way in 2021. Arriving this April is LeSean Thomas’s latest project, Yasuke, the tale of Japan’s only Black Samurai. We’re keeping track of everything you need to know about Yasuke season 1, including the plot, new trailers, cast news, and the Netflix release date.
Yasuke is an upcoming Netflix Original anime series based on the legendary figure of the same name, who was known as the only Black Samurai in Japanese history. Creator, director, and executive producer LeSean Thomas had his say on how excited he was to be working on 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. 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.
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.
I’m so excited for both longtime fans and newcomers to enjoy our reimagined take on this historical figure.
LeSean’s most recent project on Netflix was the anime series Cannon Busters. Over the years LeSean has worked on plenty of popular animated projects:
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold
- Black Dynamite
- The Boondocks
- The Legend of Korra
Working on the project is animation studio MAPPA, the legendary production that’s animated for other incredible anime such as Kakegurui, Attack on Titan: The Final Season, and Jujutsu Kaisen.
When is the Yasuke season 1 Netflix release date?
The first season of Yasuke is coming to Netflix on Thursday, April 29th, 2021.
Yasuke’s release was confirmed by Netflix on Twitter, along with the first batch of images from the anime series.
Witness the legend like it’s never been told before. LeSean Thomas joins with anime hit-makers MAPPA for Yasuke, a new series following the legendary African samurai premiering on Netflix April 29th. pic.twitter.com/MVB0T2yUXO
— NX (@NXOnNetflix) March 9, 2021
What is the episode count?
Yasuke will feature a total of six episodes. Each episode will have an approximate runtime of 30 minutes.
What is the plot of Yasuke?
The official synopsis has been provided by Netflix:
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.
Who are the cast members of Yasuke?
At the time of writing the only confirmed cast member is LaKeith Stanfield, who will provide the voice of Yasuke.
LaKeith Stanfield is most well known for his roles in Sorry to Bother You, Knives Out, and Selma. The actor has previously provided his voice in Bojack Horseman as Guy the Bison.
Who was the real Yasuke?
According to historical records, Yasuke was the only known Black Samurai of Japan’s feudal era. He was also acknowledged as the only known non-Japanese retainer to serve daimyō Oda Nobunaga.
His origin is wildly debated, but Yasuke first came to Japan under the service of Italian Jesuit missionary Alessandro Valignano. Upon meeting Oda Nobunaga, the daimyō was fascinated by Yasuke’s skin and was convinced he was covered in black ink.
Yasuke would eventually come into the service of Oda Nobunaga and accompanied him on his conquest to unify Japan. His service to Nobunaga ended after the Honnō-ji incident, which resulted in the death of Nobunaga. The warrior had been present at the battle and tried in vain to stop the attackers.
He would immediately join the service of Oda Nobunaga’s son, Oda Nobutada. Yasuke was soon captured while fighting for the Nobutada forces and was presented to Akechi, the man responsible for Nobunaga’s death.
According to historical records, Yasuke was given to the Christian church in Kyoto but historians often doubt the credibility of this. After his capture, no further records or writing of Yasuke exist.
Are you going to be watching the first season of Yasuke on Netflix? Let us know in the comments below!