Yasuke anime gets a new trailer ahead of this week’s Netflix debut


The upcoming Yasuke anime series has a new trailer ahead of its debut on Netflix later this week, and it’s looking good.

Created by LeSean Thomas and Studio Mappa in partnership with Netflix, Yasuke is based on the real-life African samurai Yasuke, who was brought to Japan to Jesuit missionaries and ended up serving as a retainer to Nobunaga Oda. At least, it starts that way—but as you can see from the trailer, this series is more interested in Yasuke’s life after Nobunaga, as he tries to leave his “Black Samurai” legend behind him but finds himself dragged into a battle with a mystical evil force.

As Netflix describes it:

Yasuke is a six-episode series created by LeSean Thomas, set in alternate fantastical Japan during the feudal era. The story is about a samurai warrior of African descent who must return to his life of sword and violence in order to protect a mysterious girl from the dark forces.

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. The story of Yasuke, the first African samurai who actually served the legendary Oda Nobunaga, will be released to the world.

The main poster for Yasuke anime on Netflix

As well as dropping a new trailer, Netflix shared further details about the English voice cast. Along with LaKeith Stanfield, announced previously as the voice of Yasuke himself, Yasuke will star Takehiro Hira as Nobunaga Oda, Maya Tanida as Saki, and Noshi Dalal as the villain Kurosaka. The Japanese dub includes Jun Soejima as Yasuke and Kiko Tamura as Saki, with Takehiro Hira doing double-duty for Oda’s Japanese voice as well as his English one.

Yasuke will make its worldwide debut this Thursday, 29 April 2021. And while completely unrelated to the show, Koei Tecmo also recently announced Yasuke as one of the new characters for the upcoming Samurai Warriors 5—he’s a historical figure who’s certainly getting a lot of attention lately, and with good reason.


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Matthew is a writer based in Wellington. He loves all things pop culture, and is fascinated by its place in history and the wider social context.