“Yasuke” is an anime series that premiered on Netflix on April 29, 2021. The show was announced 3 years ago and was directed by LeSean Thomas (“Cannon Busters”). The anime is 6 episodes long and is globally available on Netflix.
The show tells the story of Yasuke, a samurai of African origin who served Oda Nobunaga. During the six episodes that the show has to offer we explore Yasuke’s past as well as the mission he has to carry out in order to regain peace.
You can read the Netflix‘s synopsis of the show below:
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.
Let’s start with the story written by Nick Jones Jr. Let me say this, if you want your show to have a complicated plot, you won’t enjoy “Yasuke”. However, if you enjoy watching a simple story that just lets you sit back and relax, “Yasuke” might just be right up your alley. As the synopsis says, the show is all about Yasuke transporting Saki to a doctor that is supposed to help her. What’s more, the show takes a pretty interesting turn, adding mechas, magic and people with other abilities which makes it unique.
Next up we have the visuals. The show, just like other Netflix shows, is fully uncensored, and oh god was it pretty. That’s exactly what you could expect out of studio MAPPA (“Attack on Titan: The Final Season”, “Jujutsu Kaisen”) and, mainly during the fight scenes, we can really see why they did a great job. The show included a lot of CGI models but they were made very well so it didn’t hurt the eye.
Moving to the music made by Steven Ellison (“Blade Runner: Black Out 2022”), it fit “Yasuke” extremely well. It’s really hard to describe it in words, so you should give it a listen here:
And last but not least, the voice acting of the main protagonist. Although most of the dub cast wasn’t the best in my opinion, I loved the choice for Yasuke’s Japanese voice actor. In the Japanese version of the show, we have Jun Soejima. His father is American and his mother is Japanese. and his accent fits the image of Yasuke perfectly.
On the other hand, in English dubbing, we have Lakeith Stanfield, an American actor and a singer.
The African Samurai was the first anime role for both of the voice actors, and their accents fit the character perfectly.
The official Netflix Anime Youtube channel also uploaded the anime opening, Black Gold by Flying Lotus/Thundercat:
If you aren’t a fan of simple action-driven shows, “Yasuke” might not be for you. Although the show isn’t highly rated as of now, I’d still recommend everyone to watch it due to it being only 6 episodes long. The amazing visuals and soundtrack make up for the simple plot just enough to make “Yasuke” a very good watch for all kinds of anime fans.