LeSean Thomas returns to Netflix with a miniseries that pays homage to the black samurai, Yasuke; along with mashing history, magic, science-fiction, and one killer soundtrack.

Set in an alternate reality of feudal Japan where mechas and magic is used in battle along with samurai, an African man has caught the attention of Lord Nobunaga. This man quickly went from a Jesuit servant to a retainer to the most powerful man in Japan. However, his time in the service of Nobunaga is cut short as he witnesses the fall of the Nobunaga during the Honnō-ji Incident against the forces of the Dark General and Yami no Daimyō, demonic warlord whom the General serves. Twenty years have passed and Yasuke puts his past behind him, being known simply as a boatman in a remote village. However, he is called upon by a woman to assist her sickly daughter, Saki, to a mysterious doctor concerning her strange abilities. Yasuke agrees, taking up his sword once more to protect Saki from mercenaries, the Daimyō, and his own past.

Returning to Netflix, LeSean Thomas and MAPPA bring another prime example of their talents. Previously, with his other Netflix series Cannon Busters, Thomas has blurred the lines of genre to showcase a series that stands out. In fact, fans of The Legend of Korra and The Boondocks may recognize some aspects of Thomas’ style in different scenes, particularly during fights. While it might not be entirely historically accurate, Yasuke shares the same action and wild spirit of Samurai Champloo. In the same vein as Samurai Champloo, the music of the series stands out, as it is provided by DJ and record producer Flying Lotus, who also serves as an executive producer. Additionally, the English cast includes a number of well-known actors including LaKeith Stanfield as the titular samurai, Takehiro Hira, Ming-Na Wen, and Amy Hill. However, one should take note when watching Yasuke as it does not pull any punches in regards to the depiction of violence and the gore. Nevertheless, this historical-fantasy mini-series is both a visual and auditory delight for viewers.

All six episodes of Yasuke are currently available for viewing on Netflix in both English and Japanese. Thomas has previously released Cannon Busters to Netflix back in 2019, and is also available for viewing and is recently released to home media via Funimation.

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