It was announced this week by Netflix that their upcoming anime six-episode series Yasuke from LeSean Thomas and Japanese anime studio MAPPA will be released on April 29th. The series is a remaining of the real-life story about Yasuke aka The Black Samurai, who became one of the first and only foreigners to obtain the rank of samurai in feudal Japan.
Yasuke was a native of Portuguese Mozambique who was brought to Japan as a slave to Jesuit missionaries. The first black man to set foot on Japanese soil, Yasuke’s arrival aroused the interest of Nobunaga, a ruthless warlord seeking to unite the fractured country under his banner. A complex relationship developed between the two men as Yasuke earned Nobunaga’s friendship, respect — and ultimately, the honor, swords and title of samurai.
LaKeith Stanfield will be voicing Yasuke with music from Flying Lotus.
Here is the official synopsis from Netflix.
Yasuke is a six-episode anime series created by LeSean Thomas, set in alternate fantastical Japan during the feudal era. The story follows a samurai warrior of African descent who must return to his life of sword-fighting and violence in order to protect a mysterious girl from dark forces. The story, just like the passionate creative team, transcends borders, cultures and languages and is one that we’re so proud to tell at Netflix and share with the world.
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.
A live-action feature film version had been in the works with Chadwick Boseman attached to star before the actor passed due to his battle with colon cancer.