LaKeith Stanfield voices Japan’s first Black samurai in the trailer for Netflix’s Yasuke – The A.V. Club

Illustration for article titled LaKeith Stanfield voices Japan's first Black samurai in the trailer for Netflix's Yasuke
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Netflix has just added another entry in its ever-expanding slate of ambitious anime projects, releasing a trailer today for Yasuke, the (semi-) historical tale of an African man who became a prominent warrior in feudal Japan. That part’s all real, to be clear; it’s just that Yasuke’s story is closely intertwined with that of ancient warlord Oda Nobunaga, and there’s nothing video game makers and anime artists love more than shoving a bunch of demons and magical shit into the life of the famed and feared Nobunaga.

Hence, presumably, some of the wilder stuff in the above trailer, which sees the ever-capable LaKeith Stanfield voicing Yasuke, who reportedly came to Japan in the late 1500s in the company of Jesuit missionaries, before catching Nobunaga’s attention. He was eventually named Nobunaga’s weapon bearer, a role that carried great privilege during the era, and generally gets Yasuke described as the first Black samurai. When Nobunaga was killed, Yasuke fought for a time against his killer, then disappeared from the eye of history–possibly because he became a demon-fighting boatman subject to some sort of badass prophecy, if the new anime is to believed.

Animation duties on Yasuke are being handled by MAPAA, which recently handled the final season of Attack On Titan. The series is slated for an April 29 release.