Netflix announces new animated series based on Usagi Yojimbo comics — with a sci-fi twist
One of the most iconic heroes in comics is coming soon to Netflix — albeit with some twists.
Over the course of more than 35 years, writer/artist Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo comics have depicted the mythical adventures of Miyamoto Usagi, a samurai who is also a rabbit. On Wednesday, Netflix announced a new CGI animated TV series based on the comic saga. Though this is the first adaptation of Usagi Yojimbo onto the screen, the show won't be exactly the same as the comics.
Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles is set in the far future and focuses on a rabbit warrior named Yuichi, the descendant of Miyamoto Usagi who now seeks to become a full-fledged samurai in his own right. Per Netflix's announcement, Yuichi's allies in his quest include "a roguish bounty hunter, a cunning ninja, an acrobatic pickpocket, and a faithful pet lizard," while his enemies include "depth-charging moles, metal-tipped winged bats, and monsters from another dimension." The series' aesthetic as a whole will be a mix of "high-tech images with classic Japanese references."
Sakai is an executive producer on Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles, which is a collaboration between Netflix, Gaumont, comic publisher Dark Horse Entertainment, and James Wan's Atomic Monster. Mumbai studio 88 Pictures will handle the CGI animation, as they have for other Netflix series like Trollhunters and Fast & Furious Spy Racers. Candie and Doug Langdale (Maya and the Three, Puss in Boots) are attached as showrunners.
“It is a pleasure working with Gaumont and Netflix. I am involved in each step of the production and am enthusiastic with the direction we are going into," Sakai said in a statement. "It is wonderful to expand the Usagi universe by collaborating with so many talented people. I am working with an awesome team and I’m looking forward to finally seeing an Usagi series on the screen! I thank my wonderful fans, friends and family for their support and encouragement over the last 35+ years.”