LaKeith Stanfield is set to voice history’s first African samurai in “Yasuke,” Netflix’s upcoming anime series. The streaming service released a trailer for the show on Thursday evening, which you can watch below.
Per Netflix, the six-episode series “is set in a war-torn feudal Japan filled with mechs and magic, [where] 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.”
“Yasuke,” which will premiere April 29 on Netflix, is created by LeSean Thomas (“Cannon Busters”), who also serves as director and executive producer. The series will feature music from Grammy-nominated musician Flying Lotus, who also serves as an executive producer alongside Stanfield. The series’ character designs were handled by Takeshi Koike (“Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine”) and animation was handled by acclaimed Japanese studio Mappa “Jujutsu Kaisen,” “Attack on Titan: The Final Season”).
Though Netflix’s “Yasuke” series will boast plenty of fantastical elements, the titular protagonist is based on a real-world warrior who was active in the late 1500s. The real Yasuke is considered to be the first African samurai in history and served under Oda Nobunaga, Japan’s first “Great Unifier.”
“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 said in a March statement. “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” will mark Stanfield’s latest television role, after breaking out in the first two seasons of “Atlanta” years earlier. He most recently appeared in several episodes of “The Eric Andre Show” Season 5 as Andre’s co-host and previously appeared in a handful of episodes on the acclaimed “BoJack Horseman.” Stanfield has also appeared in several recent films, including “Knives Out” and “Judas and the Black Messiah.”
Check out the trailer for “Yasuke” below: