Netflix has released a teaser trailer for their upcoming anime series, Yasuke. The series premieres on April 29th.
Created, directed and executive produced by LeSean Thomas along with Japanese animation studio MAPPA, the series features Judas and the Black Messiah Oscar nominee LaKeith Stanfield, who voices Yasuke and also serves as an executive producer. The series also features music by Flying Lotus.
Set in a war-torn feudal Japan that includes fantastical elements, the series tells the story of Yasuke, a boatsman who is trying to live peacefully after leaving a life marked by violence. When a nearby village becomes ensnared by the warring factions, he is compelled to enter the fight.
The clip addresses racial and socio-economic disparities of the time period. “You are not one of us… Servants will always be servants. That is our way, the old way,” Yasuke is told. He responds: “Perhaps the old way should be left in the past.” It also sets up Yasuke’s rise to “legendary black samurai” status, touching on a prophecy that a black warrior would one day come to save the people.