This week, Netflix released Yasuke, a new anime from creator, producer, and director LeSean Thomas (Cannon Busters) and MAPPA (Attack on Titan: The Final Season, Jujutsu Kaisen) with a fast-paced and solid storyline with stunning visuals and fantasy elements all blended into a wonderfully bingeable concoction. Yasuke does a great story of just giving enough background to start with before moving on to the present and blending in snippets of the past to highlight moments. It keeps a great pace from beginning to start. Every moment and dialogue helps move the storyline without overwhelming with exposition- in fact, I do not think there was a single moment in the anime that was a waste of minutes or just filler. Every single scene serves its purpose and provides details to either flesh out characters, their background, or the story.
The anime is just not great writing, but stunning visuals as well. Every shot and every detail is breathtaking. It reminded me a lot of Studio Ghibli movies, just way more brutal. I enjoyed the fantasy and mecha elements to it. Despite being a period piece, it brings a different spark to the story. The visuals along with the score were a really great combination. That said, something else that really caught me off-guard was how great the voices matched the anime. I tend to only watch anime in Japanese or Latin Spanish, but this one I really enjoyed and did not feel annoying at all.
Story, visuals, and music are three very important things for me when I watch anime. This plus the characters makes an anime for me. Each character in this anime was beautifully executed from design to role that plays within the anime. Like the story, there is not a single character that I feel was a waste of time- they all were wonderfully fleshed out along the story and quite honestly: made me wish I even could get to see more of the past as well as what could happen next. I loved our main character and I really hope we get more seasons to get to see more of his past and his adventures as the legendary black samurai. I also enjoyed his friendship with Saki- another surprise for me: not annoying at all. In fact, it reminded me a lot of Avatar: The Last Airbender and how organic their relationship felt as well as having a smart kid who genuinely adds to the story without constantly whining.
I really enjoyed Yasuke and hope we get more of it in the future. It could really lend itself to either prequels or spin-offs or some sort of adventure-y continuation where he comes back and we see the Saki has grown and become even more powerful. It would be nice to see them travel together again, but without being hunted. I have to say, the episodes go very fast and it can be finished in one sitting, definitely. I loved the diversity and I truly hope this opens up the gates for more daring anime in this case.