Lakeith Stanfield to play first African samurai in Netflix's Yasuke anime
Lakeith Stanfield is getting animated again for Netflix, though this next role isn't quite like Guy on BoJack Horseman.
The Uncut Gems and Sorry to Bother You actor will lead the voice cast of Yasuke, a new anime in which Stanfield portrays the first African samurai of the same name.
Set in war-torn feudal Japan with mechs and magic, Yasuke follows the warrior as he struggles to maintain a peaceful living after a lifetime of violence. He's thrown back into battle when a local village becomes the epicenter of warring daimyo and he's tasked with transporting a mysterious child who's targeted by dark forces.
The series hails from director-creator-executive producer LeSean Thomas with character designs by Takeshi Koike. Animation production will come from MAPPA, which worked on Attack on Titan: The Final Season.
News of the project was announced Monday night during Netflix's Anime Festival in Japan that was then livestreamed online. Five brand-new anime projects were announced: the stop-motion Rilakkuma's Theme Park Adventure, a modern adaptation of the popular manga Thermae Romae Novae, survival story High-Rise Invasion, the four-part Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan, and a yakuza-turned-househusband story The Way of the Househusband. The streamer also revealed new looks and updates on 11 others.
Pacific Rim: Black tells of an Australia overrun by Kaiju, the gargantuan creates that rose out of the Pacific Rim in Guillermo del Toro's original film. The entire continent has been evacuated. Teenage siblings Taylor and Haley remain to search for their missing parents, teaching themselves how to pilot a battered Jaeger robot. Craig Kyle and Greg Johnson serve as co-showrunners.
New looks also arrived for the CG anime Resident Evil series, as well as EDEN, Vampire in the Garden, Godzilla Singular Point, Transformers: War for the Cybertron Trilogy, Trese, B: The Beginning Succession, Baki Hanma, and Spriggan.
These moves mark the latest push by Netflix to become a streaming destination for anime. According to the company, more than 100 million households around the world watched at least one anime title on Netflix between October 2019 and September 2020. Netflix logs one household view when a single user account watching at least two minutes of a show or film. Multiple profiles within the same account could watch the same thing or a single profile could watch the same title multiple times, but Netflix still counts that as one household view. Anime titles also appeared on the platform's Top 10 list in almost 100 countries in 2020.